Brazil is an upper middle-income country but with substantial income inequalities. Over 40% of young children 0-8 live in low-income families. In urban areas, low-income families mainly live in densely populated low-income communities. These communities are often overcrowded, noisy, dangerous, and unhealthy. In Rio’s hillside favelas, violence is endemic as two or more rival gangs of drug traffickers fight it out, militias (mainly off duty policemen) commit vigilante justice, and the regular police forces ‘invade’ rather than police the community, firing indiscriminately. Parents with jobs have difficulty finding ECE provision and sometimes are forced to lock their children in their homes or rely on older siblings’ care. There are virtually no recreational spaces and those that exist are litter strewn and unsafe (Rizzini et al. 2017). While there is a national plan for early childhood and a Rio municipal plan, these plans are widely ignored.

Partner Institution

Since its establishment in 1984, CIESPI at PUC-Rio has engaged in research studies on, and social projects for, children, young people and their families and communities. Its purpose is to support the development and implementation of policies and practices for children and young people that contribute to their full development and the promotion and defence of their rights. CIESPI is particularly concerned with children growing up in contexts of vulnerability including poverty. Professor Irene Rizzini, Director of CIESPI, has long-standing research connections with the University of Edinburgh and the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, through a series of research projects and exchanges on children and young people’s participation over 15 years, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

International center for research and policy on childhood

Brazil Case Study

The site for the community case study is Rocinha. Rocinha has a population of approximately 150000 and is a hillside community covering about 350 acres in Rio.

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