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Brazilian foreign policy on human rights defends a universal and non-politicized approach. In a transparent and constructive manner, the country´s foreign policy promotes human rights in a non-selective way, based on our constitutional principles.

The Brazilian Federal Constitution establishes the prevalence of human rights as one of the principles that underpin the country’s international relations, establishing that rights recognized in international treaties are also recognized as fundamental rights and guarantees in addition to those already laid down in the constitutional text.

Foreign policy on human rights in the multilateral fora

Brazil is currently a member (2019 – 2021) of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), having been elected with the significant number of 153 votes from a total of 193 countries. The election represented the recognition of the international community of Brazil´s new foreign policy efforts to promote and protect human rights. Brazil emphasizes the need for non-politicization and non-selectivity; the rights to life and liberty; the fight against all forms of discrimination; the right to health, as well as the enhancement of cooperation among countries in the fight against transnational violations and on the promotion of exchanges of successful experiences.

Composed of 47 member States, the HRC is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world. It was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 and it carries out, among other initiatives, the Universal Periodic Review, which assesses human rights situations in all United Nations Member States.  

Brazil has ratified almost all the main international treaties on human rights. Furthermore, it maintains a standing invitation for the visit of Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts from the HRC dedicated to investigating the human rights situation worldwide.

Still in the multilateral arena, Brazil also follows the work of the committees in charge of monitoring the implementation of human rights treaties, the so-called Treaty Bodies. Itamaraty has the responsibility, in coordination with the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights and other federal agencies, for submitting periodic reports on the national efforts to promote and protect the rights established in these treaties.

Foreign policy on human rights in the regional fora

Brazil actively participates in the work of the Organization of American States, and particularly in the Inter-American Human Rights System. The participation in the system has contributed to progress in critical areas such as public safety, the fight against racism and slave labour, improvement of prison conditions, and prevention of violence against women.

In MERCOSUR, the main fora dedicated to human rights are the Meeting of High-Level Authorities on Human Rights (RAADH) and the Meeting of Authorities on the Indigenous Peoples (RAPIM). RAADH held in June, 2020 its 35th meeting, in which foreign ministries and government agencies responsible for human rights participated.

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