Brazil and the UN


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brazil ignores UN questions about violations

All questions on complaints sent by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) to Brazil, less than 40% are answered. The federal Government, responsible for meet the main international body calls on the topic, even as to State or municipal situations, simply does not return to most of the communications received. On average, every five requests for explanation coming into the country, more than three are ignored. The data are part of a survey done by mail with information from the past four years.

The report is Renata Mariz and published by the newspaper Correio Braziliense, 3/4/2013.
Between 2009 and 2012, the UN went to Brazil at least 19 times with questions about specific situations of human rights violations that have occurred in national territory. Only seven were answered. The posture differs much from the “spirit of cooperation” mentioned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Patriota, last Monday, in a speech during the ceremony of return of Brazil to the UN Human Rights Council. After two years out of the Board, the country returned to a three-year term, which started a week ago exactly.
For Camila Asano, foreign policy coordinator of Conectas Human Rights, one of the most active civil society entities at the United Nations, the numbers raised by the report show that such cooperation carries a lot of rhetoric. “Responding to a statement is the minimum expected of a country says committed to human rights, especially because the questions refer to specific violations that occurred in Brazil”, says the expert. And adds: “the Brazilian Government is not and should answer to the UN only, but to the Brazilian society.”
The Foreign Ministry, through the press, confirmed the existence of at least 12 unanswered questions made by the Human Rights Council — often classified “urgent appeals” — since 2009. The highlights, however, that all will be answered. About the delay, which in some cases reaches three and a half years, difficulties in obtaining the information needed to respond to the international body. But points out that there’s some priority themes in relation to others.
“We understand the difficulty, even by the federative pact, to get information quickly. But leaving unanswered communication for two, three years does not seem reasonable. This argument has been presented for years. Then, the federal Government should have already found a way to engage better with the federated entities, “says Camila. For Noori, Director of Global Justice organization, which also accompanies rape cases reported at the international level, there is a clear weakening of the theme in recent years. “The State has missed time limits not only to the UN but also in the inter-American Commission on human rights, OAS (Organization of American States).”
Both the OAS and the UNITED NATIONS, Brazil has been bombarded with questions about the social impacts of large works such as the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, in Pará, and the transposition of the São Francisco River. But also about summary executions, abuse of authority, independence of judges, threatening indigenous peoples and Maroons, drug policy and access to health. “Some are individual cases in which the victims or family members, not getting answers internally, using an international sphere. The Government cannot simply ignore the demands and determination of the human rights bodies of which it is part, “says Sandra. Waiting for reply Here are some of the issues on which the Brazilian Government mutes
Drug policy
Case: structurally flawed operation in São Paulo.
Date of communication: 4/2012 Adequate housing Case: forced eviction of American community, in São José dos Campos (SP).
Date of communication: 1/2012
Summary executions
Case: José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva, extractive leaders death in para judges, murdered.
Date of communication: 7/2011
Independence of judges
Case: Judge Michele Fabiola Moura suffers ambush by virtue of his performance.
Date of communication: 7/2011
Access to health
Case: legal abortion policy Restrictions in Brazil.
Date of communication: 11/2010
Adequate housing
Case: forced evictions and violent in Goiania, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Date of communication: 8/2009
About what the Government has responded in the past four years:
Journalist Mário Lopes Ramachandran, executed in Rio de Janeiro -Assassination of indigenous leader Nísio Gomes, in Mato Grosso do Sul -Evictions related to World Cup works -Precarious conditions of provisional chain of Cariacica (ES) -Violations related to Belo Monte -Violations related to transposition of the São Francisco -Murder of Manuel Mattos, whistleblower extermination groups
Right to vote
The Brazil had been a member for two terms in a row, from 2006, when the Human Rights Council was created, in 2011. By u.n. rules, a country cannot run for a third consecutive term. In this way, Brazil was just as an observer during part of 2011 and 2012, coming back this year, with a mandate until 2015. As a member, the State may vote on resolutions presented in plenary, entitled forbidden to observers.
Major events in the agenda
One of the oldest demands raised by mail refers to forced evictions, with use of violence, in Goiânia, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The removals would have intended, according to the complaint received by the UN, to facilitate works related to major events that Brazil will host soon, such as the Olympics and the World Cup. The federal Government, however, made a deaf ear.
Murders of human rights defenders are also a constant backlog in the country with the UN Human Rights Council. In July 2011, the governing body has requested information about the death of José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva, extractive leaders executed in Pará. So far, Brazil has not returned.
The most recent case without reply refers to the police operation carried out in structurally flawed in Sao Paulo in January 2012. Four months later, the u.n. asked Brazil to details of the action, which would have been action, but so far received no reply. An ambush suffered by judge Fabiola Moura, possibly due to the sentences given to corrupt cops, is also the target of questions never answered by Brazil.
On themes dear to the Brazilian Government, as the Belo Monte plant, World Cup and transposition of the São Francisco, the answers are usually given with more agility. Sometimes, even responding, Brazil is criticized for being late or incomplete information.


Independent experts have questioned the Brazilian Government on ILO projects on indigenous lands

March 4, 2013 · 

Índios na amazônia brasileira. Imagem extraída do vídeo Lutas na Amazônia: Conflitos entre Energia e Meio Ambiente / TV ONU

The International Labour Organization (ILO) published, in late February, the new report of the Expert Committee responsible for examining the application of conventions and recommendations of ILO Member States. Between the norms ratified by Brazil, the indigenous issue brings together most of the comments and requests that are made directly by the experts to the Brazilian Government.

The Brazil delivered its latest report for evaluation in September 2012. After studying the information provided, the experts requested that Brazil should include the reporting of social partners and of indigenous organizations in the following reports.

Consultation of indigenous peoples is not regulated

In addition, the Committee asks for more detailed regulatory process of prior consultation, as provided for in Convention 169 of the ILO to ensure the right of indigenous and tribal peoples to define their development priorities to the lands they occupy.

Congresso Nacional. Imagem extraída do vídeo Lutas na Amazônia: Conflitos entre Energia e Meio Ambiente / TV ONU The 169 ILO Convention was ratified by Brazil in 2002. But date of January 2012 the Government initiative to establish an inter-ministerial working group for the elaboration of the proposal for a regulation of the right of prior consultation, scheduled to be introduced in 2014.

Lack of information

In the chapter on Brazil related to Convention 169, are commented on ten themes. Among them, large enterprises as the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, the transposition of the São Francisco River, the air base at Alcantara in Maranhão, as well as controversial issues as the demarcation of lands of Guarani-Kaiowá in Mato Grosso do Sul.

“The Commission calls on the Government to indicate the manner intended to ensure the effective protection of the rights of the indigenous communities in the lands they occupy traditionally and which will be affected by the construction of the hydroelectric power plant,” says an excerpt concerning the Belo Monte project.

Experts are calling for the Government to explain what measures were used to obtain the informed consent of indigenous peoples conscious about possible compensation and removals.

Watch the video below produced by TV on the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant in 2012:

On the transposition of the São Francisco River, experts charge information about court proceedings questioning the work, including what is pending on the constitutionality of the analysis project. Already about the Guarani-Kaiowá, are requested information about the public safety plan implemented by the Government to protect the communities.

The experts also question about removing consented and told people at the base to launch from the quilombolas company Alcântara Cyclone Space, in Maranhão. The Federal Public Ministry denounced in 2003 that the relocation of the affected population had ignored international rights. In 2011 the Government reported that the demarcation process had not been completed, and that the judicial process is under way.

The document published by the ILO, an organization with representation from Governments, employers and workers, with the participation of members of civil society. Already the Expert Committee is an independent body composed of 20 lawyers, among them the barrows Lelio Bentes Correa, Superior Court judge.

Click here to access the report of the Committee of experts on the application of Conventions and recommendations of ILO.

Access here the Convention 169 of the ILO.

General Study

The Expert Committee also publishes annually a general study on the legislation and practice in Member States on a theme chosen by the Board of Directors of the ILO.

This year, the General study covers industrial relations and collective bargaining in the public administration. The general studies are carried out on the basis of memories received from Member States and the information provided by employers ‘ and workers ‘ organizations.

Access here the General study on the link ~


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