Brazil – February 19 2020

SOS Children's Villages and UNICEF partner to support Venezuelan children in Brazil

To shelter and assist Venezuelan children and young people unaccompanied and separated from their parents or guardians, SOS Children's Villages Brazil has signed a partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Already, 20 children and young people are being cared for in SOS families in the cities of Boa Vista and Pacaraima in the state of Roraima. 

“This operation allows us to take our experiences and work methodology to guarantee the fundamental rights of these children and adolescents,” says Sérgio Eduardo Marques, National Sub-Manager of SOS Children's Villages Brazil.

Care professionals, psychologists and social workers work with the children to ensure their development and that they get access to public services. The team also searches for the families of each child and adolescent referred to by the Child and Youth Courts in both cities to hopefully see them reunited.

Since 2017, more than 200,000 Venezuelans have sought refuge in Brazil fleeing the crisis in their country. Among these, almost 10,000 are children and adolescents in vulnerable situations, according to UNICEF. A survey by the Public Defender's Office found that between August 2018 and June 2019, almost 400 children arrived in Brazil unaccompanied and separated from their families.

“This programme allows us to use our expertise and methodology of work to guarantee the fundamental rights of these children and young people”, adds Mr Marques.

SOS Brazil already works to welcome and assist Venezuelan families through the Brasil Sem Fronteiras (Brazil without borders) programme, carried out in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Since 2017, around 1,500 people, including 700 children and young people and 370 families, have received assistance from SOS Children's Villages Brazil. The program operates in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná, Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Sul, in addition to the Federal District.

Learn more about our work in Brazil