flag of Brazil

Brazil

Decree 6044 establishes a short national policy containing elements for human rights defender protection. Out of the analysed policies, this is one of the few that actually calls for campaigns to recognise the value of HRDs. It is complemented by Decree 9937, which elaborates on protection measures and adds an appeal process. Both decrees lack detail in respect to the contents and process of protection measures.

Decree No. 6044 of 2007 and Decree No. 9937 of 2019

Decree No. 6044, of February 12, 2007.  Approves the National Policy for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders – PNPDDH, defines a deadline for the elaboration of the National Plan for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and takes other measures and Decree No. 9937, of 24 July 2019. Establishes the Protection Programme for Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists and the Deliberative Council of the Protection Programme for Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists under the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights

Type of instrument: 2 Presidential Decrees adopting a national policy and programme for the protection of human rights defenders
Status: (as of 1 January 2022)
Decree 6044 adopted 12 February 2007
Decree 9,937 adopted 24 July 2019.

Comments on the instrument:
Decree 6044 establishes a short national policy (7 articles) containing important elements for human rights defender protection: recognition of the need to train human rights professionals, encouragement of actions that can achieve structural changes (data collection, law harmonisation), a simple broad definition of human rights defenders, and goals for inclusive civil society participation (including through a protection network). It is one of few analysed policies that explicitly considers the need to enact campaigns recognising human rights defenders’ value. It is complemented by Decree 9937, which adds the possibility to appeal decisions of the protection mechanism, and elaborates on protection measures.
However, both decrees lack detail in the protection measures, simply listing some. It is unclear how the decision to admit or reject an applicant to the programme works, and there does not seem to be an obligation to review the functioning of the mechanism. The mechanism’s web page does not answer these questions.
In 2009, a bill was submitted to Congress in an attempt to strengthen the legal status of the mechanism. Regretfully, it was never voted on.

Does the instrument contain specific provisions easily used to restrict human rights defenders’ rights?
No

Mechanism on the protection of human rights defenders established in the instrument?
Yes.

 


Comparison to the Model Law

Below is a short summary of the instrument compared to the Model Law. For additional information and analysis by ISHR on Brazil, click here.

Key elements of the protection mechanism (as compared to the Model Law):

Provision

Covered?

Analysis / articles

Definition of Human Rights Defender

FULL

2

Cooperation with human rights defenders, civil society, and national and international human rights bodies

FULL

4(I-IV, IX, X, XI)

Dec 9937: 2(II§1), 4(II), 5, 8(§4)

Training of mechanism’s personnel on HR and fundamental freedoms

PART

4(VII)

Periodic reviews with independent experts and CSOs on the functioning of the Mechanism

NONE

 

Resources for adequate functioning of the Mechanism / transparency on resource usage 

PART

Dec 9937: 4(V,X)

Public acknowledgement of human rights defenders’ work and rights (promotion of UN Declaration)

PART

5(II)

Disseminate information on protection programmes for human rights defenders, Mechanism’s work

NONE

 

Development of protocols and guidelines based on best practices to protect human rights defenders

NONE

 

Assist investigations for prosecuting offences against human rights defenders

NONE

 

Granting of protective measures based off a specific risk assessment

FULL

7

Dec 9937: 4(III-V, X)

Review / appeal of Mechanism decision before courts or independent authority

PART

Dec 9937: 4(XII)

Confidentiality and personal data protection

FULL

6(III), 7(IV)

Dec 9937: 2(II§2)

Actions to achieve structural changes (annual reports on the situation of human rights defenders, advising government on laws and policies related to human rights defenders) 

PART

4(VI, VIII)

Dec 9937: 8(V)

Quick downloads

Decree No. 6044 of 2007 Decree No. 9937 of 2019