Paraguay: UNHCR welcomes new refugee law

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Kris Janowski to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR welcomes Paraguay's approval of a new "National Refugee Law." Paraguayan President Luis González Macchi signed the law on July 2, following its approval by both houses of the National Congress. The signing makes Paraguay the second of the MERCOSUR countries (Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil) to have a national refugee law. Brazil's refugee law was signed in October 2000.

UNHCR's Regional Office for South America has worked with the countries in the MERCOSUR region to develop a model refugee law text to promote a common level of refugee protection in the region as a whole. Paraguay has become the first country in MERCOSUR to pass a refugee law based on this model law text.

UNHCR welcomes the signing of the law as an important step towards ensuring refugee protection in Paraguay and in advancing harmonization of refugee protection in the region.