UNODC launches Information Material on Detention Control Hearings in the indigenous city of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Amazonas, Brazil

Brasilia, 3 May 2022 – An in-person event to launch information material on detention control hearings translated into Nheengatu, Baniwa and Tukano languages was held on 29 April in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Amazonas, considered the most indigenous city in Brazil by population.

Eight posters were translated in partnership with the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of the Rio Negro (FOIRN) and the Socio-environmental Institute (ISA). In addition to information regarding procedures from the moment of arrest until the pre-trial detention hearing, the posters address issues such as arrested peoples’ rights, precautionary measures, electronic monitoring, employment, income, education, health, social assistance benefits and prevention of ill-treatment and violence.

The initiative, which seeks to strengthen pre-trial detention hearings, is part of the Doing Justice Programme (Programa Fazendo Justiça), implemented by the National Council of Justice (CNJ) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and with support of the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety (MJSP/DEPEN). The programme also counts on the technical assistance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Brazil, which provides support for improving pre-trial detention hearings in almost all the Brazilian Federative Units. Since 2015, when detention control hearings began in Brazil, the CNJ has counted at least 900,000 hearings held in the country.

The event was attended by leaders of the 23 indigenous peoples, as well as representatives of FOIRN, ISA, CNJ, UNODC, the Court of Justice of State of Amazonas (TJAM) and other organs of the Brazilian judicial system and the executive branch.

According to the Assistant Judge of the Presidency of the Court of Justice of Amazonas (TJAM), Jorsenildo Nascimento, the collaboration between CNJ, TJAM and UN agencies resulted in one of the most important inclusion policies of the Brazilian Judiciary regarding the rights of the indigenous people. "The initiative represents a significant and unique milestone in the process of democratization of access to the judiciary for all Brazilian citizens," he said.

For the Supervisor of the Department of Monitoring and Supervision of the Prison System and the System for Execution of Socio-Educational Measures (DMF) of the CNJ, Counselor Mauro Martins, "this is an unprecedented and pioneering initiative in terms of translating into the languages of the indigenous communities something that is particular to the law.” According to the Coordinator of the DMF, Dr. Luis Lanfredi, "the materials provide visibility to the daily treatment of the justice system and are therefore crucial to the promotion of rights."

The coordinator of UNODC’s Rule of Law Unit noted that, “as a part of UNODC's partnership with the CNJ, UNDP and the Court of Justice of Amazonas, the initiative is a significant advance and falls under the “leaving no one behind” principle of the 2030 Agenda. 

Find out more about the Doing Justice Programme here.

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