Promundo and National Early Childhood Network Deliver Recommendations on Preventing Violence in Early Childhood to Rio de Janeiro Government
April 13, 2015
On April 9, the legislative, executive, and judicial bodies in Rio de Janeiro signed an agreement on the protection of the rights of children and youth. Representatives from Rio de Janeiro’s State Court, the City Hall, the State Attorney General, the Ombudsman, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), mayors from other municipalities, and other state and municipal authorities attended the event.
Promundo, together with the National Early Childhood Network (“Rede Nacional Primeira Infância,” in Portuguese, or RNPI) attended the ceremony to deliver a letter of recommendation on the prevention of violence in early childhood. The letter was produced during the conference “Violence and its Impact on Child Development: Historical and Contextual Reflections, Public Policy, and Protective Factors,” conducted by RNPI in November 2014 in Recife, and it strengthened the content of the governmental agreement on children’s rights.
The recommendations proposed in the letter include:
- Strengthening and financing safety nets for children and adolescents, such as the Child Protection Council (“Conselhos Tutelares,” in Portuguese);
- Expanding intersectoral action for professionals in the “System for the Guarantee of Children and Adolescents’ Rights” (“Sistema de Garantia de Direitos,” in Portuguese”);
- Continuing education on prevention of violence and child protection;
- Improving the care of child victims of violence;
- Increasing the participation of children and their families in the formulation and implementation of policies for children.
During the event, Judge Siro Darlan declared his opposition to Brazil’s proposed constitutional amendment “PEC 171/1993,” which will soon be voted on and which would amend the country’s constitution to lower the national age of criminal responsibility to 16. Voicing their opposition to the amendment, event participants discussed the institutional violence that promotes death and insecurity of children, especially those in poverty, and they cited the recent murder of a 10-year-old boy during a police operation in Complexo do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro.
Early childhood in Brazil:
- In Brazil, there are around 20 million children between 0 and 6 years old (UNICEF, 2009).Of these, 2,866,191 live below the poverty line (CIESPI, 2010). Inequities and poverty in early childhood are still barriers to child development, making it impossible to break the cycle of poverty.
- Accidents and assaults are the leading cause of death for children 1 to 6 years old (UNICEF, 2005). Among children aged 1 to 4 years old, the predominant cause is abandonment/neglect (39.9%), followed by sexual violence (21.8%) and physical violence (21.7%) (Mapa da Violência, 2012).
- The institutional violence in hospitals; health centers; day care centers and preschools; and childcare, security, and justice agencies, among others, is recurrent in our society and is an issue that must be addressed.