Damares´ Ministry has implemented only 3% of its Covid-19 budget
The ministry has presented fewer than ten regulations in response to Covid-19, in the last eight months, none of which are related to vulnerable communities or defending human rights
Of the 2,190 rulings issued by federal government in response to Covid-19, fewer than 10 were presented by the Ministry for Women, Family and Human Rights and almost all of those issued were concerning the regulation of internal activities during the pandemic.
The scarcity of rulings issued by Minister Damares Alves reinforces data published in the fifth edition of the Bulletin on Rights in the Pandemic regarding budgetary spending by the Ministry for Human Rights. The ministry has spent only 3% of the total 127 million received from the federal government for handling the pandemic, according to the Covid-19 task force.
“The fact that the Ministry for Women, Family and Human Rights has not published rulings related to activities involving vulnerable populations and the defence of human rights, seems to indicate that it does not wish to engage with the issue of the pandemic and is leaving it up to other ministries to step up and legislate on the matter.” It says in the document. “Therefore, by omitting to publish norms, it is assuming no obligations, but is merely producing sporadic guidelines and actions without any publicity through official media outlets.”
The Bulletin on Rights in the Pandemic is part of the project “Mapping and analysis of legal regulations in response to Covid-19 in Brazil” set up by Cepedisa (Centre for Research and Studies on Sanitation Rights) at the Faculty of Public Health at USP (the University of São Paulo), in partnership with Conectas Human Rights.
The document also brings a survey of the regulations issued by Professional Federal and Regional Boards during the pandemic. A total of 308 regulations were found to have been published by these councils. The data obtained reveals the impact on the regulation of services provided by university staff in Brazil, in particular those who have moved to online work, such as doctors, psychologists and therapists. Preliminary analysis of the regulations issued by these boards suggests that online work, particularly in the area of health, is being regulated without due care in terms of aspects such as patient data protection (intimacy and privacy) and regarding the professional/patient relationship that has arisen from this new means of health consultations.
In its fifth edition, the Bulletin presents the initial results of research into norms produced in different states during the pandemic, starting with Amazonas, Ceará, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. The study reveals significant differences in their approaches to handling Covid-19, both in terms of the content of measures and in their decision-making structures.
“It is fundamental to understand the similarities and differences in state action taken regarding quarantine measures and social distancing, in order to evaluate the role of political decisions in fighting the pandemic and as a consequence their impact on the right to life and the right to health.” Explains the researcher, Rossana Reis.