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International Day of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: discover our initiatives

On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in response to the horrors of World War II. ISER, which throughout its 52 years of history has worked in partnership with social movements and civil society organizations for the preservation and maintenance of human rights, reinforces the importance of the agenda for a fairer society.

We work with the most varied dimensions of human rights, such as respect for religious freedom; right to Memory, Truth and Justice in the face of State violence; youth rights; rights of the LGBTQIA+ population; rights of persons deprived of their liberty and their families; access to justice; environment and climate change; defense of democracy; between others.

Find out below some of our actions to guarantee fundamental rights.

Warriors Training Cycle for Extrication

The current post-vaccine scenario has enabled the return of actions in a long-term horizon and in more direct contact with social movements in the fight against incarceration and the State's death policy. Thus, in 2022, we started the Political Training Cycles in Justice, Prisons and Extrication. 

Focusing on groups that already exist, but still little articulated due to institutional or logistical limitations, we designed four training cycles aimed at mothers, family members and graduates interested in better understanding the dynamics of the judicial process, the actors of the justice system, the rights of criminal execution , how to act in the face of pre-trial detention and related topics – to be developed over the next two years.

The training workshops had the collaboration of a local articulator and another, working in state and national networks to fight mass incarceration. This collective construction seeks to enhance the discussion of contents through the mobilization of participants based on local dynamics, but aiming to create and expand interlocution on multiple scales, fostering an integrated network of activists.

Prison System during the pandemic: Covid in Prisons

The degrading and unacceptable conditions of the Brazilian prison system took on an even more dramatic dimension with the emergence of the pandemic. In addition to the imminent danger of a contagious disease entering an environment of such precariousness, the pandemic brought the challenge of simultaneously dealing with the absence and excess of information. This paradox in the flow of information marked the work of Covid in prisons, website launched in May 2020 by ISER. Since then, it has sought to provide information and encourage articulations capable of stopping setbacks and preventing violations.

Covid in Prisons book

Bringing together a network of authors with diverse affiliations and origins, the book allows recording a memory of state violence against people incarcerated during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as movements of resistance to incarceration.

Instruments to combat and prevent Covid-19 in prisons: a systematization of human rights norms

This ISER publication brings together regulations systematized into 11 key categories and brings reflections on the distance from prison reality in the pandemic of the analyzed recommendations.

custody hearings

The website presents a critical discussion on the implementation of this institute in Brazil, relating it to the massive incarceration scenario and the political challenges in the field of preventing and combating torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments committed between the time of arrest and the presentation of the arrested person to the judicial authority. In addition, the platform provides basic information on how family members of people arrested in flagrante delicto can act in the face of obstacles imposed by state bureaucracy and a digital library organized by the Clandestine Group for Studies in City, Control and Prisons, which works as a portrait of bibliographic production about custody hearing in Brazil.

Video “Videoconference custody hearing – complaints from those who survived the prison system”, released in March 2021.

People's Public Security Forum

O People's Public Security Forum, officially launched in June of this year, is an initiative of social movements from favelas and family members of victims of state violence, civil society organizations, universities and activists, which seeks to promote training activities in black and peripheral territories, influence policies of State and rethink the very concept of public security.

ISER is proud to build this space together with partners who have historically debated Public Security based on the real life of most of the Brazilian population. Our bet is on a collective and networked struggle to face State violence and give life to the debate on public security.

Defense of Democracy: Religion and Power Platform

Religion and Power is a platform that offers open data, articles, research, reports and bibliographical references on the interface between religion and institutional policy in Brazil. It also monitors the performance of political agents with religious identity in the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary powers.

Initially, it was conceived by the Instituto de Estudos da Religião, ISER, in partnership with the media organization Gênero e Número, with the objective of offering an open database on the performance of parliamentarians with religious identity in the National Congress, in addition to analyzes and reports on the subject. Gradually, the platform also began to be fed with data from different surveys in progress at ISER, as in the case of the 2020 Municipal Elections.

Today, Religião e Poder publishes new content weekly, all produced by ISER researchers, collaborating researchers and partner organizations. It aims to become a solid and recognized source of data and information to promote journalistic content, studies and research that contribute to strengthening the democratic process and the guarantee of human rights in Brazil.

Faith in the Climate: faith communities facing the climate crisis

The Fé no Clima initiative's mission is to bring together and engage religious leaders to raise awareness among their faith communities about tackling the climate crisis and socio-environmental injustices. We do this through dialogue between scientists, religionists, environmentalists and representatives of indigenous peoples, with goals of adaptation, resilience and climate justice.

Formed by a group of leaders of different beliefs, Fé no Clima was created in 2015 in the context of two important events of that year: the promulgation of the encyclical “Laudato Sí”, by Pope Francis, and the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention United Nations for Climate Change – COP 21, held in Paris.

Today, our work encompasses a series of activities, such as debates between scientists, religious people and traditional peoples (on and offline), conversations with leaders of faith communities, participation in networks and spaces of the climate agenda, production and dissemination of information on environmental and climate issues, among others.