Alana organizes first seminar on nature-based education in Los Angeles

Connection was the keyword at the event, which discussed the role of Nature-Based Education in building climate adaptation and resilience 

“What if we could sit by a pond, wait and welcome the frogs when they return to the surface? What if we could watch a fox crossing the grass and ask it about its story?”. The questions that seem to be part of a children’s fable were part of the reflections of Richard Louv, author of the book Last Child in the Woods, in the program of the first Nature-Based Education Summit, an event that took place last Saturday (4) in Los Angeles, United States. The seminar was organized by Alana Institute and the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Education and Communication, and #NatureForAll. 

Louv, who coined the term “nature deficit disorder”, referring to the negative impacts related to children’s detachment from nature and from opportunities to play and learn outdoors, said that “the use of imagination and the way we incorporate nature into our lives are underestimated” and that people, especially children, need to reconnect with the natural world. He was one of 13 speakers at the event, which discussed how to encourage and implement Nature-Based Education, which incorporates solutions into the curriculum, infrastructure and school environments, placing contact with nature at the center and generating climate adaptation and resilience.  

For the full day, participants had the opportunity to debate the importance of an education that promotes learning in and with nature, based on various dimensions such as indigenous knowledge, scientific research into the physical and mental health of children and adolescents, and the challenges of making schools greener at a public policy level.

Among the lessons learned at the seminar were the following:

  • Collaboration between different sectors (public school networks, governmental administrations and communities) is crucial to achieving the vision of greener and healthier schools for all children.
  • The importance of changing children’s language and perspective on nature, to enable them to compare their communities to natural ecosystems to foster a deeper connection with the environment.
  • Pediatricians, caregivers, educators and communities working together to overcome barriers and create opportunities for children to connect with nature and reap its multiple benefits. 

For Laís Fleury, International Relations Representative for the Alana Foundation, who took part in the program on the panel “Education, Nature and the Earth: key elements for Nature-Based Education”, the balance of the event was very positive. “In the United States, the organizations are very strong in bringing technical aspects and have a lot of resources from an objective point of view, but when we include the view from Brazil, from the Global South, we manage to add poetry, soul and enchantment. It’s a very rich exchange, in which we create a network and everyone wins,” she celebrated.


Alana Institute sends contributions for Brazil’s review at the UN Committee on The Rights of the Child

In 1989, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Convention Child Rights (CRC), an international treaty that defines the fundamental rights of children and adolescents and binds the 196 signatory countries, including Brazil, to protect and promote such rights. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, made up of 18 independent experts appointed by the Party-States that have signed the Convention, has the duty to monitor the actions of those countries that have committed themselves to implementing the treaty.

According to article 44 of the Convention, signatory countries must submit reports on the measures adopted to give effect to the rights detailed in the treaty, as well as reporting on the progress made in exercising such rights. Every two years, the Committee must submit reports on its activities to the United Nations General Assembly, and signatory countries must make their reports widely available to the public in their respective territories.

Brazil ratified the Convention on September 24, 1990, and its review cycle begins again this year, in 2024, 10 years after the end of the last cycle. 

How does the review process work?

The review process generally involves the following steps: 

  • Submission of the initial report by the country

Countries that have ratified the Convention are obligated to submit periodic reports to the Committee, describing the measures they have taken to implement the rights set out in the CRC.

  • Review of the report by the Committee

The Committee analyses the country’s report, together with information provided by other sources, such as civil society organizations and parallel reports from other interested parties.

  • Dialogue with the country

The Committee holds a dialogue with country representatives to discuss the report, ask questions and provide recommendations for improving the situation of children’s rights in the respective country.

  • Drafting the concluding observations

Based on the review of the report and the dialogue with the country, the Committee draws up concluding observations that highlight the strengths and areas of concern regarding the implementation of children’s rights in that country. Such concluding observations are provided to the country and may include specific recommendations for future action.

Alana’s contributions to the UN report

In a document prepared by the Alana Institute and sent during the semester of the year, six major topics were highlighted as essential for discussing the rights of children and adolescents in Brazil in this review cycle:

  • Children’s rights and Covid-19: impacts of the poor management of the pandemic on children and their rights 

With the publication “Dossier on Children and Covid-19: the impacts of pandemic management”, Alana addressed the impacts of the pandemic and its inefficient management on the rights of children and adolescents in Brazil. The material also carried out a survey of the rules issued by the Federal Administration aimed at children and adolescents, in order to analyze which measures were effectively adopted by the government to protect children and adolescents with absolute priority during the pandemic. These points, as well as other factors such as food insecurity, increased violence and impacts on access to education, were some of the consequences of the period highlighted in the contribution sent to the UN.

Discussions were also presented on the following topics:

  • Right to education 
  • Formal demarcation of indigenous lands
  • Juvenile justice and access to justice
  • Children’s rights and the digital environment
  • Children’s rights, the environment and the climate crisis

Letícia Carvalho, a lawyer and international advisor for the Alana Institute, explains that the organization’s main priorities in relation to the Committee “have been to monitor, influence and make contributions, bringing Brazilian perspectives to the UN General Comments, such as No. 25 and No. 26, which deal, respectively, with children’s rights in the digital environment and in relation to the environment and climate change”. The next UN General Comment, No. 27, will be on access to justice. 

What are the General Comments?

They are documents drawn up by the Committee on the Rights of the Child which provide interpretations of the rights mentioned in the Convention and formal recommendations to countries, addressing specific issues and detailing their practical application.

In addition, as part of the review of Brazil, the Institute has requested that children and adolescents take part in meetings with members of the UN, which has not yet happened due to a liquidity crisis explained by the organization itself. The meetings are expected to take place in September.

Alana submitted contributions from the zero draft of the comments to the last one, participated in closed meetings with experts and reinforced the need for absolute priority for the rights of children and adolescents. This means that the rights of boys and girls must be considered a priority and fully guaranteed in our country, being implemented in decisions and political actions and placed above all other interests. 

“The review process is a moment to take stock before the international community of the situation of children’s and adolescents’ rights in Brazil, as well as an opportunity to honor the commitments made, transforming them into concrete actions that effectively improve the reality of Brazilian children and adolescents,” Carvalho concludes.


Calling for Children’s COP in 2025 in Brazil

Alana representatives delivered a manifesto to President Lula during COP28. The document calls for children to be heard, included and centralized in actions to fight climate change

Over the weekend, Alana representatives handed President Lula and Secretary of State Marina Silva, from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, a manifesto calling for a Children’s COP to be held in 2025, when Brazil will host the United Nations (UN) Climate Conference. 

“We can no longer ignore the fact that 1 billion children in the world, including at least 40 million Brazilian girls and boys, are having their lives affected by extreme events such as floods, prolonged droughts, pollution and heatwaves. The time has come to recognize and include children’s voices in CAP, responding to their pain, especially that of the most vulnerable: girls, black children, children descending from afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped their plantations, riverside community children, children from slums and children with disabilities,” says the document.

Today, worldwide, more than one in four deaths of children under 5 are attributable to unhealthy environments, according to UNICEF.  They bear no responsibility for climate change, but they are the most impacted and are not heard or prioritized in the COP agendas and negotiations that will define their lives.

In 31 years of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, so far, no robust decision focused on protecting the rights and best interests of children and adolescents has been adopted. The hope is that Brazil can change this story, setting an example to the world if it commits to making Article 227 of the Federal Constitution effective, which states that it is everyone’s duty – the state, families and society – to ensure the rights of children with absolute priority, including the right to nature and to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment. 

In this sense, the manifesto calls for COP30, which will be held in 2025 in Belém, State of Pará, to leave a legacy for present and future generations of children and their families, by guaranteeing the safe participation of boys and girls in the negotiations and promoting a Children’s Action Plan (CAP) that establishes objectives and proposals that take into account the peculiarities and vulnerabilities of children in the climate crisis.

The Alana Institute, in alliance with UNICEF, has already brought the voices of 25 children from 12 countries around the world to COP28. In the videos showing their testimonies, they call for immediate action from leaders and negotiators and tell how extreme weather events have affected their lives. The films opened several of the COP28 plenaries, such as the Leaders’ Event: Youth and Education – The Latent Force of Climate Action, which brought together global leaders. Watch the videos here.


Why do we need a #COPforChildren?

Children are the most affected, least responsible for climate change, and have not been heard or prioritized in COP discussions and negotiations

Almost half the world’s children – 1 billion of 2.2 billion total – live in extremely high climate risk conditions, that is, in areas subject to floods, heat waves, and other severe phenomena, according to UNICEF. That’s not all: more than one in four deaths of children under 5 years of age is directly or indirectly related to environmental risks.

Problems such as air pollution, water contamination, food shortages or precarious sanitation and hygiene as a result of the climate emergency generated by consumption and the way in which goods and food are produced, hit children the hardest, causing lifelong troubles. 

Although already greatly affected and not at all responsible for the current state of affairs, children are not heard or prioritized in the discussions and negotiations of COP, or Convention of the Parties, the annual meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in which member countries address the issue and close agreements with the aim of stopping the Earth’s temperature increase, reducing the impact on people and the environment.

To date, no decision taken within COP has focused on protecting children and adolescents in face of the climate crisis. And only 2.4% of the main multilateral climate funds support programs that take this population into account. The proposal for COP28, which will be held between November 30th and December 12th, in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is to change this reality and begin the construction of a Children’s COP. 

Aligned with leading international organizations, Alana has been opening up spaces to directly influence negotiations and coordination so that adaptation and mitigation plans begin to consider the specific needs of children and cover them thoroughly, observing rights and interests, in addition to listening to them in debate spaces and include them in signed agreements. 

“A Children’s COP would make visible the impact of the climate crisis on the lives and rights of children and adolescents, reflecting in the commitments of countries, especially Brazil towards COP30, companies, and philanthropic foundations. Children and teenagers have already actively contributed to climate action. Now we need to listen to them and actually include them in global decisions.”, says JP Amaral, Environment and Climate Manager at Alana.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child itself, the most accepted human rights instrument in universal history, ratified by 196 countries, provides for children’s participation in matters that involve them. According to Article 12, “States Parties shall ensure to children who are capable of formulating their own views the right to express their opinions freely on all matters relating to them, and such views shall be considered, depending on the child’s age and maturity.”

At COP27, which took place in 2022, in Egypt, Alana achieved significant results, with the #KidsFirst campaign, such as the historic inclusion of several measures regarding children in the final decision. Now, it’s time to build the Children’s Action Plan (CAP). At COP28, the goal will be to consolidate this plan politically, focusing on dialogue with the presidency, led by the United Arab Emirates, and on articulating endorsement of this agenda with other countries.

A Children’s Action Plan would establish objectives and activities in priority areas designed to promote knowledge and understanding of child-sensitive climate action, taking into account not only rights but also their voices, through full, equal, and meaningful participation in the UNFCCC process.

At the UNFCCC, Parties must bring coherence between the climate agenda, the work of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment 26, which deals with the Rights of the Child and the Environment, with a special focus on Climate Change, and the UN Secretary-General’s renewed focus on children, young people, and intergenerational equity.

Six targets of the Children’s Action Plan

1. Children’s participation and leadership

Parties’ delegations working at COP must allow children to participate in all processes, as part of the official national delegation, and create space and opportunity for children’s safe and meaningful participation as Observers. For their voices to be heard, it is necessary to carry out a risk assessment and develop a comprehensive protection plan, as well as ensuring that information related to safety and security is appropriate and accessible to children. There is knowledge and good practice in the child rights community about appropriate and effective methodologies for meaningful and accessible participation that could be used – international cooperation with relevant organizations could support this institutional learning process.

2. Education, knowledge generation and communication

The Climate Empowerment Action (ACE) is adopted by the UNFCCC and encompasses empowering all members of society to engage in climate action through education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation. The ACE agenda must consider the needs and priorities of children and their participation must be guaranteed in negotiations. Furthermore, the Children’s Action Plan will contribute to the implementation of child-related measures set out in the ACE action plan at COP27, which includes organizing a joint session to discuss ways to improve understanding of children’s role in accelerating the implementation of ACE; promotion of regional and local networks and platforms that support ACE, encouraging children’s involvement; and mapping and compiling existing guidelines and best practices with regards to early childhood education and empowerment in climate action, with special attention to gender equality and the inclusion of people with disabilities.

3. COP location suitable for children

The UNFCCC and the COP Presidency must ensure children’s participation before, during and after the meeting, creating space and opportunities for safe and meaningful collaboration by children in all discussions, panels, and processes. It is necessary to structure and implement child safeguarding procedures and policies. COPs can be stressful, with intense negotiations, large, noisy venues, and long meetings. Therefore, children’s well-being needs to be considered and supported. As well as risks related to travel, privacy, bullying, intimidation, and exposure in the media. It is necessary to work together with children to define these risks and mitigation strategies, and also create an inviting place for children and their caregivers. In this direction, the COP Fit for Children report provides an assessment and recommendations based on the experience of past COPs.

4. Child-sensitive climate action measures and implementation

Place the defense of children’s rights at the center of climate change response, in a comprehensive framework, including adaptation, mitigation, financing, and loss and damage, also highlighting areas for future action (e.g. ocean-based climate action, which aims to protect and restore the health of marine ecosystems and build a sustainable ocean economy), with equal attention to technology-driven initiatives and nature-based approaches to climate change. Climate action plans must ensure that the care of young children is a priority, including health, nutrition, responsive care, safety, security, and early learning, including early ecological education.

5. Measures in response to children affected by inequality and discrimination

Ensure that children from marginalized communities or in vulnerable situations where intersecting inequalities and discrimination exacerbate the harms of climate impacts are duly considered. Also, ensure their equitable participation, so they are included in global responses to climate change. To this purpose, use the compilation and analysis of data that includes the child’s age, gender, and disability.

 6. Monitoring and reporting

Improve monitoring of the implementation of measures in response to the needs and interests of children and coherence between the climate agenda, the work of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Secretary-General’s renewed focus on children, young people, and intergenerational equity by incorporating greater focus on children’s rights into the UNFCCC process. Reports need to ensure a deadline and frequency to constantly evaluate and inform the community about the results of actions implemented by Parties in relation to children’s rights.


Easy-to-understand communication and digital access are highlights of the 16th Conference of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

“Leaving no one behind means not leaving anyone offline,” emphasized António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, addressing digital inclusion at the annual meeting, attended by Alana’s legal and international advisor

Over a billion people worldwide have some form of disability—including approximately 240 million children—according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

In support of this population, the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Conference of States Parties promotes implementation of this international treaty, and is an important forum for advancing disability rights at a global level.

Alana participated in the 16th Conference of States Parties (COSP) in New York, United States, from June 12 to 15, 2023, and engaged in discussions about topics such as equitable access and inclusion in sexual and reproductive health services for individuals with disabilities, digital inclusion, and the rights of underrepresented segments of the disabled community, including children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The COSP convened representatives from countries that have ratified the CRPD, including Brazil, and also included participation from civil society organizations advocating for disability rights. The annual meeting at the UN headquarters in New York takes place to assess the CRPD’s implementation, facilitate exchange of experiences, and deliberate on challenges and best practices in advancing disability rights.

“Participation in the COSP reinforces Alana’s international engagement alongside other civil society organizations that can contribute and share experiences on the implementation of the Convention, especially from the perspective of children and adolescents with disabilities in the Global South, and individuals with intellectual disabilities,” comments Letícia Carvalho, a lawyer and international advisor at Alana.

Easy-to-understand communication
In 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to promote easy-to-understand communication. The resolution provides guidance for conveying information in an accessible and uncomplicated manner, in order to make it more understandable for people with different levels of linguistic ability or reading comprehension difficulties.

At COSP, the Brazilian Federation of Down Syndrome Associations (FBASD) and the Jô Clemente Institute (IJC) presented an initiative that engages people with Down Syndrome and intellectual disabilities as advocates for their rights and those of their communities. The initiative is being carried out with Alana’s support.

In recent months, these organizations have collaborated with self-advocacy groups to influence legislation and proposals related to the rights of individuals with Down Syndrome in areas such as education, health, and employment.

Digital access

This year’s conference also underscored the importance of digital inclusion, which ensures that digital environments are accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities. Assistive technologies, which augment the capabilities of people with disabilities, were a central theme.

“Leaving no one behind means not leaving anyone offline,” stated António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, at the conference’s opening. Accessibility is a prerequisite for equity. At the same time, the lack of digital inclusion risks further marginalizing individuals with disabilities, particularly when digital technologies are not designed with accessibility in mind.

“Our participation highlighted our commitment to the broader understanding that individuals with disabilities form a diverse group, with intersections such as age, class, and race. These must be factored into the implementation of public policies,” noted Letícia Carvalho.


Alana joins Child Rights Connect’s 40th anniversary celebration, amplifying the voices of children in the Global South at the UN

Alana’s international agenda at the UN reaffirms their commitment to a world where children from Brazil and the Global South are protected, heard, and have their rights respected

75% of the world’s children live in the Global South, underlying the necessity of considering their unique circumstances and concerns in decision-making spaces. In response to this need, Alana attended international advocacy meetings at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 18 to 26, 2023, promoting the rights of children and adolescents.

The children of the Global South, including Brazil, are on the frontline of the climate crisis, suffering its earliest and most severe impacts. According to UNICEF, nine out of ten children in Latin America and the Caribbean are exposed to at least two climate and environmental shocks, such as cyclones and heatwaves. They are also disproportionately affected by social, educational, and economic disparities that violate their fundamental rights, which must be guaranteed with absolute priority. Children in the Global South not only bear the brunt of these challenges but also offer distinct and innovative perspectives. They should be recognized as catalysts for change, instrumental in crafting solutions.

“As a Brazilian civil society organization with consultative status in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), our presence at the UN headquarters in Geneva allows Alana to reinforce its influence within the international community and contribute to the global guarantee of children and adolescents’ rights,” says Letícia Carvalho, a lawyer and international advisor at Alana.

The agenda in Geneva was driven by the 40th anniversary celebration for Child Rights Connect, the world’s largest network of organizations working for children’s rights. Alana is the only Brazilian civil society organization participating in this group.

The event focused on the transformative power of children in championing their own rights and featured attendees such as UN High Commissioner Volker Türk, members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and Brazilian teenage activist Catarina Lorenzo, who serves on the Child Advisory Team, a group of children and adolescents consulting for the network.

Geneva is also the venue for meetings of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, where independent experts review the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by states. The treaty has been ratified by 196 countries, including Brazil, and is the most widely accepted human rights instrument in history. The United States is the only country that has not committed to its terms.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child also develops general comments to broaden understanding of the Convention, addressing specific topics and detailing practical application of the treaty. This year, the Committee will release General Comment No. 26, focusing on children’s rights and the environment, with a special focus on climate change.

In a meeting with Ann Skelton, who assumed the Committee’s presidency for the next two years, Alana reiterated the importance of ensuring that the rights of children most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate emergency are reflected in the comment. Alana initially presented this perspective at the regional Latin American debate, held in Buenos Aires in 2022, earlier in the process of drafting the comment.

“Our participation in this international forum was an essential step for us to realize the full potential of advocating for the protection and guarantee of children and adolescents’ rights. This should be an absolute priority globally, with special consideration for the unique perspective of the Global South,” added Letícia Carvalho.


An award to help us learn more about rainforests

The Rainforest XPrize | Alana seeks to map biodiversity. In its semifinal stage, in Singapore, 13 teams will test different technologies for this. In the end, the prize will deliver 10 million dollars to the winners. Understand why it is important for our survival on the planet to know the variety of living beings that inhabit tropical forests.

How many types of plants, animals and microorganisms do you imagine exist on the planet? That number, to this day, has not been discovered! So far, scientists have managed to catalog around 1.5 million species, but much remains to be known.

To collaborate with this great challenge for humanity, the Alana Foundation is sponsoring the XPrize Rainforest | Alana: a worldwide competition to develop new technologies that will help map the biodiversity of tropical forests.

Discovering and protecting the immense variety of plants, animals and microorganisms that exist in these forests is essential for the survival of humanity. The air we breathe, the food we eat and the medicines that cure us, among many other elements, depend on preserving this biodiversity and its habitats. That, in addition to millions of possibilities that we haven’t even discovered yet: in the forests lie the answers to questions we haven’t even asked yet!

The prize worth of 10 million dollars lasts for 5 years and encourages teams to develop autonomous solutions and technologies to map the biodiversity of the world’s tropical forests. To win the competition, a team will need to research the greatest biodiversity contained within 100 hectares of rainforest in 24 hours and provide the most impactful insights in 48 hours.

Of the 25 teams initially registered, 13 were selected for the semifinals and will meet today in Singapore. The proximity of tropical forests allied to the city’s resources will be essential to carry out the first tests of the technologies, which must be expandable and accessible.

Successful teams in the semifinals will move on to test their technologies in a remote location with fewer resources. The Rainforest XPrize | Alana benefits not only Brazil, which has the largest rainforest in the world, but also 9 other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Mapping tropical forests’ biodiversity is important to create more opportunities for all.

“Now is the time to make bold investments in conserving our planet’s biodiversity and supporting our indigenous and local communities. The award will generate critical data and knowledge for the preservation of our rainforests, their culture and people, which is essential to stabilize the Earth’s climate,” said Ana Lúcia Villela, founder and president of Alana Foundation.


Biodiversity: why it matters to children that we talk about it

May 22 is The International Day for Biological Diversity, a date created by the United Nations (UN) to encourage us to protect the huge variety of animals, plants, microorganisms, ecosystems and living beings that inhabit the world. What is the importance of biodiversity for the present and future of children? Preserving is essential to maintain the Earth’s ecological balance and ensure our survival.

What’s happening with biodiversity?

According to the Living Planet report, produced by WWF, the world has lost 69% of its wildlife in the last 40 years. According to the UN, today, about 25% of all animal and plant species in the world are threatened with extinction. These findings are extremely worrying and have implications in several fields. Nature is responsible for pollination, which guarantees us food, for purifying air and water, for regulating the climate, among others. Without the preservation of biodiversity, all these aspects are put at risk, which can cause serious consequences for human health and the economy.

In addition, the loss of biodiversity directly affects the food chain and food security. The degradation of ecosystems and loss of natural habitats reduce the availability of food and increase the vulnerability of communities that depend directly on nature to survive. The loss of species and ecosystems can also lead to reduced agricultural production, the spread of disease and also the loss of jobs in sectors as diverse as tourism and fisheries.

Biodiversity and children

Amidst this great global crisis are children. They are the most vulnerable to the effects of biodiversity loss, and suffer the consequences related to:

– Access to food: soil devastation, the imbalance of the food chain with the disappearance of animals and pollinating insects, reducing the amount of food essential for the physical and mental development of children;

– Water quality: original vegetation and fauna are essential for drinking water on the planet, which directly affects children, as every two minutes a child dies from diseases caused by contaminated water;

– Contact with nature: children are living in ever-larger cities with a shortage of green spaces and difficult access to those that exist. As a result, they know less about the planet’s biodiversity – fundamental for their quality of life, and to develop a sense of belonging and care for nature.

How to reverse biodiversity loss?

We already know it is necessary to implement effective environmental conservation policies, promote attractive practices and encourage restoration of degraded ecosystems. To create protected areas and regulate the use of natural resources are important measures for the conservation of biodiversity. As well as adopting environmental agricultural practices, such as agroecology and organic agriculture, to reduce the impact of human activity on nature.

Another essential strategy is the restoration of degraded areas. The recovery of ecosystems can be done by planting seedlings and promoting natural regeneration. But for all this to happen, we need to be clear about the importance of biodiversity and understand that nature is not an infinite well of resources, that we need to reduce our pressure. If we want to survive, and deliver, in the present, a future to our children.


Alana signs for the companies’ commitment to the rights of children and adolescents

The signing aims to strengthen the engagement of companies in adopting effective measures to promote the rights of children and adolescents in all their activities

Companies are also responsible for guaranteeing the rights of children and adolescents. The Federal Constitution (CF) of 1988 defines that children and adolescents are an absolute priority for our country and protecting children is a responsibility shared by all of us, families, the State, society, including companies that play an important role in this defense.

In a historic initiative, Alana, the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship (MDHC), the United Nations (UN) Global Pact and the Brazilian Coalition to End of Violence Against Children and Adolescents signed a Protocol of Intent to strengthen the private sector’s commitment to promote these groups rights, as established in article 227 of the CF.

This signing represents an important milestone in the defense of the rights of children and adolescents in Brazil.

The Protocol was signed on May 18, as one of the 18 measures announced at a ceremony at Planalto Palace conducted by the Republic’s Vice President Geraldo Alckmin, and by the Minister of Human Rights and Citizenship, Silvio Almeida, which marked the National Day to Combat Abuse and Sexual Exploitation against Children and Adolescents.

“The private sector has been expanding its activities in the socio-environmental field, and this view has evolved along with the ESG agenda. However, understanding the need to prioritize strategies and actions that directly affect babies, children and adolescents is still practically non-existent. And this is an urgent call. We are not talking about the future, but the present and the root of all problems and all possible solutions”, says Mariana Mecchi, Director of Expansion at Alana.

To support companies, the Protocol includes actions such as the creation of a manual to prevent and combat abuse and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in companies and mapping harmful conducts and good practices in companies performances in Brazil, in matters such as protection of children and adolescents in the digital environment; family policies in the workplace that support professionals in their roles as mothers, fathers and caregivers; and the elimination of child labor in all value chains of companies.

Check out the ceremony (in Portuguese):


Alana Foundation and USP unite to create a research and advocacy network on Down syndrome

World Down Syndrome Day marks the beginning of a partnership between institutions to encourage research and school programs for people with intellectual disabilities

The whole of society must be committed to guaranteeing the rights of people with disabilities so that they can have a full professional and academic career, with quality of life, and fulfill their full potential with dignity, equality and security.

More than 12 million Brazilians have some type of disability, according to the IBGE. Among them, there are around 300,000 people with Down syndrome, according to the Brazilian Federation of Down Syndrome Associations (FBASD). But many of them remain outside the labor market or do not reach higher levels of education due to the various barriers they face throughout their lives. Likewise, research in the health area is insufficient for not making the necessary investments and training and not considering the specificities of these people.

Facing this scenario, Alana joined forces with the Dean of Research and Innovation at the University of São Paulo (USP), in association with professors Orestes Forlenza (Department of Psychiatry at FMUSP), Wilson Araújo da Silva (FMRP-USP) and Daniele de Paula Faria (LIM-43, HCFMUSP), to offer on World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, a workshop for researchers, health professionals and managers on advocacy and incentives for research on Down syndrome.

The date marked the beginning of discussions at the university for the creation of a Brazilian Research Network on Down Syndrome and a School Program at USP for people with intellectual disabilities.

“It was a historic day in which we were able to debate with the scientific community, civil society and government authorities on guidelines that can change the reality of people with Down syndrome in the country. We are initiating a partnership that seeks to build a university academic path for people with intellectual disabilities, in addition to increasing the workload on the subject in university courses”, comments Claudia Moreira, a researcher at Alana Foundation.

“We left the event with the commitment of the Secretary of Policies and Strategic Programs of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Márcia Barbosa, to dialogue for the construction of a national research network on Down syndrome. We are very excited about the next steps”, she concludes.

To watch the workshop in full (in Portuguese), click here.