Brazil has made concrete its commitment to the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the creation of a number of State Programmes of Action. This ‘decentralised’ strategy marks an unprecedented step in a country with a strong tradition of ‘top-down’ federal thinking and limited experience of participatory planning. This paper examines the impact this novel approach has had upon the situation of children and adolescents. Recent achievements include the eradication of polio, a significant reduction in the incidence of measles and neonatal tetanus and an improvement in the management of public schools.
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