From now on, Brazilian citizens can report cases of torture directly to the United Nations. Yesterday, June 26, Brazil submitted the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatments or Punishments.
The document allows any individual to contact the UN Committee Against Torture, which supervises the rules of the convention. Previously, the committee could only be contacted by organizations or other member countries.
The UN committee is empowered to analyze Brazilian cases as prescribed by the law, that is, when the case is not under investigation in another international forum and when all legal appeals have been exhausted in the country.
The latter rule does not apply to appeals that prolong the situation "unjustifiably." According to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the measure enhances the status of Brazil in terms of the legitimacy and international concern over human rights.
Yesterday, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, was marked by other Brazilian government initiatives.
In the Planalto Palace, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a decree creating the National Committee for the Prevention and Control of Torture in Brazil.
The committee will be composed of representatives of the government and civil society and will be presided by the Minister of the Special Secretariat of Human Rights (SEDH), Paulo Vannuchi.