OAS Demands that Brazil Stop Treating Juvenile Delinquents as Animals

The situation of 400 adolescents housed in the Federal District’s Specialized Juvenile Care Center (CAJE) troubles the Organization of American States (OAS).

This month, based on a report submitted by the Center for the Defense of the Rights of Children and Adolescents in the Federal District (CEDECA), the OAS determined six measures for the federal government to take to protect the lives of the adolescents.

Through its Inter-American Human Rights Commission, the OAS demands the elimination of overcrowding in the CAJE; the application of at least minimal standards of socio-educational correction, such as the decentralization of detention facilities; and the implementation of medical care and educational activities.

The organization also demands measures to ensure the protection and security of the inmates, including separation according to the seriousness of their crimes, sex, and age. Another step calls for the adolescents to be placed in detention centers close to where their parents live.

According to CEDECA lawyer, Climene Quirido, there were seven deaths in Federal District detention units between 2004 and 2005. "They are treated like animals, not human beings in the phase of development, with a minimal right to a decent development," Quirido remarks.

The lack of specialized medical care, overcrowding, the lack of adequate conditions of hygiene, and the lack of vocational activities are among the main problems identified by the CEDECA in its report to the Inter-American Commission.

CEDECA coordinator, Perla Ribeiro, underscores the lack of psychiatric treatment for the detained adolescents.

The federal government will have 30 days to respond to the international body. The time frame for the measures to be adopted is six months, with the right to a six-month extension. In the coming days the government is expected to press the Federal District to comply with the measures.

If nothing is done, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission can rule in favor of imposing moral sanctions or even economic penalties on Brazil, according to the CEDECA lawyer.

Agência Brasil


  • Show Comments (4)

  • Guest

    Get real!
    These people are criminals, delinquents. Society had rightly decided that they do not belong in the common mix, because they cannot be trusted. To call them ‘adolescents’, in a neutral way, is to whitewash them. And as for ‘adolescents in the phase of development’ is just pinko speak for ‘let’s just love all the evil-doers and they will be nice to us’. The truth is they’ll just hate you anyway. Be tough on the buggers, and beat some religion into them.

  • Guest

    Point taken from previous post.

    I am really amazed by what I have read on this website and have come to the conclusion that Brazil is an illusion, a fantasy.

    These were just ideas, and thought Brazilian lawmakers and Brazilian nationals were enthusiastic about change, obviously I was so wrong, what a dodgy society.

    Do lawmakers deserve their appointed posts if what they do is all about self interest? Brazilians will have to decide for themselves.

  • Guest

    Worse than that !
    No one should forget that Brazil still has slaves…TODAY !
    So why would anyopne expect a good treatment of juvenile deliquents.

    No need either to create, a new government department. Laws and government ministries exist, but no one aplly the existing laws !

  • Guest

    I agree completely with the writer of this article and that these recommendation should be adherd to but, this problem goes much deeper than that as it appears Brazil clearly has a ‘Family Problem’.

    I believe, MENTORING IS a critical intervention statergy to help save children who are increasingly becoming casualties of the breakdown of modern families.

    Serious attention must be paid to children, and young people as violence is a long development process that starts in early childhood.

    This does not only mean that Brazil has a problem with violence, it means Brazil also has a, ‘Family Problem’.

    In order to help to curb the rise of criminality amoung the youth, especially the boys, I think the Ministry of Education should seriously consider introducing a, ‘Prevent &’Dropout Programme’ which should be aimed at targetting volatile communities so it can identify at-risk boys.

    This double-pronged intervention is currently needed in Brazil, but first ministers have to find a way to disarm the current population of young criminals, and second, ministers must cauterise this problem by stemming the production of any new crime recruits. This is where the Prevent & Dropout Programme could be introduced to assist in these areas.

    This Government could, if it wishes, also introduce a ‘Ministry of Family Affairs’ to look into the reconstruction of family life. Fix familes and you fix Brazil.

    However, there are no quick fix solutions to this situation. But, it can be done, if this Government is commited, as experts now realise that everything starts from within the HOME…..

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