Silvio Almeida, new Minister of Human Rights and Citizenship of Brazil, announces the creation of a Special Advisory on Business and Human Rights

Picture: José Cruz/Agência Brasil

On January 3, Silvio Almeida took office at the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship.  Professor and lawyer, the new Minister holds a PhD in Philosophy and General Theory of Law from the University of São Paulo and chaired the Luiz Gama Institute.

In an emotional inauguration speech, Silvio Almeida cited the priorities of the work he wants to develop in the coming years, resuming dialogue and the defense of democracy on the Ministry’s agenda.  The centrality of the proposals announced is the protection of young black men and women in situations of social vulnerability, the creation of a national protection policy for human rights defenders and environmentalists.  “We know that within the scope of private and economic relations there is a wide range of violations of Human Rights” stated Almeida, when ensuring the creation of a Special Adviser on Business and Human Rights within the Ministry.

Regarding the last announcement, the Minister declared that it is essential that Human Rights be present in the conduct of economic policy in Brazil and reinforced the importance of the Global South proposing a new concept of the right to development, which corresponds to our reality and the needs of the people.  Along with this, he mentions the importance of dialoguing with regulatory frameworks and international treaties on the subject, even though he defends a language of human rights that does not speak only with international bodies.  “We are also going to discuss with those responsible for building the Brazilian economy, how we can make a national and international concerted effort on the relationship between companies and Human Rights.”  completed the Minister.

In addition to the highlighted points, it is worth mentioning that the inauguration speech sought to highlight the political change in the ministry, since this moment represents the reconstruction of a public policy on human rights that was the target of dismantling in the last government.  Thus, the philosopher, lawyer and jurist listed the importance of recognizing the existence and resistance of minorities, represented by women, indigenous people, the LGBTQIA+ community, homeless people, people with disabilities, the elderly and black and black men and women.


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