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Repeal New Segregated Education Policy for People with Disabilities

On August 17, Brazilian Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro made harmful remarks about children with disabilities, saying they “disturbed” other students and that some are “impossible to live with.” Later, he apologized to “those who were offended”…
A young girl who does not attend school, living in an institution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 6, 2016.
News

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding Children’s Rights and Alternative Care June 30, 2021 Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Rights of the Child ahead of its upcoming Day…
News

Prosecutors Mandated to Inspect Institutions, Promote Independent Living

Brazil’s National Council for Prosecutors, the government body overseeing the country’s prosecutors, took a major step yesterday by approving a resolution that could mean significant human rights improvements for the more than 10,000…
A group of persons with disabilities in a yard in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents are taken outside for a few hours during the day but spend most of the time confined to their beds.
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

New National Policy Encourages School Segregation

(São Paulo) – A recent Brazilian presidential decree risks undermining the right of children with disabilities to a quality, inclusive education, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch submitted two amicus briefs to Brazil’s Supreme Court,…
A mother with her 3-year-old adoptive daughter, who has developmental disabilities.
News
All people should have the right to education from childhood and as a lifelong process. No one should be subjected to discrimination based on biases about whether they can benefit from receiving education or not. In the last years, Brazil’s law for…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
News

New Regulation Important Step Towards Better Rights Protection

On May 6, Brazil’s National Secretariat of Social Assistance published a federal regulation aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 in institutions for people with disabilities and homes for older people. The regulation, which provides guidelines…
A psychiatric ward in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents of most institutions in Brazil live in depersonalized conditions, have few if any personal belongings, and have little or no privacy.
News

Extension of an Important Disability Benefit is an Opportunity for Empowerment

This week, Brazil’s Congress overturned a presidential veto and reinstated legislation expanding access to an important monthly social pension, the Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC). Guaranteed under Brazil’s constitution, the BPC…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
News
From time to time, the killing of a woman at the hands of a male partner or an ex outrages Brazil. If there is video, the murder may climb to the top of the headlines. Such was the case of Tatiane Spitzner, the 29-year-old…
Tatiane Spitzner
News
We arrived at the institution for people with disabilities on a day in November 2016. The door had heavy locks. Once inside, in the back of a room full of beds, we saw a woman waiving us closer. She had cerebral palsy and could not…
A man with disabilities looks out through the bars of a psychiatric ward in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Persons locked in this section of the institution never left their rooms, according to staff.
Video
Thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Brazil are needlessly confined to institutions, where they may face neglect and abuse. Brazil should make it a priority to provide support for people with disabilities to live independently and in…
News

People with Disabilities in Brazil Forced to Live in Institutions

At age 25, Leonardo Barcellos de Albuquerque is finally where he wants to be – at home, living with his mother in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is creating his fourth music album – he released three other CDs over the past three years – and is also…
Leonardo_1
News

Ensure Community-Based Services, Right to Make Decisions

(Rio de Janeiro) – Thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Brazil are needlessly confined to institutions, where they may face neglect and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Brazil should make it a priority to…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
Report
Summary Leonardo, 25, has muscular dystrophy, a disability that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. He has lived in a residential institution for persons with disabilities in Brazil since he was 15. His mother felt she had no choice…
News

Domestic Violence in Brazil

Last Sunday at 6:30 a.m., Cláudia Zerati was killed in her apartment in a building with a pool, gym, and sauna in Perdizes, an upper-middle class neighborhood in São Paulo. About 34 hours later, Siria Silva Souza was killed in a wooden…
Demonstrators attend a protest against rape and violence against women in Brasilia, Brazil, May 29, 2016.
News
Clara is a community health worker’s dream client—she has absorbed all the training offered on preventing mosquito breeding in her home and implements it to perfection. I spoke to her last October in a favela in downtown Recife. She described how she…
Mother holding her child in Brazil.
News
I met Taise Campos, a 38-year-old schoolteacher, last February, when I traveled with a Human Rights Watch colleague to Roraima to try to understand the state’s off-the-charts rate of killings of women. Taise’s life changed radically 11 years…
Veículo da Patrulha Maria da Penha em Roraima, Brasil
Report
Summary On a Friday afternoon in October 2015, Luciana Caroline Albuquerque Bezerra, the executive secretary of health surveillance for the state of Pernambuco, Brazil, received a call from her boss, the secretary of health for the state. Two…