The Federal Public Defenders' Office (DPU) has entered three pledges with the United Nations (UN) for the defence of refugees and human rights. Two of these pledges are related to the Global Refugee Forum 2023, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 2023, and the third is a commitment proposed by the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The objectives of these commitments are to strengthen the defence of human rights in Brazil and protect against discrimination.
The first commitment, signed by the DPU, aims to strengthen access to justice, public defence, and human rights education for refugees. This involves increasing access to justice in border areas and expanding the role of public defence in individual stateless recognition processes in Brazil. The commitment also includes expanding collaboration with entities that operate in border areas and cities with populations in greater need of international protection.
The second commitment, submitted to the Forum on behalf of the Inter-American Association of Public Defenders (AIDEF), focuses on assisting in the creation and strengthening of specialized structures for the care of refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and others in need of international protection. It ensures comprehensive, free, interdisciplinary, and decentralized legal assistance, with special emphasis on the adoption of protocols to identify these individuals at border points, ports, and airports. The goals include strengthening collaboration and training amongst AIDEF members.
'Pledges are global commitments outlining medium-term strategies to achieve major objectives. The United Nations opens this window of opportunity in various areas and themes to encourage global organizations,' explains the Coordinator of the Department of Cooperation and International Relations at the Advisory Office of International Relations of the DPU, Ilana Szabo. 'The DPU, as a state institution, has intensified its international institutional relations through the establishment of international cooperation networks, and engaging in these commitments is extremely important.'
Human Rights Against Discrimination
The third commitment, signed jointly with the ERT and other organisations worldwide, 'A Decade for Equality,' prioritizes the adoption of legislation and actions against discrimination. The ERT points out that even though it has been 75 years since the adoption of the UDHR, more than half of the world's countries lack laws providing effective and comprehensive protection against all forms of discrimination. This demands the development of comprehensive laws worldwide and an acceleration of processes to establish this protection.
The document was signed by the ERT, the DPU and institutions promoting equality in Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and the Philippines. Its goal is to advance human rights and adopt the United Nations Practical Guide for the Development of Comprehensive Antidiscrimination Legislation, created in partnership by the ERT and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
From now on, the DPU will develop specific action plans to achieve the goals established by the three commitments, together with UN specialized agencies and partner institutions.
Kindly click here to see the DPU' and AIDEF's pledges to the Global Refugee Forum 2023.
If you would like to see the Pledge on the 75th Anniversary on UDHR, please click here.
Source: The Federal Public Defenders' Office (DPU), Brazil