Ciência e Tecnologia

Brazil to export mobile app to tackle violence against children and teenagers

publicado: 24/06/2014 10h44, última modificação: 23/12/2017 09h04

Rio de Janeiro (24 June 2014) – After becoming the first country to combat violence against children using a mobile application for smartphones and tablets, Brazil is now ready to export the “Proteja Brasil” (Protect Brazil) app to other nations. This innovative initiative is the result of a partnership between the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Brazilian government, and civil society, and could become an international model. Negotiations to implement the application in other countries are underway, including more advanced talks with Costa Rica, Iran, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. 

The Proteja Brasil app, launched on 18 May, is the result of a partnership between UNICEF, the Presidency of Brazil’s Human Rights Secretariat (SDH) and the NGO CEDECA-Bahia, has already had some 40,000 downloads. In addition to providing a formal complaint channel, the app also informs users on the different kinds of infringement against minors and provides information on the nearest agencies at which complaints can be filed.

“The application is a powerful, easy to use tool to file abuse and exploitation complaints,” says Minister Ideli Salvatti of Brazil’s Human Rights Secretariat. “The application provides information on several protection networks and facilitates access to these networks and further integration among them. Using technology, the application grants integrated protection, which is the focus of our strategy to protect children and teenagers,” she explained.

The campaign for dissemination of this tool has already gained the support of hotel networks, TV channels, airlines and sports personalities. The Ministry of Education also joined the campaign, and teachers are already using the Proteja Brasil app on their tablets and smartphones. 

Proteja Brasil is part of the Convergence Agenda, a national initiative launched to protect children and teenagers from violence during mega events held in Brazil. The Agenda comprises actions from the federal, state and municipal governments, as well as civil society, the private sector and international organizations, such as UNICEF. 

“Brazil is the first country in the world to have an application that facilitates complaints for everyone who has a smartphone,” said Gary Stahl, UNICEF’s representative in Brazil. Stahl noted that Brazil is ranked fourth in the world in number of smartphones, with about 70 million devices. 

The application is available for free for devices with iOS and Android operating systems. Proteja Brazil is able to trace the user, and provides phone numbers, addresses and the best route to reach police stations specialized in child and youth protection services, guardianship councils, childhood and youth courts and organizations engaged in the fight against violent situations affecting this segment of the population in major Brazilian cities.

The application, which guarantees the confidentiality of the person filing the claim, provides information on types of violence against children, including forced child labor; physical, psychological and sexual violence; discrimination; torture; trafficking of human beings; negligence and abandonment.

More information about the Proteja Brazil application is available here: www.protejabrasil.com.br

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