Brazil: Restorative juvenile justice as a response to violence

by Terre des hommes | Terre des hommes (Tdh) - Switzerland
Friday, 12 September 2014 09:33 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Present in Brazil since 1982, Terre des hommes (Tdh) works to reduce violence, social disruption and the exploitation of marginalized children and adolescents. By its interventions in the districts of Pará, Ceará, Maranhão, Piauí and Northern Rio Grande, the Foundation fights to get restorative justice restauratrice for young people installed. Repressive policies have brought about no positive results up to now; in 2013, statistics show that 91% of the youngsters arrested, having been subjected to the classic procedures, committed second offences. In order to curb this violence, a change of policy is essential.

Along with various Brazilian institutions, in particular the National Council of Justice and the Association of Brazilian Magistrates, Tdh signed the Cooperation Protocol for the spread of restorative juvenile justice on 14th August 2014. This agreement is an important achievement for Tdh, as well as for the Brazilian authorities. According to Anselmo de Lima, Tdh’s delegation head in Brazil, the Protocol will benefit a large group of youngsters in prison, who will now be channelled towards restorative practices oriented more to listening to the young people and less authoritarian. The Protocol also anticipates training courses for 18,000 judges and the setting up of a Federal Commission responsible for checking the application of the law.

Tdh is once more committed to making the Brazilian legal systems more aware of the establishment of non-custodial measures to guarantee young people an alternative to the formal legal system. In 2013, 2,621 people engaged in the legal and education systems received training on the subject of restorative juvenile justice.

From 26th to 30th January 2015, the World Conference on Juvenile Justice will be held at the International Conference Centre in Geneva (ICCG). Organized by Tdh and the Swiss Federation, this conference is intended to be a baseline for the application of international standards.

Terre des hommes influences positive change in the daily life of over two million children and their close relatives each year. Find out more about our projects in Brazil!