Resettlement to Paraguay
Paraguay has a quota for refugees. Currently, it allows for the resettlement of 15 refugees per year to the country.
The Comisión Nacional de Refugiados (National Commission for refugees) (‘CONARE’) coordinates the resettlement program in Paraguay. Cases are selected on the basis of “in-country selection missions” following submissions by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (‘UNHCR’) regional office for Southern Latin America, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 2007, Paraguay signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Resettlement of Refugees with UNHCR (‘MOU’) (To see in Spanish) which established the criteria under which refugees may qualify for resettlement to Paraguay.
According to the MOU, the beneficiaries of the resettlement program are refugees under the terms of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and other regional instruments, in particular the Cartagena Declaration of 1984.
The refugees in need of resettlement should belong to one of these categories:
- need for legal and physical protection;
- Refugee survivors of violence and/or torture: their resettlement in Paraguay will, however, be subject to the availability of appropriate services;
- Women at risk;
- Children and adolescents;
- Refugees without prospects local integration in the first country of refuge.
Admissibility for Resettlement
Family Reunification for Resettled Refugees
The MOU states that: “based on the principle of family unity, the Government of the
Republic of Paraguay will provide entry into national territory for family members of refugees resettled in accordance with current regulations.”
No specific law establishes a legal framework of family reunification in the context of resettlement. However, Article 2 of Paraguay’s General Law No. 1938-1902 on Refugees states that refugee status will apply, by extension, to the spouse or person with whom the refugee has an affective relationship, as well as descendants and ascendants in the first degree.
Sources: this information has been taken from the Paraguay country chapter in the UNHCR Resettlement Handbook.