Thousands of children suffer violence in Brazil every year. This can be attributed to the widespread acceptance of violence in Brazilian communities. For instance, it is estimated that over 500,000 rapes occur each year, yet only 10% are reported to the authorities. Girls are particularly affected by violence and it can restrict their ability to reach their potential.
Girls are targets of violence both at home and in public places. They can be especially vulnerable while walking to school.
Protecting children from violence is a key priority of our work in Brazil. We form powerful partnerships with civil society organisations and government bodies that are working on ending violence, and particularly focus on ethnicity- and gender-based violence. We encourage girls and boys to participate in our projects, to identify violent situations and to actively promote a culture of peace.
When we see girls take on politicians and speak up for their rights, it makes a big difference
We work with parents, carers and teachers to support girls and boys to discuss their human rights. We also develop projects to ensure children are protected during emergencies or if a disaster strikes. This includes supporting teachers to participate in raising awareness about the prevention and risks of disasters.
Youth take the lead
Our Girl Leadership Project has been implemented to stop gender-based violence in the country. The programme supports girls to speak out about violence and question their local government about current laws.
Plan International Brazil’s Luca Sinesi says, “When we see girls take on politicians and speak up for their rights, it makes a big difference.”
We also work alongside boys to reduce violence through our Goals for Peace Project. Taniel, 18, who takes part in the project says, “I want to make women realise they don’t deserve to be beaten. Together we can fight for girls’ rights.” Working with boys is essential to changing attitudes about violence, especially against girls and women. Supporting boys to take a leading role in reducing violence is transforming behaviours and attitudes towards girls.