Periodic Report Brazil

Executive summary

The 1988 Federal Constitution institutionalized social participation in the management of public policies and determined that the State must respect the cultural heritage and diversity. Until 1985, issues relating to culture and education were treated by a single Ministry, and in that year the Ministry of Culture was established to ensure universal access to cultural goods and services. These tasks were performed by a ministerial structure responsible for existing heritage and artistic activities. Since 2003, the responsibilities of this Ministry have expanded and now cover cultural practices and activities, such as traditional events, knowledge and lifestyles. Policies and actions have been implemented to strengthen in an articulate manner each of the three dimensions of culture: symbolic construction, the right to citizenship, and economic activity. Thus, the Ministry was restructured internally (see Appendix I) and has stepped up its efforts to address social inequalities in the country, to boost access of the entire population to cultural goods and services, and to innovate by providing access of the lower classes to means of production, digital connectivity and greater participation in the development of social policy. In this sense, the Ministry of Culture is working on policies that are complementary and cross-cutting and which strengthen civil rights with regard to citizenship, with government activities in the fields of education, health, social development, labour, racial equality, human rights, youth, international relations and others.

Moreover, the Ministry worked on the development and strengthening of a National Cultural System in collaboration with federal and local governments: to develop public policies that promote the integration of culture with other social sectors, emphasizing its strategic role in the development process; to promote exchanges between the federated entities with a view to training, qualification and circulation of cultural goods and services, enabling the implementation of technical cooperation and institutional capacity building; and to create participation mechanisms and management tools for monitoring and evaluating public cultural policies in force. The National Cultural System already includes the participation of 883 municipalities and 18 of the 27 States of the Federation. To participate, the States and municipalities must establish a cultural activity plan, a cultural fund and a cultural policy advisory board consisting of at least 50% of civil society representatives, who are elected democratically. The Ministry of Culture has put these regulations into practice: in 2005 it created the National Council for Cultural Policy, and in 2010 it approved a National Ten-Year Plan for Culture, prepared with the democratic participation of civil society, including guidelines and targets aiming to consolidate and to improve the effectiveness of the cultural policies currently being implemented. The Brazilian Government is thus attuned to the challenges proposed by the 2005 Convention.

Perspectives for the future include the expansion of intersectoral action and the implementation of the National "Creative Brazil" Plan with actions that promote the creative economy, and the National System of Information and Cultural Indicators, a platform for collaborative governance and public transparency, which, among other functions, will enable monitoring and evaluation of the National Cultural Plan and plans of the states and municipalities.