Accepted paper:

Human rights and equal treatment in Brazil

Authors:

Luis Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira (University of Brasilia)

Paper short abstract:

The notion of human rights conveys a radical conception of equality, given that it makes reference to rights that should be equally shared by all human beings. As in Brazil there is a tension between two opposing conceptions of equality, there is a significant lack of clarity between rights and privileges that have currency in the public space.

Paper long abstract:

The notion of human rights conveys a radical conception of equality, given that it makes reference to rights that should be equally shared by all human beings. In Western democracies, where citizenship is the main symbol of equal treatment, it suggests the existence of universal rights that are not State bound. However, conceptions of equality vary a great deal among different polities, and are actually dependent on local civic sensibilities. As in Brazil there is a tension between two opposing conceptions of equality, there is a significant lack of clarity between rights and privileges, or about who has legitimate claims to rights and privileges in the public space. As the literature has shown and I will argue, such a situation indicates that the exercise of citizenship and the observation of human rights gain very specific contours and face complex dilemmas.

panel P145
Brazilian anthropology: present and future (ABA panel)