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Brazil's South-South Cooperation in Human Rights

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A Presentation by Michelle Morais de Sa e Silva, Coordinator-General of International Cooperation at the Secretariat for Human Rights at International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), on …

A Presentation by Michelle Morais de Sa e Silva, Coordinator-General of International Cooperation at the Secretariat for Human Rights at International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), on 20 April 2012


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  • 1. BrazilianSouth-South Cooperation on Human Rights: a new perspective Michelle Morais de Sá e Silva Coordinator-General for International Cooperation Secretariat for Human Rights
  • 2. Personal background on the topic Research on Brazilian South-South Cooperation on Adult Literacy:  Brazil – Mozambique  Brazil – Angola Research on cash transfer programs and their international diffusion Practitioner on South-South cooperation projects
  • 3. International cooperation at theSecretariat for Human Rights Coordination-General for International Cooperation vs. International office at the Minister’s Cabinet (“assessoria internacional) A team specialized in international cooperation, both multilateral and bilateral
  • 4. How we define South-SouthCooperation Technical cooperation among countries of the South, aimed at the exchange of expertise, best practices, and also at the development of joint dialogue on how to face common problems (“Sá e Silva, 2012”). However, Brazilian technical cooperation has not been much dedicated to the reciprocity aspects that should be inherent to South-South cooperation. Its practice has been concentrated on the “export” of Brazilian public policies that have been labeled as best practices. At the Secretariat for Human Rights, new projects have already incorporated this new perspective. They have included the need for, at the project’s preliminary stage, getting to better know the partner country in order to work for the strengthening of its institutions.
  • 5. What does a new perspectivemean? New cooperation principles on Human Rights:  Non-selectivity  Absence of conditionalities  Respect for self determination  Non-instrumentalization of human rights  The promotion and defense of human rights as the main objective  Human rights are cross-cutting to every cooperation project
  • 6. What does a new perspectivemean? New cooperation focus:  Focus on the strengthening of institutions and processes, rather than on the export of models  Example: Cooperation with Guinea Bissau towards the strengthening of its Human Rights Commission
  • 7. What does a new perspectivemean? Introduction of alternatives in project implementation:  Bearing in mind the Secretariat’s small teams,  Bearing in mind how time-consuming and energy-consuming South-South cooperation projects are and should be,  New partners are necessary to successfully implement projects in a timely manner (i.e. civil society organizations, scholars and consultants)
  • 8. Current projects Guinea Bissau: Strengthening of the Human Rights Commission; Guinea Bissau: Right to basic documentation (birth certificates); Cape Verde: strengthening of the Human Rights Commission and Children’s Rights Policies; Colombia: Promotion and protection of gays rights Colombia, El Salvador and Togo: Combating sex abuse of children and adolescentes Haiti: Training government agents, civil society and media towards the strengthening of policies for persons with disabilities.