Chapter 1
Brazil, 16th Century
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Hygiene was poor on the trips between Europe and America and death haunted the ships. Around 20% of the people boarded on the ships were boys, the majority of them were cabin boys, who were at the basis of the hierarchy of the crew. They were recruited amongst the miserable of Portugal and their pay would contribute to the livelihoods of their families. The children of Jewish families were sometimes taken from home by force with the intent to restrain the growth of this population, since the trip was risky and dying was a concrete possibility. These children did the hardest work and received half the pay of an adult.
Families felt detachment and indifference towards the childhood, which could be explained by the low life expectancy (14 years of age at that time), and the high child mortality (50% died before completing 7 years of age).
Above the cabin boys were the pageboys, who did a lighter job, close to the officials. Cabin boys and pageboys were victims of sexual violence, whereby prostitution was a means of obtaining protection (even though sodomy was a punishable offence). The cabin boys often ended up perishing after the violence committed by the sailors, many of which were boarded in exchange for the penalty of a crime they had committed in the kingdom. The cabin boys were also subjected to whiplashes and could be clung onto iron (chained in the basement).
The “orphans of the King” also boarded. They were intensively monitored, as they had to get to the colony as virgins in order to get married. Some settlers and their kids benefited from the privileges of the ships, since they were seen as passengers. Around 20% of the ships sank and, in case the French or the Dutch robbed them, the adults were murdered and the children enslaved. In the wreck, each one was responsible for their own safety and the children were forgotten.
The Portuguese occupation until the 18c mainly took place on the coastal region, which enabled an easy communication with the Metropolis. The trade; which was mainly carried out in the triangle of Europe, the African coast and the Brazilian coast; was also facilitated by the strategic coastal occupation of Brazil. The raids, which took place in the countryside, aimed at capturing Indians, “drugs of the hinterlands” (clove, guarana, cocoa, and urucum), gold and precious gems. The real occupation of the hinterland took place only in the early 18c with the discovery of gold.
There were not many options for the first Portuguese who got here: they could only adapt what nature was offering them to the habits brought in from the Kingdom. Thus, cassava, corn and meat of hunted animals substituted the bread, the oats porridge and the pork consumed in Portugal. The wine, expensive beverage due to importation, was substituted by cachaça. The manners were also ruder. There were no cutleries and one would eat with their hands. Knives were seen as weapons or tools to open ground in the woods.
The relationship between the settlers and the native population varied from place to place. On the coast of São Vicente, for instance, the tupinambás were trading partners of the Portuguese, even though the latter also captured the first. The bandeiras were expeditions that explored the inlands to capture wild Indians and force them into slavery. Jesuits, however, used catechesis as means of convincing the children to live in schools, where they learnt agricultural techniques alongside with formal education. Indian children and adolescents, already softened by catechism, were sometimes used as helpers of settlers in small services.
The villages that had a priest of another churchman had them as authority and representative of the Holy Faith, the Vatican. He imposed a moral surveillance and monitored by the canon of Catholicism using catechesis and the curbs on practices considered as witchcraft.
The colonial towns were organised around the square where a chapel/church was to be found. It was a space that gathered the religious and commercial functions. In theses spaces, parties were thrown and processions were carried out (for instance Corpus Christi, the visitation of Saint Isabel).
The first houses built by settlers were too simple. They were made of wood built on stilts, a rudimentary technique learnt from the Indians. It was a structure, which consisted of twigs and trunks filled with clay. The windows were small to pre-empt the entrance of insects and other animals. It was a common practice to sleep in hammocks, which were deemed safer than mats.
During the labour, it was common for people to have an image of Our Lady of the “O”, or Our Lady of the Good Birth. The worship to Our Lady of the “O” dates back to the 12th and 13th century in the Iberian Peninsula, which praises the birth of Jesus Boy. The image of Our Lady of “O” shows her with the palm of her left hand lying on her increased womb at the final stage of pregnancy. The right hand may also appear symmetric to the other, but lifted. Images like that are to be found with the hands holding an open book or a fountain, both symbolising the spring of life. In Portugal, such images used to be carved in stone and in Brazil, in wood or clay.
The belly of the parturient was covered with relics and colourful threads to facilitate the birth. The relics were objects taken as sacred, holding miraculous powers because they belonged to a saint. So, supposed thorns on Christ’s crown, pieces of the arrow that killed Saint Sebastian, a piece of Virgin Mary’s mantle and a piece of the cross were traded and used in all sorts of rituals for protection, such as in the case of the birth.
In the first centuries of Portuguese colonization, like Portugal, there were barely any doctors in Brazil. The knowledge of birth care was shared amongst women and concealed from men. Midwives watched the women at the birth of their children by saying prayers and making rituals. The parturient could be standing, squatting (like the Indians) or lying on the mat. From the 18th century onwards, with the opulence brought in with the discovery of gold, birthing chairs became popular. The hygiene conditions were precarious. The birth used to be carried out at the homes, which, usually had dirt floors.
Chicken broth, cachaça and wine were offered to the parturient by means of alleviating the pains.
Also, by means of alleviating the pain and facilitating the birth, a liver of a freshly slaughtered chicken was tied to the parturient’s left leg.
In order to facilitate the baby’s exit, the mother’s genitals were lubricated with fat, lily or olive oil.
Chapter 2
Brazil, 17th Century
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The main target of the missionary action of the Jesuits was the indigenous child, considered pure and more receptive to the gospel.
One of the strategies utilised to attract them was the promotion of processions in the forests that had other children dressed as little angels. In the first decades of colonisation it was common for these children to be orphans of Portuguese who boarded on the ships. Little “civilised” Indians also participated in the ritual.
It was common for the Indians to give their children to the churchmen, in an act that symbolised reciprocal trust. Thus, they formed an alliance that was useful especially when other settlers (for instance the French and the Dutch) attacked the religious men.
The Bandeirantes (17th-century Portuguese settlers in Brazil and fortune hunters), concentrated especially in Saint Vincent Captaincy, explored a great deal of the Brazilian backwoods in search for gold, precious gems, the so-called drugs of the backwoods (cocoa, pau-cravo - Dicypellium caryophyllaceum, vanilla, guarana, urucum - Bixa orellana, Brazil nuts) and slaves. At this point, they placed themselves against the Jesuits.
The priests were against the enslavement of Indians because they understood that their mission was to convert them to Christianity. The Bandeirantes had a commercial interest in the natives. Due to these divergent interests, it was very common to exist a clash between these two groups.
“Paulista” was the most common term used to refer to the Bandeirantes during the seventeenth century, since a great number of them departed from the Village of Sao Paulo of Piratininga, where the city of Sao Paulo is today. The expression “Bandeirante”, relating to participant of a bandeira (expedition) is not colonial. The term was inserted in the dictionary in the nineteenth century, which suggests that it was not usual before that.
The Portuguese presence did not only bring in the language, the religion and the commercial capitalism. It also brought in a series of diseases against which the native had no immunity. Whole tribes perished under flu and syphilis.
The Boys Confraternities composed the proposal by Father Manoel da Nóbrega to implement the gospel and it is also the genesis of the educational institutions in Brazil. Their intention was to convert Indians and the children of Indians and Portuguese as they were deemed a white canvas ready for conversion. The church, sacristy, study (where reading writing and grammar were taught), dormitory, storage room and canteen composed the houses. The extermination of the native population, the boundaries of the Indians submission (who were initially nomads and as they grew they left behind what they had learnt) and the consolidation of the Portuguese colonisation was accompanied by the substitution of the Houses by the schools made for the white ones, who started to form the Colonial Elite serving the power and the authority.
The Society of Jesus opted for catechising the children because they were considered tamer than the adults and a shift of mentality started taking place in Europe, according to which the children were seen as pure following the example of Jesus boy.
Among the Catholics, it was common to give names of saints of the day to children and places. The choice of the name could also be associated to a sacred episode, for instance the Village of Sao Paulo of Piratininga (today the city of Sao Paulo) received this name because the Jesuits founded their school on the date that commemorates the conversion of Paul the Apostle to Christianity, on 25 January 1554.
The children ended up becoming a means for the spread of the values of the settlers, because they oppressed their parents and ended up contributing to the extinction of the four habits considered condemnable by the church: the anthropophagy, polygamy, the Shamanism and the nudity.
One of the characteristics of the Society of Jesus was to prioritise the teaching as a means of converting the Indians. The educational premises of the Jesuits were systematised in the sixteenth century in a document called Ratio Stuiorum. This pedagogical theory sees the individual as a white canvas and believes that the learning takes place through memorisation. They used theatre with texts that depicted the lives of saints and biblical episodes.
In the daily life, the churchmen sought to treat the little ones well so as to guarantee that possible reprimands were taken to the settlers, making the trust between settlers and children untouched.
Death was part of the daily lives of the settlers. Around half of the children died before they completed one year of age. It was common for the women, when asked about how many children they had, to refer to them as “three boys, two girls and three little angels” for instance.
The costume maintained that the dead should be buried in a Holy Field, together with the churches. The richest were buried inside them. The preparation of the body, which was carried out by the women of the family, as well as the wake, took place at the house of the deceased. Flowers were placed at the entrance of the house indicating the passing. The presence of mourners – women who were paid to cry for the deceased – was habitual. Instruments such as the cadence drums accompanied the cortège. The death of a child, of a little angel, as it was said at that time, involved less commotion. As such event was a common ground, there was a feeling of detachment until (or if) the baby turned into a child.
Chapter 3
Brazil, 18th Century
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The baby hatches arose in Europe, in the 15th Century. In Brazil, the first hatches were installed in the 17th Century in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. The last operating wheel was deactivated in 1950, Sao Paulo.
The hatches resembled open barrels on one side, which spun around their own axis. This allowed the child to be left there outside the church or the Holy House and to be introduced into the church as the hatch spun. A handbell would announce the abandonment. Volunteers who firstly verified if the child had been baptised would then shelter them. In case it had not happened, a sacrament would be provided.
Children from extramarital relationships, single mothers, families with very little financial means were handed over to the Mercies in the hatches.
In a society, in which the church had monopoly over the written language, it was rare for the abandoned child to have a note with them. When this happened, the welfare of the baby was asked for. Their names were informed in the hope that he or she might be found in the future.

Handnote:"This boy is about to be baptised. He was born on 7 January 17..."
Chances of survival of a repaired child were slim. When this happened, the Brotherhoods of Mercy delivered these children for families to foster in exchange of a payment.
In the rule, this strategy lasted until the child reached seven years of age. Afterwards, the child performed small tasks in exchange for home and food.
The Confraternities served the poor people, the sick, the incarcerated, the madmen, the abandoned children, the invalid, the poor widows and the dead without casket. As for the abandoned children, due to the religious character of the Confraternities, baptism was prioritised. Thus, they imagined the entrance of the child into heaven was guaranteed.
Colonial villages and cities did not count on services considered essential today such as sanitation and trash collection. The trash was thrown into street in great amounts. Slaves especially trained to perform this work transported the trash, which was deposited in rivers, the sea or scrubland.
It was a common practice that some children would make it to the Mercy Houses. They were abandoned in the streets or in ditches. They would often starve to death, die of sickness or even devoured by animals.
Chapter 4
Brazil, 19th Century
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The urban houses in the 19th century bordered the streets, with no frontal or side retreat. At the back, a vegetable garden, a garden and an orchard were to be found in the free space. On the ground floor of the two-storey houses there were trade and services activities, the dwelling was on the second floor.
It was only at the end of the century that the front gardens and the side retreats started to become more common due to the influence of the European architecture that sought more privacy to their indwellers.
According to reports from various European travellers who ventured in the 19th century in Brazil, enslaved children would receive the same punishment as that of the adults.
Whips, ferules, trunks and tin masks were the most common torture forms aiming at, on one hand, punishing unruly slaves and, on the other hand, restraining new similar initiatives.
The act of manumitting (liberating slaves) intensified during the 19th century. On the one hand there was the British pressure against slavery, on the other there was fear that the slaves in Brazil would rebel such as they did in Haiti, where a revolution took place the led the richest French colony to independence. Freedom could be given by means of a testament from the owner (so as to compensate a loyal slave or to express the Christian faith) to grant positive incentives to specialized workers or, too, by self-procurement.
The Brazil of the 19th century is an independent country and the only monarchy of the Americas. Since the transference of the royal Portuguese family in 1808, there is a real obsession with civilizing the nation by means of imitating European habits. Rio de Janeiro, municipality of the court, undergoes an intense urbanization process. Other cities follow suit.
Theatres, libraries, museums, colleges are created to form and civilize the national elite, which allowed for the rise of a literate and abolitionist middle class.
Before the independence, there was no college in Brazil. The first are created in 1820’s, which limited the access to the title of bachelor to a the lowermost part of the elite. However, there was the so-called practical education, which was acquired through self-education. “Rábulas" - lawyers without a bachelor’s title - acted upon authorisation by the Judiciary Power and were only able to act at the Court of First Instance. Luiz Gama was a famous black and militant rábula and abolitionist. He was also responsible for the manumission of over 500 slaves.
The 19th century is marked by the discussion on the evils of slavery. On the international field, Great Britain had been putting a big pressure against slavery since the independence. As a result, there was a gradual abolition process, having the Free Womb Law (also know as the Rio Branco Law, author of the bill) as one of its highlights. The law came into force in 28 September 1871, imposing the enslavers an eight-year period to adapt to it.
From 1879 onwards, the lords could either become tutors of the naïves - sons of slaves mothers who were free after the law - until turning eight years of age, or they could deliver the children to the care of the state upon indemnity. Only 0.1% were delivered to the state. It is said that this low index may be explained due to the impact that the separation of the children from their mothers could have on the slave quarters (was it a victory for the slave women?). Up until eight years of age, the tutored naïves were not allowed to perform any sort of job. From then on, they were allowed to work in exchange for shelter and food until turning 21.
The article “Cenas de uma vida ingênua: escravidão e infância em Uberaba (1871-1888) -Scenes of a naïve’s life: slavery and childhood in Uberaba (1871-1888)” by Júlio Cesar de Souza, Renata de Oliveira and Sandra Mara Dantas, brings back the files of a case involving the girl Alexandrina from Uberaba, Minas Gerais. In 1881, she denounces her mother’s lord for mistreatment to the police. Both she and her mother alleged that the aggression happened because she had swept a house courtyard, but the wind had blown it away, making a mess again. The lady and her son, accused of aggression, alleged that the girl had stolen money.
The process makes an imprecise register that the girl "was between seven and eight years old”. One tends to think that this was a strategy of the police to declare the owners innocent of the responsibility of illegally exploiting a naïve child. Had Alexandrina been under eight years of age, according the Free Womb Law, she would not be allowed to perform any sort of activity.
Enslaved women would give up defence mechanisms in order to try and free their children from the same luck as theirs. Abortions and infanticides were very common. In the end, the abandonment at baby batches was an alternative. The birth rate was not high as the Africans who were brought over to Brazil were male in their majority.
Slaves were regarded as things, that is, there was no consideration as to them being people with will. Children born before the Free Womb Law received the same treatment as the adults, in other words, should they behave insubordinately, they would be punished equally. It was also expected from them the same loyalty, obedience and commitment to work as that of an adult.
The majority of the so-called naïve children - born after the Free Womb Law came into power in 28 September 1871 - remained under their mother’s owner’s custody. Thus, the naïves stayed until they reached 21 years of age. They were also not allowed to work until turning eight. After this age, the master could request that the child work in exchange for money and shelter, which, in practice, suggests the continuation of slavery.
When a child was born slave, it was common for the mother to squeeze the nose of her recently born baby to make it more similar to that of a white person, it is, more beautiful. The mother would drink an infusion of leaves and this same infusion would be used to wet cloths, in which the babies were wrapped up, so as to avoid the evil eye. Macerated leaves were applied on top of the navel.
According to the guidelines of Public International Law (Bangkok Rules, discussed at 65th United Nations General Assembly) and the Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente (The Constitution of the Child and the Adolescent), the female convict has the right to have good conditions to give birth, as well as both medical and psychological support. The National Prison Department must also guarantee good conditions for the mother to breastfeed her child with dignity.
Chapter 5
Brazil, 20th Century
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On 22 August 1942, Brazil broke its diplomatic relations with Italy and Germany, leaving behind a long period of neutrality. This decision was encouraged by the Germans sinking Brazilian merchant ships as well as by the pressure made by United Sates and the interest of establishing a technological and military cooperation with them. The Brazilian Expeditionary Force was created on 9 August 1943 and a few more than 25,000 men were deployed to Italy to join the troops of the United States Army North. The objective was to stop the Germans from advancing through France. This mission was accomplished successfully. In this conflict, 454 Brazilian troops died and their bodies were buried at the Pistoia Cemetery, Italy. In 1960, they were transferred to Rio de Janeiro, where the National Monument for the Descended in the Second World War was inaugurated, in Flamengo Park.
The news stamped in this Newspaper is a reproduction of the Diário Carioca front page, on 23 August 1942. Due to the narrative created for this chapter, the headline date was altered to the 24, a Monday, a normal working day. We thank the reader, Cristiano Carneiro for helping us to find this headline.
It was common for the children and teenagers to work in the streets and do informal jobs. In the markets, they would normally accompany their parents. They would work alone as newsboys and shoeshine boys, remaining on margins of society. The authorities worried about the proneness that such activities had to crime. This led them to create measures of social assistance such as the Casa do Pequeno Jornaleiro - House of the Little Newsboy - linked to Darcy Vargas Foundation in September 1940. The wife of the then president Getulio Vargas became a strong protagonist in philanthropy by using her prestige as first lady to support the boys who frequented the house in a boarding school regime. These boys would only leave the institution at the time to sell newspapers.
Some days after finishing the script of this chapter, in an informal chat, the author found out that his father had been a newsboy in the beginning of the 1940s. With around 13 years of age, he lived alone in the city of São Paulo, paying a room in a guesthouse with the money he received from the sales of the newspapers. In his own words: “I'd roll it with a strip and take it under my arms. I’d sell it on the tram. I’d hang on the outside so as not to have to pay for the fare. The people would pick it (the newspaper) up and pay with a coin. Then I’d jump out and would catch another tram.” His father also sold vegetables at a street stand and worked as shoeshine boy, according to him: “It was what gave me money, because in those days there was no snickers."
The first printed papers became the first means of mass communication, still in the nineteenth century, giving rise to the newsboy profession: they were usually boys, who would make themselves available to sleep in the streets to pick up the first samples for resale. In Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro, this function was initially done by slaves and former adult slaves, then they were substituted by children and teenagers as the twentieth century began. These boys were subjected to many dangers such as infectious diseases, physical assaults due to the dispute for room for work as well as accidents with trams as a great deal of the sales were made during the trips. Besides, it was common for the little newsboys to be seen as troublemakers or outcasts since they lived in the streets down-and-out.
To go every week to the cinema was a great happening. It was common for people to dress up to go to the movies to watch both the film and other people and to be seen. Tickets were cheap, allowing the access to the movie theatres to be democratic. Hollywood stars were objects of reverence and set the example to be followed by a still incipient consumerist society.
Cleaning, kitchen, manufacturing of delicate artifacts such as fabrics, ribbons, biscuits and pastas, commerce and general services were intended to poor women.
The first Brazilian factories in the textile and food industry were created in the twentieth century, employing capital and labour mostly from Europe (Italians, Germans, Portuguese and Spanish). The two world wars sparked the creation of a domestic industry in order to replace the suspended importations. Thus, fields such as foundry and steel mill became important on a national level.
Child labour was a common subject for debates since the end of the nineteenth century. Discussions alternated between the prohibition (so as to prioritize the schooling process) and the creation of laws. In the latter case, it was seen as educational element, creator and rehabilitating, an alternative to laziness. It was common for children to be chosen to do functions of precision and fineness, such as the cleansing of the machinery. Their small hands were considered ideal to this function, increasing the risk of accidents, which resulted in amputations and deaths. After the Consolidação da Lei do Trabalho (Consolidation of Labour Law) - CLT - came into force in 1943, only those above 14 of age were allowed to work. However, it was common for younger children to work without registration.
Getulio Vargas was the president of Brazil in two periods (from 1930 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1954). Between 1930 and 1945, he was the chief of the provisional government (from 1930 to 1934), after having led the revolution that preempted Julio Prestes to come into power; who was the president elected constitutionally by the National Constituent Assembly, between 1934 and 1937. After the coup-d’état, he initiated the government called The Vargas Era and remained in power until 1935. Aligning the then totalitarian ideas, he persecuted opponents, implemented nationalist policies and received the necessary support from the then called “workers of Brazil”. Also called “the father of the poor”, he imposed a labour legislation that, on the one hand, granted right and, on the other, forced the unions to remain under the state’s guardianship. As long as it was possible, he stayed neutral in the Second World War because the country had equal relations with both United States and Germany.
The Second World War opposed the so-called Axis power (Germany, Italy and Japan) to the Allied powers (USA, Russia and France).
With the war being declared, the Brazilian nationalism became even stronger. Manifestations in foreign language, especially in German and Italian, were forbidden. It was problematic, especially in the south of Brazil, which had been colonized by German and Italian immigrants since the nineteenth century. Many immigrants and descendants were arrested and persecuted. Schools kept by such communities were closed down due to the lack of teachers who spoke Portuguese.
The war changed the profile of the industry and the consumerism in the country as the European industry was paralyzed due to the conflict. Thus, sectors such as metallurgy, steel mill and ceramic received great impulse.
The North American movie “Roxie Heart, debuted in Brazilian theatres in 1942 and was on in the period when this comics is set. Ginger Rogers was a sex symbol of that time.
In the beginning of the twentieth century, two novelties incremented the urban landscape: the car and the electric tram. Cars were exclusive for the rich. The tram, a public transportation, on the other hand, was a permanent source of accidents. Soon, the publicity and the newsboys found out that the trams were an excellent spot for newspapers sales and for publicity.
The movie "Alô Amigos" was release in Brazil in august 24th of 1942, and it was the first movie from Walt Disney studios that was set outside the United States. With the length of 42 minutes, it is composed by four animations, each representing a country: “Lago Titicaca" (Peru), “Pedro”(Chile), “El Gaucho Goofy” (Argentina) and "Aquarela do Brasil” (Brazil), which introduced the parrot Joe Carioca. Coincidentally or not, Brazil declares war against Germany on the eve of the film release. Joe Carioca would be back on the screens in the feature film The Three Caballeros. He became popular in the comics produced in Brazil as well as in the Netherlands. He was, however, little known worldwide.
Chapter 6
Brazil, 21th Century
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The so-called trash collectors do a job considered unhealthy as they are forced to share space with the cars in the main urban centres, carry great amount of solid recyclable residuals as well as expose themselves to contaminated and sharp materials. There are many trash collectors corporations, which guarantees wages and labour rights. However, the percentage of those who work in complete irregularity is large. These workers take their children with them to work, which, according to Statute for Child and Teenager, is an illegal practice as it exposes the child to degrading conditions.
Filmed in the course of two years (August 2007 and May 2009), the documentary “Lixo Extraordinário - Extraordinary Trash” (Brazil, 2010. Directed by Lucy Walker) follows the work of plastic artist Vik Muniz in one of the largest landfills in the world: Jardim Gramacho, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There, the photographs a group of recyclable trash collectors aiming at portraying them. However, the work with these characters reveals the dignity and the despair that they face when asked to imagine their lives outside that environment.
The so-called “baby shower” is a gathering of the pregnant woman’s friends in an afternoon tea to give presents to the baby. It is very common for the families to ask for disposable diapers in the invitations.
Among Brazilian middle class families there are a series of rituals involving the pregnancy, which, in turn, are connected to consumerism habits. Those who can, travel to Miami (USA) to buy clothes and other utensils needed for the care of the baby at prices lower than those in Brazil. Those who cannot afford such luxuries, mime them by adapting their budgets.
There are photographers that specialise in photo-shooting pregnant women, a market niche. It is common for the couples to order a beautiful album with the best pictures.
The baby room is conceived almost entirely as a sanctuary, in which the child will be sheltered and looked-after. Everything is thought over to allow the parents and/or the babysitter to do their job as well as to impress the many visits the newborn will receive.
In October, 2015, a similar case of child abandonment was registered in Higienópolis, a district of São Paulo. It is a case that exposes the permanence of the slavery relationship between employers and maids. The woman was identified because in the street where she resides, in the house of her employers, there are many CCTV cameras that were able to register the whole unfolding of this abandonment.
The architecture of middle and high class houses and apartments reinforces the dichotomy boss-maid, a permanence of the relationship masters-slaves. It is common for the maids, migrants in their majority, to sleep in tiny rooms in an annex to the utility area in the house of their bosses. The maids represent the intersection of three variables of the exclusion in Brazil: women, black and poor.
In the real case there was a similar reaction. It is a proof of a society that doubly punishes the woman: first, for not allowing her to undergo abortion, and then, for abandoning a child who had not been planned since there is no policy for anonymous adoption of newborns. This fact makes us draw the conclusion that baby hatches did have their dignity.
56% of births in Brazil are carried out via surgery, it may be the largest in the world. Among those who have health plan, this rate rises to almost 85%, well above the 10% recommended by the WHO. On the one hand, many women fear the painful natural birth. On the other, there is great resistance from health professionals, who prefer the convenience of the booked surgery, which allows them to be free from the obligation of being always available to maternities and parturients.
When caesarean birth is chosen, the birthdate is another item to the list of choices the parents have to make.
The obsession for registering the child’s birth ends up transforming the surgical centres and maternities into real TV and photography studios.
According to data of the last census carried out by Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in 2010, Brazil has nearly 900 thousand indians in a population of a little over 200 million inhabitants. These indians are distributed in 305 ethnicities and speak 274 different languages. The vast majority is located in the north of the country (around 30%) and only 36% live in the cities. More than 35% of these indians are below 14 years of age.
The indigenous groups are seen as exception in big cities as 63% of them live in the countryside. The country has 505 indigenous territories, which occupy 12,5% of the national territory.
There is a very controversial issue portrayed here. On the one hand, the child has the right to stay with the mother. In order to do so, the law says that prisons must be equipped to accommodate the child from six months the least up to 7 years of age. However, the child has the right to live in the community, which is incompatible with life in prison.