Brazil

 

1. Specific acts

        Article 11 of the statute guarantees medical assistance to children and adolescents by the Single System of Health and the universal and equal access to actions and services for the promotion, protection and recovery of health.  A handicapped child or adolescent is entitled to specialized treatment; it is the duty of the government to provide free medicines, prostheses, or any other means related to medical treatment, habilitation, or rehabilitation for the needy.

        The statute determines that the health institutions must provide the necessary conditions for one parent or guardian to the stay at any time when a child or an adolescent is hospitalized. According to the statute, the Single System of Health must promote medical and dental assistance programs for the prevention of illnesses that ordinarily affect the young and campaigns of health education for parents, educators, and students.  The statute also requires the vaccination of children, as recommended by public health authorities. 

        In article 53, it says that children and adolescents have the right to education, with a view to the full development of the person and his preparation for the exercise of citizenship and qualification for work. It also assures equal access to school; the right to be respected by their educators; the right to contest evaluation criteria, with the right to appeal, for higher school entrance; the right to be organized and to participate in student entities; and access to public and free schools near their residences.  Moreover, parents and guardians have the right to be informed of the pedagogic process, as well as to participate in the development of educational policy proposals.

        Prohibits any work for minors less than fourteen years of age, except as apprentices, and dictates that the protection of the work of adolescents is regulated by special legislation. Article 62 defines apprenticeship as technical-professional education administered according to the directives and on the basis of the education legislation in force.  Article 64 lays out the principles to be followed in technical-professional education.  The statue also assures labor and social security rights for apprentice adolescents older than fourteen years. and protected work for the handicapped adolescent. In addition, it establishes that the adolescent worker has the right to acquire a profession and protection at work, which must respect the peculiar conditions of a developing person and equip them with adequate professional qualification for the job market.

        Prescribes subjecting a child or an adolescent to prostitution or sexual exploitation with up to ten years in prison and a fine. The same punishment is also applied to the owner, manager, or person in charge of a location at which a child or an adolescent is prostituted or sexually exploited.

2. Principal acts

        States that health is a social right and that it is the duty of the family, the society and the State to ensure to children and adolescents, with absolute priority, the right to life, health, nourishment, education, leisure, professional training, culture, dignity, respect, freedom, and family and community life, as well as to guard them from all forms of negligence, discrimination, exploitation, violence, cruelty, and oppression.

       Article 229 of the Constitution dictates that it is the duty of the parents to assist, raise, and educate their underage children. 

        Article 227 of the Constitution further establishes that the State must promote full health assistance programs for children and adolescents, allows the participation of non-governmental entities, and determines that the following precepts must be regarded by the State

        It establishes that the right to special protection must include the following aspects:a minimum age of fourteen years for admission to work, with due regard to the provisions of article 7, XXXIII of the Constitution that prohibits night, dangerous, or unhealthy work for minors under eighteen years of age as well as any work for minors under fourteen years of age, except as an apprentice; a guarantee of social security and labor rights;a guarantee of access to school for the adolescent worker; a guarantee of full and formal knowledge of the determination of an offense, equal rights in the procedural relationships, and technical defense by a qualified professional, in accordance with the provisions of the specific protection legislation; compliance with the principles of brevity, exceptionality, and respect for the peculiar conditions of the developing person, when applying any measures that restrain freedom; government fostering, by means of legal assistance, of tax incentives and subsidies, as provided by law, for the protection, through guardianship, of orphaned or abandoned children or adolescents; prevention and specialized assistance programs for children and adolescents addicted to narcotics or related drugs.

        It mandates that the law must severely punish abuse, violence, and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents; and defines that adoption must be assisted by the Government, as provided by law, which must establish cases and conditions for adoption by foreigners.  Paragraph 6 decrees that children born inside or outside wedlock or who have been adopted must have the same rights and qualifications and that any discriminatory designation of their filiation is forbidden.

        Article 7 of the statute proclaims that the child and the adolescent have the right to protection of life and health through the implementation of social public policies that enable satisfactory conditions for births and for the health and harmonious development of children.

        Article 208 determines that the government’s duty to provide education must be fulfilled by ensuring the following: mandatory and free elementary education, including the assurance of its free offer to all those who did not have access to it at the proper age; progressive promotion of access to free high school education throughout the country; specialized schooling for the handicapped, preferably in the regular school system; assistance to children up to the age of six in day-care centers and preschools; access to higher levels of education, and opportunities for research and artistic creation according to individual capacity; provision of regular night courses to meet the needs of the student; assistance to elementary school students through supplementary programs providing school material, transportation, food, and health assistance.

        Determines that minority ceases at the completion of eighteen years of age, when the person is then fully capable of practicing all acts of civil life.  Paragraph 1 of article 5 further establishes that the minor’s incapacity may also cease by the concession of the parents, or one of them in the absence of the other, through a public instrument, independently of judicial sanction or judicial decision of a sixteen year-old minor by marriage effective exercise of public employment; graduation from an institution of higher education; commercial or civil establishment, or the existence of employment relation, that provides a sixteen year-old minor with economic support.

        Minors under eighteen years of age are not criminally chargeable and are subject to the rules established in special legislation

        It is a crime to benefit or profit from the prostitution of a third party, which is punished with up to four years in prison and a fine, and if the victim is older than fourteen and less than eighteen years of age, or if the perpetrator is the victim’s ancestor, descendant, spouse, partner, sibling, tutor, guardian, or a person responsible for the minor’s education, treatment, or custody, the punishment is increased to up to six years in prison and a fine. If violence or a serious threat is used, the punishment increases to up to eight years and a fine, plus the corresponding punishment for the violent acts

        Article 231 of the Penal Code can also be applied to punish, with up to eight years in prison and a fine, whoever promotes, intermediates, or facilitates the entrance, in Brazilian territory, of a person coming to the country to exercise prostitution or the departure of a person to exercise prostitution abroad.  If the victim is older than fourteen and less than eighteen years of age, or if the perpetrator is the victim’s ancestor, descendant, spouse, partner, sibling, tutor, or guardian, or a person responsible for the minor’s education, treatment, or custody, the punishment is increased to up to ten years in prison and a fine. If violence or a serious threat is used, the punishment increases to up to twelve years and a fine, plus the corresponding punishment for the violent acts.

        Additionally, giving an offspring less than eighteen years of age to a person in whose company, the parent knows or should know, that the minor is morally or materially in danger is punished with up to two years in prison. If the perpetrator carries out the offense to obtain profit or if the minor is sent abroad, the punishment is increased to up to four years in prison. Assisting in the sending of a minor abroad for profit is also punished with up to four years in prison, even if there is no moral or material danger.