Brazilian justice system discusses the special testimony of children and adolescents

November 3, 2010 - As delicate as to talk about the issues of sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents is to hear the victims of such violence. Justice, not only the Brazilian, is still looking for new ways to address these cases, so that the experience becomes less traumatic and more humanized. From this Wednesday (3) through Friday (5), judges, Justice prosecutors, public defenders, lawyers and international experts meet in Brasilia to discuss the special testimony of children and adolescents within the reality of the Brazilian Justice System.
At the opening ceremony of the National Symposium "The special testimony of children and adolescents and the Brazilian Justice System" the Programme Officer of the Unit for Governance and Justice of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Brazil and the Southern Cone, Rodrigo Vitória, stressed the importance of fighting sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents."The fact that a person takes advantage of the vulnerability of another person, especially women and children, and profits from it is a frightening phenomenon that we must fight vigorously", he said.

The event, held by the Childhood Brazil and the National Judicial Council (CNJ), aims at the dissemination of new frameworks for the collection of testimony on sexual violence and at the production of actions that can be applied to the reality of the Brazilian Justice.

"The special testimony was designed so children and adolescents, victims of such violence, can be heard in a different way, minimizing their suffering when having to remember what they experienced. It also seeks to avoid that they have to unnecessarily go through the collection of various testimonies in a police or forensic environment", said Daniel Issler, judge of the National Council of Justice.

To Benedito dos Santos, Brazil Childhood consultant, the protection of the participation of children and adolescents in the investigation process of cases in which they have been victims or have witnessed creates better testimony conditions. "The improvement in the quality of testimonies, in turn, raises the levels of revelations on sexual violence, contributing to increased accountability of the perpetrators of sexual violence and a consequent reduction of that kinds of violations" says.

Benedito dos Santos and the program coordinator of the Childhood Brazil, Itamar Batista Gonçalves, are the authors of the publication Testimony Without Fear (?) - No re-victimizing culture and practices: a mapping of the experiences of the collection of special testimony from children and adolescents click here to read.


National Symposium "Special testimony of Children and Adolescents and the Brazilian Justice System"
When: 3, 4 and 5 November 2010
Where: Federal Council of the Order

Sources: Brazil Childhood and CNJ