Don’t Allow Children to be Prosecuted as Adults


Target: Eduardo Cunha, President of the Chamber of Deputies

Goal: Ensure the rights of children in Brazil by turning down new crime prosecution laws.

Children are facing a law that could violate their human rights in the country of Brazil. Efforts are being made to allow children as young as 16 years old to be prosecuted as adults after they commit a crime, despite it being against international laws.

The first bill was overturned, but now a slightly more lenient bill has been put out to be examined by the Chamber of Deputies. If it is passed by the Chamber of Deputies, it will move on to Congress where it could become law.

Brazil already has laws that allow children to go to jail for a maximum of three years after a crime. Statistics and reports show that increasing the punishment and trying children as adults doesn’t decrease their likelihood of committing a crime. Sometimes it can even have the opposite effect, increasing the number of child offenders. Many people who leave prison don’t feel they have aged during their time there, and spending years behind bars without access to education or development they would get on the outside could be detrimental to Brazil’s future adults.

For years Brazil has stood at the front of children’s rights in Latin America, being the first county to incorporate the Convention of the Rights of the Child into legislation. Brazil has been an example, but allowing this bill to pass could undermine all of that.

Sign the petition below to tell the Chamber of Deputies not to pass the second vote and move the bill up the chain. This law is a violation of child rights, sends the wrong message, and should not be put into place in Brazil.


Dear President of the Chamber of Deputies Cunha,

Soon a vote that could change the lives of children by prosecuting them as adults will be going through the Chamber of Deputies for the second time, which would allow it to move up to Congress if passed to possibly become law.

Prosecuting children as young as 16 years old as adults means they could be spending long periods in prison for childhood mistakes. Children in Brazil can already face up to three years in prison, and making them spend more time as children in prison would be harmful. Research shows that increasing punishment for childhood crimes does not decrease the amount of offenders, and many people leave prison with the same level of maturity they had when they entered.

Brazil is the forefront in Latin America for children’s rights, showing admirable dedication in putting the Convention of the Rights of the Child into legislation. This new bill would be a step back in protecting children. Instead of focusing on punishment, the plan should be focus on reformation for child offenders and help ensure they don’t commit another crime in the future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Frontierofficial

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