Brazil must halt plans to lower the age at which children can be tried as adults and sent to the country’s adult prisons, which are among the most dangerous in the world, Amnesty International said ahead of a crucial vote in Brasilia tomorrow.
The country’s Congress will vote on whether to reduce the age a person could be prosecuted as an adult from 18 to 16 years old. If passed after two rounds of voting, the proposal will go to the Senate for final consideration.
“This backward proposal completely ignores Brazil’s international human rights commitments and young people’s potential for rehabilitation. If passed, this legislation will potentially condemn thousands of teenagers to serving time in one of the world’s most dangerous prison systems. Prisoners in Brazil are exposed to severe overcrowding, inhumane living conditions, torture and sexual abuse,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director of Amnesty International Brazil.
If passed, this legislation will potentially condemn thousands of teenagers to serving time in one of the world’s most dangerous prison systems.Atila Roque, Executive Director of Amnesty International Brazil.
“Instead of looking for ways to further punish those who are most marginalized and discriminated against, Brazil should increase efforts to address the sky-high murder-victim rates among young people, particularly young black men. The fact is that children between 16 and 18 years old account for less than one percent of all crimes committed in Brazil.”
Brazil: Lowering age of adult criminal responsibility will consign children to “medieval” prison system (News Story, 18 May 2015)