Child Rights in Brazil


Of its 214 million population, around 21% are children aged 0-14.


Brazil has made progress in the fulfilment of children’s rights in the past 30 years but further progress is needed. Around a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, and issues including child labour, high infant mortality rates, children not in education, illness, lack of maternity protection, violence (including sexual violence), and discrimination against indigenous groups are all still common issues. Brazil has also been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 600,000 deaths recorded by December 2021.


Moderate progress has been made in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, including commercial sexual exploitation, slave labour and trafficking of children. However, despite a decrease in child labour since 2016, the 2019 National Household Survey, published in December 2020, estimated that approximately 1.8 million children ages 5 to 17 are still engaged in child labour—337,000 of these children are aged 5 to 13, and 1.4 million are adolescents aged 14 to 17. Of the 1.8 million children found in situations of child labour, 706,000 children were found to be working in hazardous conditions. 

In June 2020, the Special Secretariat for Social Security and Labour reported a 271 percent increase in the number of child labour cases across the country, as a direct result of the pandemic.


Child labour is most common in agriculture (56%), particularly coffee, cocoa, bananas, corn, sugarcane etc. Around 8% of child labour is found in industry, which includes the footwear, garment and textile sector, cassava flour and cashew processing among others. 

Supporting You in Brazil


The Centre has a network of partners and trained consultants in Brazil to carry out child rights risk assessments and child labour prevention and remediation support. Contact us to learn more. 

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