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Society In the Amazon, Acre has the highest rate of violent deaths of children and adolescents, says UNICEF

Record shows police operation in Acre (Promotion)

Gabriella Lira – from Cenarium

MANAUS – The number of intentional violent deaths of children and adolescents between 10 and 19 years old in Acre reached 38.41% in 2020. This rate puts the state in first place in the ranking of intentional violent deaths in this public in Amazon. At the national level, the state occupies the second position, according to the Panorama of Lethal and Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents in Brazil released this Friday, 22, by the Brazilian Forum for Public Safety and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). 

In the panorama, the category of intentional violent deaths (IMI) includes the following types of crime: intentional homicide; femicide; robbery; bodily injury followed by death; and deaths resulting from police intervention (on duty and off duty). The research gathered information from civil police reports in Brazil in the last five years. In second place, Roraima stood out with 36.13% and in third place, Amapá with 32.96%.

Intentional Violent Deaths (MVI) in the Amazon in 2020 (Rate of victims aged 10 to 19 years in 2020).
Source: Brazilian Public Security Forum and Unicef (Art: Guilherme Oliveira)

Gender inequality is lower in the younger age groups, although most violent deaths involve male victims. There is also a difference between race and color in the age groups. The crime type of violent deaths of children and adolescents also varies somewhat. 

“Violence against children and adolescents is a serious problem that needs to be increasingly discussed by our society. They are victims inside their own homes while they are small and suffer with violence in the streets when they reach pre-adolescence. The public power needs to face the issue seriously and prevent more lives from being lost every year”, says Samira Bueno, executive director of the Brazilian Public Security Forum, in an interview to Unicef. 

In Brazil, the six states with the highest rates of intentional violent deaths in 2020 are from the North and Northeast of the country. In first place, Ceará with more than 46 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants aged 10 to 19 years, followed by Acre (38.41), Pernambuco (36.16), Roraima (36.13), Sergipe (35.78) and Rio Grande do Norte (34.65). 

Intentional Violent Deaths (MVI) in the Amazon in 2020 (Rate of victims aged 10 to 19 years in 2020).
Source: Brazilian Public Security Forum and Unicef (Art: Guilherme Oliveira)

In the North region, only Roraima has all the data in the historical series. The states of Amapá, Tocantins, Acre and Rondônia have interruptions, according to the research. The Public Safety specialist, Hilton Ferreira, explains that, in Brazil, for every three occurrences, one is not registered, which causes a gap in the data. “In recent years, Cips is cataloging all occurrences, but not all states are adhering. The idea is to make a single bulletin, to be integrated in a single database of the Ministry of Justice. But we are still in the process, in about two years we will have this unification”, he explains. 

The research identified a total of 34,918 intentional violent deaths of children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years between 2016 and 2020. This is an average of 7,000 deaths per year.

Percentage evolution of intentional violent deaths by year and age group
Source: FBSP e Unicef (Arte: Catarine Hak)

In the period from 2016 to 2020, the survey of police report data shows the growth in cases of violent deaths of 0 to 9 year olds in Brazil, a total of at least 1,070 children. Of this total, 41% were male and 59% male. In 2020, the year in which data is available for all states, 213 children aged 0 to 9 were violently killed in Brazil.  

The main type of crime that affects children up to 9 years old who die violently are intentional homicides, which represent 92% of the cases registered in the last five years. In this age group, 33% of the cases indicate the residence as the place of the crimes; followed by 30% in establishments and public roads; 27% in “other places”. It is worth noting, the filling out of information about the place where the crime occurred presents many problems, this data is absent in most of the records. 

In the reports with complete information, 39% indicate the residence as the place of the crimes. Over the years, what we see is that between 2016 and 2018, the increases and decreases had similar trends among the different locations. 

Percentage evolution of intentional violent deaths by year and local of the crime (Residence, Public Spaces and Others)
Source: FBSP e Unicef (Arte: Catarine Hak)

Considering children aged 0 to 9 years old, intentional violent deaths of children have different characteristics than those of victims aged 10 to 19 years old in Brazil. The profile of the cases indicates strong evidence that the main cause of death for younger children is domestic violence. For older children and adolescents, armed violence typical of urban areas is the greatest risk of lethal violence. The 10 to 14 age group is characterized by a transition between domestic violence and urban violence, which is consolidated in victims aged 15 to 19, especially in male victims. 

“These rates, in the face of the pandemic, have increased. One example is domestic violence has increased because of cohabitation, the child, whether male or female has become more exposed to their abuser. Young people between 16 and 19 years of age entered crime, drug trafficking earlier, so violent crimes occur with this age group. Brazil has not been preparing itself to contain this, so crime absorbs this labor force. It is necessary to separate what is a child and what is an adolescent. The statute must be updated according to the moment that society is living”, says Ferreira. 

Intentional Violent Deaths per year and group of age. Source: FBSP and Unicef (Art: Catarine Hak)