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  • Syrian refugees crossing the border with Turkey (Photo: Reuters)

    Syrian refugees crossing the border with Turkey (Photo: Reuters) | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 October 2014

The first 42 of 120 Syrian refugees will arrive in Uruguay on Thursday. They will learn Spanish and will be introduced to Uruguayan life in their first two months in the country.

The first group of 120 Syrian refugees given sanctuary by the Uruguayan government arrive on Thursday.

The humanitarian effort was organized by Uruguay's government and United Nations, after Syrian civil war displaced more than 3 million people in the country.

“This is not a migration process, it is a resettlement process of refugees in another country,” Uruguay's Human Right's Secretary Javier Miranda said.

The five Syrian families arriving on Thursday will live for two months in the southern region of San José, where they will learn Spanish and the basic knowledge of the country needed to carry out a normal life.

After this period, the families will be relocated in small groups in different neighborhoods.

Uruguay's Human Right's Secretary said houses, jobs and schools for the refugees are already prepared.

Sixty percent of the refugees are children, and most of them are Muslims. Some 80 more Syrian refugees are expected to arrive to Uruguay on February.

Earlier this year, Miranda explained that, “These families are free to do what they like; stay in Uruguay, return to their home nation or go somewhere else and change their destiny. They are free people and if they decide to stay, they will be afforded all of the rights currently given to the citizens of Uruguay.”

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