Feature story

“Just like you” video campaign against stigma and prejudice launched in Brazil

17 November 2009

New campaign to be broadcast by television across Brazil highlights rights of students, gay men, lesbians, people living with HIV, the Afro-Brazilian population, sex workers, refugees, transsexuals and transvestites and drug users.

Equal rights and a call to Brazilian society on the issue of the discrimination experienced daily by men, women and children in the country are the messages of a powerful ”Just like you” video campaign, launched 16 November in Rio de Janeiro, by UNAIDS in partnership with other United Nations agencies with the participation of civil society and the government authorities on human rights.

Ten thirty second films were shown during the launch, films that present a panorama of the reality faced by each population covered by the campaign – school students, gay men, lesbians, people living with HIV, the Afro-Brazilians, sex workers, refugees, transsexuals and transvestites and drug users. The films will be broadcast in Portuguese on television stations throughout the country. DVDs and CDs will also be distributed to health care facilities, schools and the National Business Council on HIV. The films are also available with subtitles in English and Spanish so they can be shown internationally.

The campaign launch ceremony was followed by a press conference, at the Palácio do Itamaraty with the community leaders who recorded the campaign messages as well as UN officials from UNODC, UNAIDS, UNIFEM, UNESCO, UNHCR and UNIC. Representatives of the Special Secretariats of Human Rights and of Policies in Promotion of Racial Equality, the Ministry of Education and civil society were also present.

“Just like you, I want respect,” still from one of the videos in the “Just like you” campaigne launched in Rio de Janeiro on 16 November, 2009.
Credit: UNAIDS

Human rights visibility

“Just like you” is a campaign against stigma and prejudice, giving voice and visibility to the human rights of people often overlooked by society in Brazil. The films communicate the messages of leaders of each of the discriminated groups.

The campaign is an initiative against human rights violations and inequalities in the areas of health, education, employment, public security and everyday life. It is an opportunity to raise the awareness of Brazilian society with regard to respecting the differences that characterize each of the social groups represented in the campaign, reaffirming equal rights.

Everyday stigmas and prejudices

Data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics reveal the racial and gender inequalities in Brazil through the disparity in average monthly income: white men earn on average R$ 1,200, considerably more than white women (R$700), twice that of black men (R$ 600), and three times that of black women (R$ 400).

The school environment is another example of resistance to diversity. A 2009 survey of 500 state schools done by Anísio Teixeira National Institute of Educational Research and Studies and Economic Research Institute Foundation, between 55% and 72% of students, teachers, head teachers and education workers showed a resistance to diversity and the greatest distance was seen in relation to homosexuals (72%).

Campaign signature

Prejudice manifests itself through discriminatory attitudes and practices, such as humiliation, aggression and unfair accusations merely because people belong to a specific social group.

The United Nations agencies in Brazil joined with a number of civil society groups for this equal rights campaign including ABGLT (Brazilian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transvestite and Transsexual Association), AMNB (Association of Black Brazilian Women), ANTRA (National Articulation of Transvestites, Transsexual and Transgender Persons), the Brazilian Movement of People Living with HIV/AIDS and the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes.

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Watch the compaign 

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