In a session held on Tuesday, March 28, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Brazil rejected recommendations made by other Member States in the 4th cycle of its Universal Periodic Review, in November, that limit the definition of family and discriminate against LGBTQIA+ persons.
The Brazilian Ambassador to the United Nations, Tovar da Silva Nunes, said that these recommendations adopted a narrow interpretation of family, in conflict with Brazilian legislation and rulings by the Judiciary. “Brazil’s national public policies are geared towards all types of family, without any type of discrimination,” said the ambassador.
The UN Universal Periodic Review process occurs on average every four years for all Member States of the United Nations. In these processes, the other States can make recommendations on commitments in the human rights agenda to be adopted by the country under review.
The rejected recommendations called on Brazil to “promote policies to support the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society” (Egypt), and to “provide comprehensive support to the institution of the family in its traditional understanding” (Russia).
In his statement, the ambassador also highlighted the change in posture of the current government’s foreign policy on human rights. “I am pleased to announce that since the new government took office in January of this year, Brazil has reassessed its position with regard to the recommendations received during its UPR and has sought to align the new national human rights policies with the commitments and obligations the country has taken at the international level”. The representative of Brazil also confirmed that the country will receive visits from UN human rights mechanisms in 2023.
Conectas participated in the 4th Cycle of the UPR of Brazil by sending thematic reports on the human rights situation in the country. The organization is also part of the UPR Group, a coalition of civil society organizations that accompanies and influences the review process.
During Tuesday’s session, the UPR Group spoke in the Human Rights Council on the country’s commitment to the recommendations. “We need implementation procedures, as well as monitoring reports. We are now open to a fruitful dialogue to build this system together, which will only be worthwhile if it is thought through with the participation of civil society and incorporated into the structure of government to promote concrete public policies,” said the coordinator of the UPR Group, Fernanda Lapa.