18. During the visit of the Special Rapporteur to Salvador, the Mayor inaugurated the Human Rights Municipal Council, with equal representation of local government and civil society, which will allow civil society leaders to participate in the development of municipal human rights policies. Its priority will be fighting against the assassination of young Blacks, after the disclosure of shocking statistics indicating that in the city of Salvador 631 people have been assassinated in the first eight months of 2005, almost all of them being young Blacks: this is an increase of 19 per cent compared to last years’ figures. The majority of these crimes have not been sanctioned. The Council will deal with other issues such as the persecution and assassination of homosexuals, religious intolerance against religion of African origins, the fight for the recognition of quilombos, the improvement of education, health and housing, the demarcation of indigenous land and the eradication of institutional racism.

40. Black homosexuals suffer from double discrimination, because of their colour and sexual orientation. Also, within the black community, homosexuality is seen as debilitating, as an outrage to the established social order and the image of the black man who is supposed to be manly. Homosexuals suffer from physical violence, sometimes death (158 homosexuals were assassinated in Brazil in 2004), but also psychological suffering due to the denial of their humanity and identity. The Government has approved a “Brazil without homophobia” policy, to start tackling this problem.

72. A national commission for equality and human rights should be established, in conformity with the Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris Principles) (General Assembly resolution 48/134, annex). Given the interlinkage among all forms of discrimination, and for the purposes of efficiency and empowerment, the mandate of this commission should examine in a holistic way, the most important and related fields of contemporary discrimination, namely: race, colour, gender, descent, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, age, religion and sexual orientation.

Link to full text of the report: Mission report-SR Racism-Brazil-2006-eng

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