ANCED/DCI Brazil recently issued a statement to condemn a draft law that presents two dangerous implications for children. The law would lower the age of criminal responsibility for children, and it would also introduce the concept of “progressive punishment” in Brazil. ”Progressive punishment”, if enacted, means that for serious offences, children might be deprived of their liberty up to 8 years, which would represent half of the life of a child (under 18).
Brazil’s public opinion and media tend to stigmatise adolescents, and the government is not able to cope with inclusive public policies aiming at uncovering the real problems affecting children and youth in Brazil (poverty, lack of adequate education, exploitation, violence, etc.)
ANCED/DCI Brazil calls upon a more effective implementation of socio-educational measures of diversion and restorative justice for children in conflict with the law. In particular, they ask for a concrete right of the child to be heard so that progress may be made in changing the negative image of the adolescents within the society. Killing the dreams of this generation will certainly not help to mitigate the spiral of violence, in which repression brings more to prison, contributing to more violence.