UNODC is against the reduction of legal age in Brazil


Brasilia, 23 March 2015 - In the context of the discussion about the reduction of the age for criminal responsibility, the UNODC in Brasilia, LPOBRA, reiterates the importance of observing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989. We believe that an informed debate should focus on the rights of minors and on scientific evidence, taking into account biological and social factors as facilitators for youth crime.

Furthermore, it is essential to reflect the provisions of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules), urging States to be cautious about the fixing of criminal responsibility, taking into account the principle of proportionality and the goal to protect children. In this regard, UNODC celebrates the public hearing to be held on March 24 th, in the House of Representatives in Brasilia, since the meeting is an opportunity to deepen the discussion with the society on such an important and sensitive issue.

It is also important to note, for this audience, that homicides performed by teenagers represent less than 1% of the total, while more than 36% of homicide victims in Brazil are teenagers, according to the Presidency Human Rights Secretariat. The issue of youth violence is only a part of a larger problem and with a complex context that underscores the need for a comprehensive approach.

For this office, therefore, this public hearing opens a great opportunity to discuss solutions to the causes of violence in general, as well as to discuss the improvement and effectiveness of childcare and educational system in the country in accordance with the Beijing Rules, particularly. We hope that the product of these discussions create a debate within the Brazilian society in order to reach effective solutions to mitigate the causes of violence and to create opportunities for a development culture able to offer more and better security to citizens.

Finally, the representation of UNODC in Brazil once again reiterates its commitment to the Brazilian State to support the implementation of international treaties, and to the development of actions to reduce violence and insecurity, in full compliance with the rights already enshrined.

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