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Integration of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Brazil (English)

An unprecedented number of Venezuelans have left behind the worsening economic and social crisis at home to look for better future prospects. Brazil is hosting about 261,000 Venezuelans as migrants, asylum seekers, or refugees, which, at 18 percent, constitutes the largest share of Brazil’s 1.3 million refugees and migrants population (as of October 2020). Although previous literature on other host countries found that Venezuelan refugees and migrants are struggling to secure high-paying jobs that are commensurate with their education, little is known about their access to education and social protection. This paper fills this gap by analyzing various administrative and census data to explore whether Venezuelan migrants and refugees face differential access to education, the formal labor market and social protection programs. It finds that even though there is minimum legal constraints and work permits are relatively easy to obtain, Venezuelan refugees and migrants face challenges integrating into the education system, social protection programs and the formal labor market. The results suggest that Venezuelan refugees and migrants have faced downgrading in grades at school and occupations at work. They are more likely to attend overcrowded schools than their host community counterparts and more likely to do inferior jobs characterized by temporality, lower wages and higher hours worked. Overall, the results suggest that improvement in school capacity, accreditation of Venezuelan education or degrees and relocation to places with favorable employment opportunities may facilitate integration.


  • Author

    Shamsuddin,Mrittika, Acosta,Pablo Ariel, Battaglin Schwengber,Rovane, Fix,Jedediah Rooney, Pirani,Nikolas

  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Policy Research Working Paper

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  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country


    Republica Bolivariana de, Brazil

  • Region

    Latin America & Caribbean,

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  • Doc Name

    Integration of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Brazil

  • Keywords

    Program for International Student; migrant; universal access to education; ordinary least squares regression; conditional cash transfer program; Primary and Secondary Education; access to social protection; use of health service; access to health service; rights-based approach; access to social assistance; formal labor market; social protection program; gross enrollment rate; social assistance program; asylum seeker; living in poverty; labor market outcome; million people; place of origin; high school education; high school level; temporary residence permit; school age child; linear probability model; public sector employment; education of child; social security system; average class size; education child; permanent residence status; human rights violation; Faith-Based Organization; source of income; civil society partner; source income; price of oil; families with child; net migration rate; basic human right; information on education; access to internet; Access to Electricity; per capita income; extremely poor family; availability of data; country of birth; customs and traditions; Internally Displaced Person; lower enrollment rate; right to education; social assistance system; world war ii; decline in poverty; high dropout rate; people with disability; process of integration; data on student; adult literacy rate; social protection sector; movement across border; safety net program; access to schooling; labor market condition; Early childhood education; exclusion restriction; selection model; in school; migrant population; low-income family; wage gap; forced displacement; vulnerable people; household head; formal sector; informal sector; estimation strategy; Host Communities; migration trend; education level; wage employment; minimum wage; host society; Public Services; indicator variable; single parent; economic integration; statistical evidence; Higher Education; expected value; capacity constraint; brazilian counterparts; school attendance; population data; municipality level; gender distribution; identity documents; functional form; humanitarian assistance; average age; federal government; regular school; refugee status; gender ratio; Informal Work; Basic Education; selection bias; regular schooling; children's education; legal constraint; live birth; extreme poverty; monthly income; population estimate; pregnant woman; living condition; work permit; low wage; census data; social crisis; labor productivity; demographics data; school selection; male worker; open access; teaching activity; refugee work; Elementary Education; employment education; professional education; temporary permit; funding support; global knowledge; monthly payment; coverage rate; white student; decomposition technique; household characteristic; household size; Research Support; development policy; teacher-student ratio; employment status; education data; population estimation; collected information; descriptive statistic; total migrants; monotonic transformation; labor sector; academic knowledge; Mental health; future prospect; Universal Education; social participation; cash assistance; household composition; similar age; school day; attending school; drop-out rate; language barrier; portuguese language; stateless person; health check; common good; working-age population; research exploring; family background; upper bind; integration measures; forced migrant; paying job; future study; traditional school; migrant child; administrative datum; wage earner; education outcome; social cohesion; socioeconomic conditions; high wage; robustness check; asylum seeking; brazilian worker; temporary contract; impact analysis; social factor; social program; native language; pay taxes; new job; total employment; social inclusion; model estimation; social integration; blinder decomposition; legal barrier; legal restriction; human capital; weighted average; wage equation; Social Welfare; job prospects; legal framework; demographic characteristic; literature review



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Shamsuddin,Mrittika Acosta,Pablo Ariel Battaglin Schwengber,Rovane Fix,Jedediah Rooney Pirani,Nikolas

Integration of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Brazil (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 9605 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.