Twenty years ago, the National Human Rights Program was instituted in Brazil, which included the fight against racism as one of its priorities. Since then, various public policies have been implemented with the aim of promoting racial equality. The date was celebrated by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, this Tuesday the 21st, at an event at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia.
“No country in the world will be a democracy as long as the color of people’s skin determines the opportunities they will have throughout their lives,” explained Lula, who was in his first term as head of the country when he promoted a series of public policies that They turn 20 in 2023.
One of the first actions was the enactment of Law 10,639, on January 9, 2003, during Lula’s first government. The legislation made the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African history and culture mandatory in primary and secondary schools throughout the country. The law was an important achievement of the black movement and a response to the demands for recognition and appreciation of black history and culture in Brazil.
:: Law that includes Afro-Brazilian history and culture in basic education turns 20 (available in Portuguese) ::
Then, in March of that year, came the creation of the Secretariat of Policies for the Promotion of Racial Equality (SEPPIR), responsible for coordinating policies for the promotion of racial equality and implementing positive actions in various areas, such as education, health, work and culture.
Another very important public policy was the creation of racial quotas in public universities, which began in 2001 with the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and expanded to other state and federal higher education institutions.
Racial quotas were instrumental in expanding access to higher education for black youth, historically excluded. One of those young women was the current minister of SEPPIR, Anielle Franco, who gave a speech at the event.
“I was part of the racial quota in the UERJ, to great honor. My generation was strengthened by these measures and, as a result, this country has never seen a Esplanade of the Ministries as black as in 2023. But we are still few, we need many more. Together we are 56% of this country,” Franco said.
:: “Today there is no reparation law more important than that of quotas”, says Minister Anielle Franco ::
In addition to the quotas, other positive actions were also implemented, such as the reservation of vacancies for black people in public competitions, the adoption of policies to value black culture and the creation of the Racial Equality Statute, which recognizes racial discrimination as a crime and establishes guidelines for the promotion of equality.
Excited, Anielle Franco recognized the previous heads of the secretariat that she commands. “There is no doubt that these 20 years were the most representative in history for the black population. Deep roots generate very strong trees like SEPPIR. The federal government placed the urgency of combating racism at the center of its management.”
New package of measures
At the event, Lula announced a series of public policies to be implemented by SEPPIR, in cross-cutting actions with other ministries. “This is a government open to dialogue with civil society, the black movement and human rights movements. Reconstructing this country and creating increasingly inclusive public policies is an unavoidable task,” said the president.
Lula signed five decrees on: reservation of vacancies in commission positions in the federal public administration; creation of the working group for the new national program of positive actions; formation of the working group for the Plan Juventud Negra Viva; and founding of the working group to confront religious racism.
Finally, the president signed the title of ownership of quilombola lands, represented by the communities Brejo dos Crioulos (Minas Gerais), Lagoa dos Campinhos (Sergipe) and Serra da Guia (Sergipe).
Editing: Nicolau Soares and Flávia Chacon
Leave a Reply