Social Inclusion in Brazil

Favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Citizenship restricted to the few, poverty, lack of a culture of respect for human rights, racial discrimination and racism, lack of access to justice, chauvinism and inappropriate public security practices, all lead to extremely high rates of violence.

Brazil has been historically marked by social, economic and cultural inequalities. Both society and government are increasingly aware of the need for changing that scenario by creating mechanisms of social participation and control, programmes, projects, and actions that represent a movement towards positive changes.

Although it has a large number of poor people Brazil is not a poor country, but still has to overcome social injustice and inequality. The social injustices are  are reflected in a medium rank in the Human Development Index (HDI), which means that difficulties are still to be overcome in education, health, income distribution and employment conditions.

It is worth mentioning that despite the positive changes reflected in the figures above, in absolute terms, the improvements are insufficient to promote the great leap that Brazil needs to make. Another aspect to be considered is that the study defines as indigent only those people with per capita earnings of less than one fourth of the minimum wage and classifies as poor, those with earnings in the range of to of a minimum wage – and those are very low amounts. (Source: IPEA – Ipeadata).

Poverty reduction and fight against social inequalities are key priorities for the Social and Human Sciences Programme in Brazil. UNESCO puts in place an upstream and strategic approach rooted in social sciences information, knowledge and research in order to influence policy-making and strengthen capacity building.

Social inclusion initiatives, in close cooperation with NGOs and civil society, receive close attention. UNESCO technical cooperation is present in all stages, from the planning to the implementation of projects and in innovative activities.

UNESCO in Brazil intends to focus its messages, practices, perspectives, and resource to provide tools to education, cultures, science, and communication and information in order to reduce poverty and raise human development rates of Brazilian population by:

  • serving as a forum to exchange ideas on international social policies,
  • exchanging, promoting, and disseminating successful experiences in the field of poverty reduction in Brazil.
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