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Learning from HRDs: Working for social justice in Brazil

Friday 23 January 2015, 1.30PM to 3 PM

Speaker(s): Valdênia and Renato Paulino Lanfranchi

Social justice activists and human rights defenders Valdênia and Renato Paulino Lanfranchi discuss human rights in the context of the post-military regime in Brazil and, more specifically, in the two regions where they have worked since 2000: São Paulo and Paraíba. They will address police violence and threats against human rights defenders in particular.

Valdênia and Renato have worked together for human rights for the past 10 years. Valdênia has participated in the creation of the Girls' House, in 1987, welcoming girls who wanted to become free from sexual exploitation and life on the streets; the "Monica Paião Trevisan" Centre for the Defense of Children's Rights in 1989; and the "Pablo Gonzales Olalla" Human Rights Centre in São Paulo, in 2001.

Renato's engagement with human rights began in the 1990s when, working as a Roman Catholic missionary priest in Northeastern Brazil, he was part of the creation of the Herbert de Sousa Centre for the Defense of Life (CDVHS). While working in São Paulo's east-end outskirts, he helped establish and promote the Sapopemba Human Rights Centre (CDHS, 2001) and volunteered as a board member and fundraiser of the Centre for the Defense of Minors (CEDECA, 2000-2007).

Valdênia suffered repeated attacks and threats because of the work that she was doing, after which she and Renato moved to the state of Paraíba, where they worked in the "Oscar Romero" Human Rights Centre, the Association of Settlers and Afro-descendant communities, and the Observatory of Public Budget and Policy.

Valdênia was the first woman to occupy the post of Police Ombudsman in the State of Paraíba from 2011 to 2013.

Valdênia and Renato are currently visiting fellows on the CAHR's Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

The talk will be followed by a Q & A session.

Location: V/045, Vanbrugh College, University of York, Heslinton, York, UK

Admission: Free and open for all