Violence Prevention Among Young People in Brazil

Youth from Cantagalo Centre - Criança Esperança Programme - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Crime and violence have increased dramatically in Brazil in recent decades, particularly in large urban areas, leading to more intense public debate on causes and solutions.

The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights. Having security means living without fearing the risk of violation of one’s life, liberty, physical integrity or property. Security means not only to be free from actual risks, but also to be able to enjoy the feeling of security. In this respect, human rights are systematically undermined by violence and insecurity.

UNESCO expects to play a primary role in supporting actions of social inclusion to help in the prevention of violence, especially among young people. The attributes and resources to be found in the heart of the Organization’s different areas will be grouped around this objective.

Violence is seen as a violation of fundamental human rights, as a threat to the respect for the principles of liberty and equality. An approach focused on the access to quality education, to decent jobs, to cultural, sports and leisure activities, to digital inclusion and the protection and promotion of human rights and of the environment will be implemented as a response to the challenge of preventing violence among youths. Such approach should also help in creating real opportunities for young people to improve their life conditions and develop their citizenship.

UNESCO makes use of the experience acquired in Brazil over a long period of time, in the context of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001 – 2010), to conduct long-lasting and effective intersectorial initiatives.

Initiatives targeted at the Brazilian youth have been undertaken by UNESCO through an integrated approach combining quality education, the protection of human rights:

  • Technical cooperation with governmental organisations to formulate, implement, monitor and assess public policies on prevention of violence, mainly among youth, of a social, educational and cultural nature.
  • Technical and organisational cooperation with civil society organisations (corporations and NGOs) to outline and implement projects, raise funds, monitor and assess actions focused on vulnerable social groups.
  • Provision of advanced theoretical and empirical knowledge on specific issues comprising this cross-cutting theme.
  • Empowerment of vulnerable social groups, especially youngsters, to foster their protagonist participation in community actions and initiatives in violence prevention.
  • Mobilisation of experts, public managers and civil society organisations to discuss and improve social, educational and cultural strategies focusing on violence prevention, especially among young people.
  • Correctional education.
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