Brazil: Children’s rights in peril as International Youth Day is marked

Ahead of International Youth Day on 12 August, Amnesty International Brazil’s Executive Director Jurema Werneck called on the country’s Congress to reject all constitutional amendments that might lower the age at which children can be tried as adults.

Werneck said:

“This year’s International Youth Day comes at a time when children’s rights in Brazil are in peril. Proposed changes to the constitution include legislation that will lower the age at which children can be tried as adults to below 18.

“This would be in flagrant violation of international human rights law, including the Convention on the Rights of a Child to which Brazil is a party.

“Legislators must put the best interests of the child at the centre of this discussion. The prospect of children ending up in Brazilian adult prisons, which are severely overcrowded with terrible conditions, is horrifying. Treating children under the age of 18 as ‘adults’ would place them in vulnerable situations where their human rights would be further at risk.”