Miss Switzerland, Lauriane Sallin, visits Tdh's projects in Brazil
Violence is a fact of life for many children, especially those living in poor areas in Brazilian cities. The country is home to 21 of the world's 50 most violent cities. For this reason, Terre des hommes (Tdh) works to prevent violence and promote restorative justice for children1 in Brazil. To stop children from offending or reoffending, we must break the cycle of violence.
Miss Switzerland, Lauriane Sallin, recently travelled to Brazil for the Olympic Games. While she was there, she went behind the scenes to find out more about the dangers facing children every day. She met our experts in the northern city of Fortaleza.
During her trip, Lauriane visited Ceará State’s only prison for girls, where she met with inmates. Almost all the girls were from poor families, and grew up surrounded by drugs, gangs and violence. Tdh works to ensure these girls receive the best possible treatment, which includes access to training – sometimes outside the prison walls.
Lauriane met with judges, public prosecutors and court-appointed lawyers working with children. This helped her to understand the importance of restorative justice to give children a second chance. Tdh provides training to civil servants so they are able to offer young people alternatives to detention.
Restorative juvenile justice is not about letting young offenders out of prison without punishment. Young people must take responsibility for their actions in order to become part of society again. However, by favouring community service over imprisonment, restorative justice gives young people the opportunity to make reparations for their actions and contribute to their communities.
“The approach adopted in Brazil allows young people to redeem themselves by paying their debts to society. They are supported by experts, like those working with Tdh, so they can become part of the community again. Basically, they are given the tools they need to live peacefully and legally,” explains Lauriane.
1 Restorative justice is an approach to juvenile justice that focuses on making reparation for harm and rebuilding relationships between offenders, victims and community members.Pictures: © Tdh / Drawlio Joca