Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2019
The rights of children and adolescents are not guaranteed or respected as planned and prescribed in the legal system of Brazil. In particular, prevention policies fail. Among these, in places frequented by both children and adults, nothing ensures a friendly environment for youth development. Both children and adults in Brazil, as elsewhere, share almost the same public space and have access to the same content on the internet. This communal atmosphere should be considered in light of the best interests of the child.
Allowing a child to be brought up in a permissive and consumerist environment, which may doubtless be less offensive to adults, is to encourage them to become comfortable with related values. Growing up in such an environment, he or she may easily become familiar with ‘adult behaviour’, especially as it refers to sexual activity. The child tends to adhere to adult behaviour, because he or she uses it as a model and learns from it by sensory stimulation and imitation. Behaviour, publicity and situations with undercurrents of sexuality make it easier for the child to become comfortable with sensuality, facilitating sexual exploitation, since it does not seem so foreign. That would go against public policies of protection vis-a-vis TV programming and forbidding access to places inappropriate to the child's development. Precedence must be given to the best interests of the child, along with absolute attention and priority and effective complete protection through involvement of civil society and the state in order to prepare the joint environment to protect future interests. This requires adult content restrictions in the living environment of children and adolescents.
For better structuring this perspective of prevention, this chapter will defend the legal development of the concept of ‘goods of formation’ or ‘formative goods’, without which full protection derails into innocuous black letter law. Such goods should have priority over others in the social environment, when different interests co-exist in competing for what is best for the child. Formative goods are guaranteed if the environment where children dwell stays safe from the moral perspective appropriate for them.