Brazil (2008)

22 de May, 2008

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22 May 2008
Original: ENGLISH


Eighth session

Agenda item 6


Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review



1. The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), established in accordance

with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, held its first session from 7 to

18 April 2008. The review of Brazil was held at the 9th meeting on 11 April 2008. The delegation

of Brazil was headed by H.E. Mr. Rogério Sottili, Executive Secretary, Special Secretariat of the

Presidency of the Republic on Human Rights. For the composition of the delegation, composed of

16 members, see appendix below. At its 13th meeting held on 15 April 2008, the Working Group

adopted the present report on Brazil.

2. On 28 February 2008, the Human Rights Council selected the following group of rapporteurs

(troika) to facilitate the review of Brazil: Gabon, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.

3. In accordance with paragraph 15 of the annex to resolution 5/1, the following documents were

issued for the review of Brazil:

(a) The national report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15


(b) The compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

(OHCHR), in accordance with paragraph 15 (b) (A/HRC/WG.6/1/BRA/2);

(c) The summary prepared by OHCHR, in accordance with paragraph 15 (c)


4. A list of questions prepared in advance by Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, and

Sweden was transmitted to Brazil through the troika. These questions are available on the extranet

of the Universal Periodic Review.


A. Presentation by the State under review

5. At the 9th meeting, held on 11 April 2008, the Head of Delegation of Brazil, H.E. Mr.

Rogério Sottili, Executive Secretary, Special Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic on

Human Rights, introduced the national report.

6. Mr. Sergio Abreu e Lima Florencio, Ambassador, Deputy Representative of Brazil to the

United Nations Office at Geneva, recalled Brazil’s voluntary pledges to participate in the UPR in a

constructive and transparent manner and noted its confidence that the UPR will reinforce the

principles of universality, indivisibility and non-selectivity. Mr. Rogerio Sottili, Head of the

delegation, Executive Secretary, Special Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic on Human

Rights, also noted confidence in the construction of the new system.

7. Brazil’s large territory (more than 8.5 million km2) and population (187 million) were

mentioned as an indication of the challenges regarding implementation of human rights policies.

8. The delegation of Brazil stressed that the elaboration of the national report resulted in

consultations with different bodies and offered the opportunity for an inter-ministerial reflection on

the human rights challenges in the country. In this context, several consultations were organized

with the participation of representatives from civil society and the National Councils. These

consultations led to a public hearing in the Federal Senate and contributions from stakeholders were

reflected in the national report.

9. Brazil was aware of the need to advance towards the full realization of human rights and to

include human rights in all normative instruments, although it recognizes that legislation alone does

not guarantee implementation.

10. Brazil has also extended a standing invitation to all special procedures, several of whom have

visited Brazil in the recent years. Brazil has also maintained a close relationship with treaty body


11. The economic growth, stability and social development under President Lula’s administration

have been crucial to the strengthening of a dialogue with civil society. Within its social

programmes, including the Family Allowance Programme (Bolsa Familia), the country has

achieved the first of the eight Millennium Development Goals, including the reduction of extreme

poverty by half by 2015. Between 1990 and 2005, extreme poverty has been reduced from

28 per cent to 16 per cent and poverty reduced from 52 per cent to 38 per cent. In absolute terms,

between 2003 and 2005, around 10 million Brazilians surpassed the poverty line. Income inequality

has also reduced. To date, around 45 million people – one quarter of the population – are

beneficiaries of the Family Allowance Programme.

12. Brazil stressed that 2008 was marked by the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights and the 120th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, both of which form a part of

the country’s continuous fight against discrimination and racism. In October of this year, Brazil will

celebrate 20 years of the rule of law, as the basis for the consolidation of the culture of democratic

citizenship and prevalence of human rights.

13. Nonetheless, the country continues to face violence and many forms of exploitation, including

forced labour and sexual exploitation, including of children and adolescents. Within the framework

of the Statute on Children and Adolescents (Estatuto da Crianca e do Adolescente), action plans to

overcome these issues have already been put in place as children and adolescents are amongst the

Government’s priority goals.

14. The delegation of Brazil informed that a National Conference on Human Rights and a

conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights will take place this year,

involving a great number of NGOs. Brazil will also host the Third World Conference on Combating

Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents with an anticipated participation of 130 countries,

as well as the 2008 preparatory regional conference for the 2009 Durban Review Conference. The

Brazilian delegation added that there are today in Brazil 35 Councils of the Republic with social


15. Brazil indicated its awareness of progress achieved in the area of human rights but also

admitted its remaining challenges. It stressed the need to accelerate work on combating torture, a

practice that is unacceptable but still present, and a crime to which no statutory limitations apply

according to the Constitution. Brazil noted its concern regarding reports of torture at the

international level in cases of terrorism investigations. Brazil also noted the need to improve the

system of protection of human rights defenders throughout the country.

16. In the context of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration, Brazil has proposed

the creation of Human Rights Voluntary Goals stemming from an initiative of the States of

MERCOSUR. Brazil is committed to disseminating the basic idea of human rights and the articles

of the Universal Declaration among the Brazilian population.

17. Ms. Rosilene Rocha, the Executive Secretariat of the Ministry of Social Development and

Combat of Hunger stressed the pivotal role played by social security in the reduction of extreme

poverty, and that Brazil had created the Ministry she was leading. In 2003, the Zero Hunger plan

(Fome Zero) led to the creation of the Organic Law on Food Security approved by the National

Congress in 2006 and of a programme on food supply (Programa de Aquisicao de Alimentos).

18. The Family Allowance Plan and the Beneficio programme have led to reducing the inequality

gap down to 28 per cent. The Family Allowance Plan was based on access to cash transfer, to

education and to health with a view to breaking the poverty cycle and empowering poor families.

This programme reached out to 11 million people including 100,000 families.

19. Mr. Pedro Abramovay, Under-Secretary for Legislative Affairs of the Ministry of Justice,

referred to violence as a serious issue. He stated that more than 40,000 homicides took place last

year and more than 420,000 people were currently in prison although there has been a 20 per cent

reduction in homicides since 2003 and a decrease in the growth rate of the prison population since

2007. In this regard, Brazil has launched a national programme for public security (Programa

Nacional de Seguranca Publica com Cidadania). Ninety prisons for young people and women have

been created with the aim of providing education and social reinsertion. A scholarship will also be

given to police officers with low income under the condition of attending human rights training. In

the most dangerous regions in the country, social programmes combined with non-violent conflict

resolution programmes will be implemented.

20. Mr. Rolf Hachbart, President of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform,

noted that Brazil had large reserves of water, energy and biodiversity resources with ample

opportunities to promote sustainable development. These measures aim to build new agricultural

models, with a view to protecting the environment and ending violence generated by disputes of

land, particularly with regard to the public lands of the indigenous population and of the

afro-descendent population. He also mentioned the goal of the Brazilian Government to include

100,000 families in the National Programme of Agrarian Reform in 2008.

21. On gender issues, Ms. Ana Paula Goncalves, Special Secretariat of the Presidency of the

Republic on Women Policies, stated that the special secretariat for the promotion of women was

created in 2003 with a ministerial status to assist the President on issues related to women. Violence

against women was a central issue within the Secretariat, whose actions focused on strengthening a

network of assistance to women, including training, promotion of new legislation and judiciary

proceedings. To date, 49 courts specializing in domestic violence were operating as a result of the

law on violence against women (Maria da Penha Law).

22. To conclude Brazil’s opening statement, Ms. Marcia Canario, Special Secretariat of the

Presidency on the Promotion of Racial Equality, acknowledged Brazil’s long history of

discrimination but also its firm commitment to eliminate this injustice. To this end, Brazil has

adopted a number of political, administrative and legislative measures to promote equality, equal

opportunities and access to public goods. A special secretariat has been created to promote access to

education, health, labour and land for all ethnic and racial groups, as Brazil is committed to the

outcome of the Durban Conference.

23. In the course of its presentation, the Brazilian delegation agreed that there is a need to include

human rights in all normative instruments, to accelerate its work on combating torture and to

improve the system of protection of human rights defenders. It also stated that children and

adolescents are amongst the Government’s priority goals. In this regard, Brazil will hold the Third

World Conference on Combating Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents. It agreed with

measures aimed at building new agricultural models. Brazil finally reiterated its firm commitment

to eliminate the injustice of discrimination.

B. Interactive dialogue and responses by the State under review

24. During the ensuing interactive dialogue, a number of delegations welcomed Brazil’s

commitment and achievements. Brazil was also praised for the high quality of its presentation and

its national report, as well as for the participatory and open approach adopted regarding the

preparation of the report. Numerous delegations commended Brazil’s recognition of its remaining

challenges and issues. During the interactive dialogue, 44 delegations made statements.

25. On the issue of discrimination against women based on their age and their rural and their

ethnic origin, Slovenia asked about concrete steps taken by the Government to stop those

discriminations and to improve the low number of women receiving pensions. Slovenia also

enquired about the actions undertaken by the Government to reduce the alleged number of

adolescents deprived of liberty, as it has grown by 325 per cent between 1996 and 2006, and this is

a very worrying signal. Slovenia requested that Brazil provide information on progress on gender

issues and recommended that a gender perspective be fully integrated in the follow-up process to

the UPR review.

26. Colombia considered gender equality as one of the priorities of public policies. Colombia

referred with great interest to Brazil’s experience in the fight against domestic violence and

violence against women. It requested more details about the factors that would favour the

implementation of the National Pact to combat domestic violence. The delegation indicated that

Colombia promoted the UPR as an opportunity to exchange the best practices and to facilitate

horizontal cooperation between States facing the same issues. In this regard, Brazil’s preparation

for the UPR constituted an excellent example.

27. China recognized Brazil’s great strides to reduce poverty and to address family planning,

education, food, health, and racial discrimination. China wished that this progress continue and

requested information about the Single Health System, specifically enquiring about how it functions

and the areas in need of improvement.

28. Azerbaijan welcomed the 2005 constitutional amendment and noted the adoption of a

National Human Rights Programme. It appreciated the involvement of civil society in that process

and the good practice in organizing National Human Rights Councils. Azerbaijan also commended

on the steps made by the Government towards ensuring the rights of women and eliminating gender

inequality and domestic violence. The delegation asked Brazil to elaborate more on the

effectiveness and the obstacles faced during the creation of the Special Secretariats in various fields

of human rights. Azerbaijan also enquired about steps to be taken to accelerate the reduction of

gender inequality. Noting with appreciation the interaction of Brazil with special procedures

mandates holders; Azerbaijan requested further information on the relevance of criminal justice

systems reforms.

29. Peru welcomed the enactment by Brazil of some of the most progressive laws of the region

protecting human rights. Regarding the right to memory and to truth, it also requested information

on the Special Commission of Political Dead and Disappeared People, and if the achieved results

were used to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for violating human rights. Reiterating

the importance of citizens having access to public information, Peru recommended that Brazil do its

utmost to ensure that Congress adopt the law in this domain.

30. India referred to the initiative to develop a national system of human rights indicators as

having far reaching implications beyond the national level. In this regard, India wished to know the

present status of the proposal and if any pilot projects had been carried out targeting specific areas

covered by the National Human Rights Programme and whether these indicators would be used by

the National Human Rights Councils. India also noted with interest the 2005 constitutional

amendment and expressed interest in knowing about instances where this amendment has been


31. Malaysia recognized Brazil’s achievements in health and poverty reduction, including its

commitment to combat AIDS. It requested that Brazil elaborate on its experience to fight pandemic

diseases and enquired about Brazil’s achievements in education, specifically with regard to

guaranteeing education for the segments of the population living in remote areas. Malaysia also

requested information on the progress made on women’s rights and gender equality in the

legislature and executive positions.

32. Ghana congratulated Brazil for the establishment of three special secretariats, and for having

initiated a discussion since 2007 aimed at creating a national system of human rights indicators.

Ghana stressed that even more commendable is the frankness with which the Government has

admitted the weaknesses and inequalities in the country, especially in the areas of gender, income

distribution and opportunities for African descendants and other minorities. Ghana recommended

assistance to the Government to address these challenges. Regarding the right to education and

Brazil’s Education Development Plan within the framework of development strategies aimed at

reducing inequalities among vulnerable groups, Ghana asked whether the Plan or other strategies

included programmes to address youth violence. Finally Ghana wished to recommend the continued

commitment by the Government to the programme of land reforms and to resolving the issue of

abuse of power and excessive use of force.

33. Cuba requested that Brazil provide information and details on the Zero Hunger programme

which is an innovative human rights programme to implement the right to food.

34. Pakistan welcomed, inter alia, the methodology used for the preparation of the national report

and for the acknowledgment of difficulties and challenges regarding violence against women, racial

inequality, land reform, and minorities. It asked Brazil about the reasons for the lack of

implementation and the steps it plans to take to address this issue.

35. The Netherlands appreciated Brazil’s initiative to bring serious human rights abuses under

Federal Law and requested an update on the initiative’s progress. The Netherlands referred to the

national report and reiterated the challenges Brazil faces in the eradication of torture. It enquired

about practical measures that have been taken in this regard and whether a witness protection

programme has been considered. If such a programme will indeed be considered, the Netherlands

expressed interest in being updated on its progress. It suggested that if the initiative to bring serious

human rights abuses under Federal Law has not been realized, Brazil should do so at the earliest

possible moment.

36. The Republic of Korea praised the establishment of the three special secretariats on human

rights, women issues and racial equality in 2003. It noted that a number of international human

rights organizations have repeatedly drawn attention to human rights violations of indigenous

people, to the lack of public security and poor detention conditions in Brazil. Thus, the Republic of

Korea expected Brazil to give a more thorough consideration to these issues.

37. The Syrian Arab Republic requested that Brazil share its expertise and best practices

regarding the implementation of its national programme to fight hunger and poverty.

38. France welcomed the strengthening of legal mechanisms for human rights protection since

the 1988 Constitution. It also noted the considerable progress made regarding children’s rights,

despite the remaining difficulties in large cities and the poorest states. However, France stressed the

parliamentary proposals of constitutional amendment to lower the age of criminal responsibility.

Referring to Brazil’s national report, France noted the action undertaken by the Government to

combat the social pressure that calls for such reform. In this regard, France wished to know where

the discussions will lead to.

39. Norway acknowledged that the construction of a democratic and rights-based society is a

complex process requiring both political will and time. Norway particularly mentioned as example

of best practices the Government’s efforts to combat child labour, the establishment of a ministry to

combat racial discrimination, and Brazil’s leadership on issues of sexual orientation and gender

identity. Regarding freedoms of opinion and expression, while noting the protection provided by

the Constitution, Norway stated that it seems that the legislative bodies have failed to safeguard

them properly. Referring to the stakeholders’ report, Norway further noted that lack of plurality and

concentration of media ownership are reported. Norway noted that thousands of community

broadcasters are waiting to be attributed a licence and journalists who cover investigations about

corruption or irregular behaviour by public authorities are exposed to threats and physical

aggression. On the basis of this information, Norway asked what actions the Government has taken

or will take to set up a legal framework according to international standards to address the issue of

concentration of media ownership, to speed up the attribution of licenses to community

broadcasters, and to duly investigate cases of violence against media professionals.

40. In response to Peru’s question on the right to memory, Brazil referred to the 1995 Law 1140

on the accountability for the deaths that occurred under the dictatorship. The Law established the

Commission on Political Disappearances to assess cases of politically motivated deaths under the

dictatorship. Since then, out of 339 cases, 321 received compensation. In 2007, a special secretariat

produced a report summarizing the process and events in each of those cases, recognizing the

State’s responsibility for these disappearances. In 2007 the Special Secretariat on Human Rights

and the Commission on Political Disappearances created a DNA bank to identify those who

disappeared and were never located. The main challenges for the Commission are to locate and

access the archives, since all the archives from the dictatorship period were transferred to the

National Archives. The delegation of Brazil highlighted two critical challenges: (a) to find more

information about the location of the bodies of those who disappeared during the military

dictatorship; and (b) the opening of archives from the dictatorship to the general public. Brazil

added that, in 2005, all the archives were transferred to the National Archives in order to address

the second challenge.

41. Brazil concurred with Slovenia, Azerbaijan and Colombia that violence against women and

children is still taking place. However, two national plans have been designed in collaboration with

civil society to reduce inequality and to mainstream gender issues in public policies. It is also

modifying its legislation with regard to family violence and violence against women. Brazil noted

that it is taking comprehensive actions in conjunction with state governments and municipalities to

establish indicators whenever family violence occurs. This new initiative covers four areas

including sexual exploitation and reproductive rights.

42. In response to Azerbaijan, the Republic of Korea and Norway regarding legal and penal

affairs, Brazil agreed that it had witnessed a large increase in the prison population. However,

following a new law on criminal procedure adopted in 2007 the increase of the prison population

has been reduced by half. A new reform had also been approved this year to ensure guarantees for


43. In response to France’s question on criminal responsibility, the Brazilian Government

believed that this issue will not be approved or adopted. On torture, Brazil referred to its 2006 plan

to implement and integrate a programme including a large number of states. A national committee

on torture has also been created with the participation of the Special Secretariat of Human Rights,

the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and NGOs. Congress has also adopted the Optional Protocol to the

Convention against Torture . The Brazilian delegation also referred to the challenge of establishing

the national prevention mechanism in line with the Optional Protocol.

44. In response to China, Cuba and the Syrian Arab Republic, regarding the Zero Hunger

programme, Brazil stressed that this was a ministry-wide policy that involved states, municipalities

and civil society, and that a Special Secretariat for food has been created. Initiatives to fight hunger

include the establishment of various systems and the involvement of children in a school food

programme, as well as food supply programme to indigenous populations. Referring to the Single

Health System, the services of the Single Health Programme have reached out to 70 per cent of the

Brazilian population, and services include the distribution of 130 million vaccines, 2 million

ambulatory procedures and 11.3 million hospital internments. Brazil noted, however, that the

situation is critical and that this sector requires investment. Brazil acknowledged the gap between

universal access to health care and the actual state of health care.

45. In response to Malaysia on the issue of HIV/AIDS, a programme with a budget of around

$US 800 million per year was created, successfully reaching 184,000 patients. The need to make

the system more flexible was emphasized. In 2007, provisions of the TRIPS agreement were used

to increase the supply of medicine to needy patients.

46. Brazil noted its project to establish a national system of social indicators, and also that the

National Statistical and Geographic Institute is carrying out research that will enable specialists to

provide indicators on social issues.

47. Australia expressed interest in learning about Brazil’s views, approaches and support for

national human rights institutions, enquiring if Brazil plans to establish one in accordance with the

Paris Principles.

48. Algeria paid special tribute to Ambassador Florêncio for his initiative on defining a set of

voluntary goals in the field of human rights. Algeria further noted that the national report shows the

success of Brazil in reducing extreme poverty by half within the framework of the Millennium

Objectives. Algeria also stressed that the report describes the efforts of Brazil to fulfil the right to

food, particularly through the adoption of the 2006 Organic Law on Food Security. In this regard,

Algeria requested information on the concrete measures adopted regarding the implementation of

this law. Finally, Algeria indicated that although this issue has not been raised in the report, it still

wished to pay special tribute to the pioneering role of Brazil in developing bio fuels based on

non-edible agricultural products, in particular sugar cane mulch. Algeria recommended that Brazil

scale up this experience and preserve the right to food.

49. Noting the numerous reports of state police, military and civil, committing extrajudicial

killings, the United States of America enquired about the steps Brazil has taken to prosecute

individuals responsible for such crimes and prevent future occurrences of extrajudicial killings. It

also asked about measures Brazil has taken to address allegations of torture in the juvenile and adult

penal systems, and to improve prison conditions.

50. The Russian Federation welcomed Brazil’s reduction of poverty and income gap, as well as

the measures to prevent violations of human rights, such as in the field of public security.

According to the Russian Federation, prevention of racial discrimination, prohibition of torture,

public security and prevention of extrajudicial killings must continue to be priorities for the

Government. It asked for more details on the practical implementation of measures to reduce urban

violence and investigate cases of extrajudicial killings.

51. While acknowledging Brazil’s significant progress in the area of education, food, health and

combating extreme poverty, Senegal stressed the need for Brazil to continue to provide the same

opportunities to its citizens of African descent as those provided to its other citizens to fully

integrate them within Brazilian society. Senegal also requested detailed information about the

solutions envisaged to resolve problems stemming from the lack of updated statistics in certain

areas related to human rights violations.

52. Chile considered Brazil’s national report an excellent model giving substance for the review.

Regarding women’s rights and violence against women, Chile mentioned Brazil’s challenge of

promoting a cultural change of the professionals that apply the 2006 Maria da Penha Law and

asked Brazil to provide more information on this topic. Chile also noted the numerous measures

adopted to fight poverty and social inequality, and indicated it would learn a lot from the

implementation of the Bolsa Familia Programme. Chile agreed with Brazil that the right to

education is a fundamental element in combating poverty, noted Brazil’s high attendance rate for

children between 7 and 14 years old, and enquired about the measures taken to ensure that children

do not drop out of school.

53. Argentina raised questions about the implementation of Brazil’s Violence against Women

Plan, as well as its Family Allowance Plans, and requested further details on the legislation and the

right to memory and truth.

54. The United Kingdom welcomed, inter alia, Brazil’s open invitation to special procedures.

While noting that human rights legislation in Brazil is in general adequate, the United Kingdom

indicated that Brazil’s implementation of policy and legislation at the state and municipal level is

poor. It asked how Brazil evaluates the success of its policies in the absence of a systematic data

collection. The United Kingdom indicated that prisons are overcrowded and inadequately

maintained. It noted with concern human rights abuses associated with the criminal justice system,

particularly within the juvenile justice system, as well as reported violence and extrajudicial killings

committed by state military police. The United Kingdom enquired about the way Brazil proposes to

address human rights abuses in cases when there may be public support for the situations that lead

to abuses, such as invasions of the favelas by the police. It also indicated that there is evidence that

elements within the police and prison guards continue to torture people in their custody as a form of

punishment, intimidation, or to extract confessions, although few cases have been prosecuted.

Regarding this issue, the United Kingdom welcomed the establishment of the National Committee

for the Prevention and Control of Torture in June 2006, and was keen on discussing further the

monitoring mechanisms the Committee has proposed. The United Kingdom was particularly

concerned at reports of cases in which human rights defenders have been ill-treated, harassed and in

some cases murdered. Finally it noted that despite the Government’s intentions, it has been difficult

to make progress on key issues, including violence against women, indigenous communities, rural

violence and land conflict, and child and slave labour. The United Kingdom added that there are

worrying reports of impunity for those involved in human trafficking and corruption. It

recommended that the Government, while continuing its positive initiatives in many of these areas,

invest more rigour in evaluating the outcomes of planned activities.

55. Sri Lanka praised Brazil’s initiative to launch Human Rights Voluntary Goals at the sixtieth

anniversary of the Universal Declaration, and noted Brazil’s significant achievements in various

areas including in combating extreme poverty. Sri Lanka also requested Brazil to further elaborate

and share its best practices and strategies to combat extreme poverty, as well as endemic diseases.

56. Guatemala welcomed the discussion to develop a national system of human rights indicators

and asked for information about the conclusions, notably on the viability of such a system,

following the first national seminar held to analyse this issue in December 2007. Guatemala was

also impressed by the school attendance rate of 97.4 per cent for children between 7 and 14 years

old, and identified this high rate as a an example of good practice. Guatemala enquired about the

measures that were taken resulting in such a success, as well as any difficulty encountered.

57. Canada requested further information concerning the steps undertaken to promote and to

protect human rights defenders. Noting also the low level of participation of women, the population

of Afro-Brazilian descent, and indigenous people, Canada requested information about measures

taken to address these issues.

58. Germany praised the comprehensive national report of Brazil and the critical view taken on

remaining problems, and focused on three areas highlighted in the report. First, noting that prison

conditions are highly precarious and taking into account the efforts already made by the

Government, Germany asked Brazil what further measures it envisages to accelerate the

improvement of the situation. Second, Germany asked about the measures envisaged by the

Government to rapidly improve the living conditions in re-educational facilities for young people.

Third, it indicated that another area of concern identified in the national report is the ongoing

violence of police officers. In this regard, Germany wanted to hear about what the Government

intends to do in order to bring about a change in the strategy and culture of violence, and whether it

intends to implement the latest recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,

summary or arbitrary executions in order to initiate a profound reform of the penal judiciary system.

Finally, Germany indicated that the law allowing for human rights violations committed at regional

state level to be prosecuted by the federal justice did not produce the expected results since its entry

into force in 2004. It asked what the Government planned to do to ensure that the judiciary

contributes efficiently to end impunity for human rights violations. Germany recommended that

action be taken to improve prison conditions and to implement recommendations made by the

Committee against Torture and by the Human Rights Committee.

59. Venezuela touched upon the issue of the right to land and the priorities set by the agrarian

reform regarding distribution of land, and technical and financial assistance to farmers. It requested

more information about the agrarian reform and previous reforms under the plan.

60. Ecuador welcomed the initiative aimed at creating a national system of human rights

indicators that could serve as a model. Ecuador requested that Brazil indicate its main challenges

with regard to the President Friend of the Child and Teenager Plan and how to address the issue of

street children. It also asked whether Brazil considered bilingual teaching in its education plans as a

method to fight against poverty and consolidate cultural diversity.

61. Palestine praised the success of Brazil in terms of promoting education and its valuable

experience in that domain, and enquired about sharing its practices with other countries.

62. Belgium commended Brazil on its stance on the abolition of death penalty, as well as on

human rights, sexual orientation and sexual identity. It congratulated the Government for its results

in reducing poverty, making Brazil one of the few countries to have achieved one of the

Millennium Goals in advance. Belgium noted persistent difficulties and human rights violations in

the field of public security as well as the efforts made by Brazil to address them. Belgium

welcomed the establishment in 2004 and 2007, respectively, of a national programme and of a

national plan for the protection of human rights defenders. Belgium recommended that the

Government continue and intensify its efforts to reduce poverty and social inequality. It also

recommended that Brazil intensify its efforts for the security of human rights defenders and in this

regard to reinforce cooperation with all stakeholders, in particular, the states and the military police.

Belgium asked Brazil about the perspectives for the implementation of this recommendation.

63. Indonesia congratulated Brazil on its human rights legislation and requested further

clarifications on several areas where instances of abuse had been reported, namely with regard to

children and women’s rights, excessive use of force by the police, and cases of racial

discrimination. Beginning with the rights of the child, Indonesia referred to the issue of juvenile

detention and enquired about the most recent policies developed in that field. On women’s rights,

Indonesia mentioned cases of discrimination specifically against women of certain rural and ethnic

backgrounds, leading to the forced eviction of certain ethnic and indigenous groups. Indonesia

raised concern with regard to the poor conditions in prisons and detention centres where detainees

were subject to torture and ill-treatment. The delegation of Indonesia questioned Brazil about the

measures it has undertaken to combat police impunity in cases of gang crimes involving abusive

police officers especially in favelas where police violence is widespread. Lastly, Indonesia raised

concern about the existing racial disparity in Brazil and the low impact of the current policies to

combat such abuses.

64. Japan welcomed Brazil’s efforts to enhance regional cooperation in Latin America. It wished

to have more information on how effective the Government’s regional efforts have been in

upgrading human rights nationally and collectively for other States of the region. Japan was also

impressed by the way Brazil reflected upon its past history of the slavery system and its recognition

that this system has affected social discrimination. Japan noted the exemplary steps taken by Brazil

in addressing this issue. It asked whether statistical figures illustrate how much fairness has been

achieved in educational institutions. Lastly Japan praised Brazil’s actions to fight sexual

exploitation of children and adolescents and welcomed the Third Conference on this issue to be

hosted by Brazil. Japan wished to know how acutely the Government views the relation between

this initiative and its efforts.

65. Mauritania requested more details on measures taken by the Government to counter slavery,

especially with regard to the slavery of population of African descent.

66. Nigeria stressed that it is compelling for the vulnerable group of Africans and African

descendants to be properly integrated into the society, treated with dignity and given equal

opportunities in terms of education, health care, employment and participation in the political arena.

Nigeria, while being encouraged by the efforts made to institute programmes to integrate the

quilombos, indicated that a lot more needs to be done to fundamentally address these challenges.

Nigeria recommended that Brazil could succeed with greater pace in land reform in the castaway

areas by pursuing public policies targeted at improving the life of African descendants and


67. Mexico encouraged the establishment of a national institution compliant with the Paris

Principles and requested an update on Brazil’s reporting to the Committee against Torture and

specifically recommended enhancing access to justice and improving the judicial system.

68. Angola raised concern about gender parity, namely the small percentage of women

represented at senior levels in federal legislative and executive posts. Referring to Brazil’s national

report, Angola mentioned the racial stigma against populations of African descent, and enquired

about the legislative policies adopted by Brazil on this regard. Angola also raised the issue of

education and its instrumental impact on combating poverty and social exclusion, and asked

whether technical assistance would help Brazil improve its efforts in that domain.

69. Bangladesh noted with deep admiration the success of the Government in guaranteeing

economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights for all its people. Bangladesh was pleased to

note the remarkable success in reducing the scale of extreme poverty and in fighting HIV/AIDS. As

a developing country, Bangladesh also realized that Brazil faces many challenges. It indicated

concerns expressed by other delegations about domestic violence, disparities in accessing

socio-economic opportunities, particularly by indigenous communities. Bangladesh noted that it is

reassuring that the Government has taken these challenges seriously. Bangladesh asked Brazil about

its view on the recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to request technical

assistance in the area of juvenile justice and police training as well as for the establishment of an

independent and effective human rights institution.

70. Egypt enquired about how Brazil reconciled the elaboration of its disaggregated statistics and

its right to privacy of individuals.

71. Morocco welcomed efforts by Brazil to eradicate poverty, to promote education and to

promote the rights of women. It also stressed the active participation of Brazil in the Human Rights

Council, notably with regard to the initiative on voluntary goals. Morocco requested information on

what innovative complementary measures the Government contemplates to better combat poverty.

It wished to know whether there are guarantees for free exercise of religion. Lastly, referring to the

national report, it requested more information on the national system of human rights indicators.

72. South Africa noted the efforts undertaken by Brazil in various human rights programmes,

including matters related to the elimination of racism, xenophobia and intolerance. South Africa

referred to Brazil’s programme adopted in 2004 to address the plight of Brazilians of Afro-descent.

The delegation also mentioned Brazil’s Zero Tolerance Policy as a best practice on how to address

issues of malnutrition, hunger and the implementation of the right to food. South Africa concluded

its statement by noting the impact of the Family Allowance programme on the fight against poverty.

73. Jordan praised the Government for the 2006 law on domestic violence and affirmative action

it adopted. Jordan urged Brazil to take further steps in this regard. It also asked what practical steps

it adopted to achieve reducing poverty.

74. Bolivia showed support to all the endeavors undertaken by Brazil in its promotion of human


75. Uruguay welcomed Brazil’s national report which demonstrates considerable progress and

recognizes the indivisibility of rights as well as acknowledging continuing human rights violations.

It also welcomed the agrarian reform undertaken by Brazil. Uruguay recommended greater efforts

regarding prisons systems in a number of states of the federation and that they be transformed into

rehabilitation centres.

76. Following the discussion, Brazil responded to Uruguay and other delegations on agrarian

reform and violence in rural areas. It noted that the idea that the relationship between the production

of bio fuel and the reduction in basic food production does not correspond to reality. Brazil noted

that it is simultaneously increasing both the production of renewable energies and the production of

food to combat hunger. It was noted that the possible rise of the price of food in the world is likely

to be caused by the centralization of capital within certain powerful groups that are dominating the

market. The priority in agrarian reform will be to promote sustainable production from an

environmental and social point of view. Through agrarian reform, Brazil will be able to reduce the

level of violence in the country.

77. In response to Morocco, South Africa and Jordan, Brazil noted that regarding education and

extreme poverty, strategies are focused on setting up social programmes and improvement in

agrarian reform and work on infrastructure that would lead to the creation of jobs and improve

education. Brazil noted that it is centralizing efforts to reduce extreme poverty and to eliminate

inequalities. Challenges regarding quality have been noted. Reference was made to the Family

Allowance programme which reaches a number of children and aims to increase school attendance.

It was noted that investments are being made to create new opportunities for social inclusion.

Capacity-building and training of workers have been promoted and efforts have been made to

improve employment rates.

78. In response to Mauritania and South Africa, Brazil noted that it has based its action for the

promotion of racial equality on national statistics. Indicators demonstrate the root causes of this

inequality. Regarding education, the State has prioritized the history of Africa and of the indigenous

peoples with the aim of promoting the education on how Brazil was formed. As regards children of

indigenous peoples, it was noted that Brazil is seeking to increase school attendance in higher

education. There are currently 38 public universities in 22 states. Affirmative action in entrance is

being adopted, including by providing scholarships.

79. Brazil publicly appreciated the opportunity to present the situation of human rights in the

country and to engage in the rich dialogue within the UPR. The Government recognized the

challenges in the promotion of rights. Due to time constraints, Brazil committed to answering the

remaining questions during the plenary session of the Human Rights Council in June, in accordance

with the institution-building package. Brazil reiterated its confidence in this new system and its

hope that it will overcome selectivity.

80. Attention was once again drawn to President Lula’s administration which focuses on

economic growth, income distribution and social justice. Brazil’s commitment towards the

realization of all human rights was also reiterated.

81. Brazil affirmed that the UPR exercise brought valuable lessons to the country, particularly in

the process of elaborating the report. Brazil recognized the challenges pointed out by civil society to

implement recommendations of international monitoring bodies.

82. Brazil noted its readiness to continue cooperation with the United Nations system as it does

with the Inter-American system. Its commitment to cooperate with the Human Rights Council,

particularly the UPR, was also reinforced. Brazil expressed readiness to exchange experience and

share information.


83. The recommendations formulated during the interactive dialogue have been examined

by Brazil and enjoy the support of Brazil:

1. Continue and intensify its efforts to reduce poverty and social inequality


2. Continue its commitment to resolving the issue of abuse of power and excessive use

of force (Ghana);

3. While continuing its positive initiatives, invest more rigour in evaluating the

outcomes of planned activities in many of these areas: prisons conditions, criminal

justice system, juvenile justice system, violence and extrajudicial killings

committed by state military police, torture, protection of human rights defenders,

violence against women, indigenous communities, rural violence and land conflict,

child and slave labour, impunity for those involved with human trafficking and

corruption (United Kingdom);

4. Intensify efforts for the security of human rights defenders and reinforce

cooperation with all stakeholders, in particular, the states and the military police


5. Give a more thorough consideration to the issues of human rights violations of

indigenous people, lack of public security and poor detention conditions (Republic

of Korea);

6. Take action to improve prison conditions and implement recommendations made

by the Committee against Torture and by the Human Rights Committee


7. Make greater efforts regarding prisons systems in a number of states of the

federation in order to be transformed into rehabilitation centres (Uruguay).

8. Enhance access to justice as well as improve the judicial system (Mexico);

9. Implement at the earliest possible moment the initiative to bring serious human

rights abuses under Federal Law if it is not done yet (The Netherlands);

10. Do its utmost to ensure that Congress adopt the law on access of citizens to public

information (Peru);

11. Continue its commitment to the programme of land reform (Ghana);

12. Succeed with greater pace in land reform in the cast away areas by pursuing

public policies targeted at improving the life of African descendants and minorities


13. While paying special tribute to the pioneering role of Brazil in developing bio fuels

based on non-edible agricultural products, scale up this experience and preserve

the right to food (Algeria);

14. Encourage the establishment of a national institution compliant with the Paris

Principles (Mexico);

15. Integrate gender perspectives in the follow-up process to the UPR review


84. All conclusions and/or recommendations contained in this report reflect the position of

the submitting state(s) and/or the State under review thereon. They should not be construed

as endorsed by the Working Group as a whole.


85. With the intention of strengthening the efficiency of the cooperation with the United Nations

system and with the view of improving its national policies, Brazil reinforced its commitment to

create new tools for the internal monitoring of human rights. This would include a national system

of human rights indicators and the elaboration of annual reports on the situation of human rights,

taking into account, among other aspects, a follow-up of the UPR exercise.


Composition of the delegation

The delegation of Brazil was headed by H.E. Mr. Rogério Sottili, Head of the Delegation,

Executive Secretary, Special Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic on Human Rights, and

composed of 16 members:

H.E. Mr. Sérgio Abreu e Lima Florêncio, Ambassador, Deputy Representative of Brazil

to the United Nations Office at Geneva;

Minister Ana Lucy Gentil Cabral Petersen, General Director of the Department of

Human Rights and Social Issues, Ministry of External Relations;

Mr. Rolf Hachbart, President of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian


Mr. Pedro Abramovay, Under-Secretary for Legislative Affairs of the Ministry of


Mrs. Rosilene Rocha, Executive Secretariat of the Ministry of the Social Development

and Combat to Hunger;

Councillor Márcia Maria Adorno Cavalcanti Ramos, Chief of the Division of Human

Rights, Ministry of External Relations;

Mrs. Ana Paula Gonçalves, Special Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic on

Women Policies;

Mrs. Márcia Canário, Special Secretariat of the Presidency on the Promotion of Racial


Secretary Luciana Rocha Mancini, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations

Office at Geneva;

Secretary Silviane Tusi Brewer, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations

Office at Geneva;

Secretary Murilo Vieira Komniski, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations

Office at Geneva;

Secretary Thiago Melamed de Menezes, Special Secretariat of the Presidency of the

Republic on Human Rights;

Secretary Melina Espeschit Maia, Division of Human Rights, Ministry of External


Mrs. Mariana Bertol Carpanezzi, Special Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic

on Human Rights;

Mrs. Clara Solon, Division of Human Rights, Ministry of External Relations.


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