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Brazil

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Civil Liberties

Both freedom of expression and of religion are constitutionally guaranteed, and generally respected in practice by the government. Academic freedom is also unrestricted.

There is no internet or literary censorship in Brazil.

Education System

Education in Brazil is divided into three different segments, Fundamental (7-14), Intermediate (15-18), and Higher Education. Fundamental is compulsory and free for both children and adults, should they need the basic education provided. Brazilians when they enter this level begin a language, usually English, and study “Porguguese, History, Geography, Science, Math, Art and PE” in accordance with a Federal Council of Education curriculum. School is mandated to last at least 200 days, with the schedule set by the individual areas, as rural areas might need to reschedule in accordance with harvesting seasons.

Secondary education, which lasts for three years after Fundamental education, is free but not compulsory. The curriculum is the same, with the addition of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Philosophy, and Sociology. The latter two courses were outlawed by the military junta from 1964-1985.

In Secondary School, children may sign up for a professional training program in professions such as agriculture. In this case, this level of education may stretch to four or even five years.

“Students are grouped into classes by grade, age and, in some cases, level of achievement. In rural areas, it is still common to find multigraded classes, with students at different schooling levels.”

Government Granted “Rights of Age”

Brazilians can vote at age 16, as stipulated by the 1988 Constitution. Voting is compulsory for those aged 18 to 70. However, those in the military are not permitted to vote.
The drinking age in Brazil is 18.

Birth control is legal and readily available (See more in Sexuality section).

The age of consent in Brazil is 18; however, Brazilian police will not prosecute if a partner, aged 14-17, does not lodge a complaint.

Sexuality

The Brazilian government is very focused on supplying birth control to the population. Condoms and free birth control pills are supplied at government-run pharmacies, and the Lula government in May 2007 announced a plan to provide heavily subsidized birth control pills at 10,000 pharmacies with no government affiliation. These pills are planned to cost just $2.40 (American Dollars) for a year’s supply. The government is also reputed to give out over 254 million free condoms, as part of its anti-AIDS program.

Abortions in Brazil are legal when the child has been brought on by rape and when the mother’s life is in danger.

Other

As of 2004, 7% of Brazilians aged 5-14 are employed.

Brazil’s 62 million youths under 18 make up 34% of the country’s entire population.

Sources
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78882.htm

http://www.fmpsd.ab.ca/schools/df/brazil/meducation.htm

http://www.un.int/brazil/brasil/brazil-education.htm#ORG|

http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/28/AR2007052800637.html

http://www.unicef.org/brazil/data_brz.htm

http://www.cia.gov

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