Brazil will report to the United Nations (UN) on the steps that have been taken to observe the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is the first time in 14 years that the Brazilian government has complied with this requirement.
The report will be presented today, in Geneva, Switzerland, during the 37th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, a UN monitoring body.
Besides the government, civil society also prepared a document, highlighting the progress made in the areas of education, health, and the war on child labor, as well as the challenges the country faces, such as difficulties in the fight against child abuse and sexual exploitation.
Margarida Cardoso, representative of the Ministry of Social Development and Hunger Alleviation, informed that the Brazilian delegation will underscore the advances achieved through the Program to Erradicate Child Labor (PETI).
“We are polishing and perfecting the program in order to expand it, improve the quality of the longer workday, develop more adequate methods, and, in this context, crystallize the issues involved in combatting sexual exploitation,” she emphasized.
The PETI looks after 930 thousand children and adolescents in 2,783 cities. The presentation of the Brazilian delegation, which will be coordinated by the Special Secretariat for Human Rights, also contains an explanation of the Family Grant program. 4.5 million families, including over 9 million children, are currently served by this program.
The UN adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989. The document became a law with international scope the following year. It is one of the most widely accepted human rights instruments in the world.
The Convention was ratified by 192 countries, the only exceptions being the United States and Somalia.
Minister of Social Development, Patrus Ananias, reported that since the beginning of July, 116,000 boys and girls are being assisted by the Child Labor Eradication Program (PETI) around the country.
The program should soon be expanded to assist 930,000 children. And the Minister says that by the end of the year 2005, it will assist 1.2 million children.
Ananias also revealed that a Unicef report found that PETI was effective in 98% of the 1,603 municipalities were it operated, resulting in a significant reduction in the number of child labor cases in those locations.