Brazil: The Beginning of the End? A critical report on the protection of human rights defenders

Justiça Global and Terra de Direitos have launched “The Beginning of the End?” (“Começo do fim?”, in Portuguese), a critical report about the current situation of the Program of the Brazilian Federal Government for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. They provide information about the context of the Program, its evolution and its current critical situation as of December 2021.

The Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists (PPDDH) is facing a serious crisis that puts activists all over Brazil at risk. This is the main conclusion of the report “Beginning of the End?”, that Terra de Direitos and Justiça Global have just released.

The work points to the dismantling of the program during the Bolsonaro government, which involves everything from low budget execution to the reduction of cases included in the program, and political insecurity in management and inadequacy regarding the gender, race and class perspective. According to Global Witness, Brazil ranks fourth among the countries that kill the most human rights defenders, only behind Colombia, Mexico, and the Philippines. The situation becomes even more dramatic when the United Nations (UN) historical series is used as a basis: between 2015 and 2019 there were 1,323 victims, 174 of them in the country, which takes Brazil to second place in the list of most dangerous countries for human rights defenders.

Sandra Carvalho, from the coordinator of Justiça Global, sees with extreme sadness the situation that the PPDDH finds itself in, which is the fruit of the mobilization of civil society. “We live a very worrying moment for the militancy in defense of human rights. We are facing the dismantling of protection policies and a frontal attack on social struggles,” she says.

Find the original document here and the original contextualising article here in Portuguese (Justiça Global. Terra de Direitos).