Por Adriana Amâncio
It is becoming increasingly common to hear people talk about rights. Expressions like: "You do not have the right to do this to me!", "I have the right to be happy", "We have the right to come and go freely," are much more common in our day-to-day lives. To live this reality is a great achievement. For, you know that centuries ago slavery and all the mistreatment that afro-descendants were submitted to were seen as normal. The sexual abuse practised on children and adolescents caused indignation to some people, but that was all! If today we have a public health service even though it is precarious, just think that the service was restricted to those enrolled in the defunct National Institute of Medical Care and Social Security (Inamps). Those who did not contribute to Social Security were considered indigent and therefore, had no access to the public health service.
Currently, such situations only cause anger and are worthy of punishment because the health services and the care of children and youth are considered human rights, that is, rights essential for a full life. These rights exist so that a person does not receive treatment that is based on his/her skin colour, on where he/she lives, on financial conditions and other differences. When respected, human rights ensure that people are equal despite their differences.
Contributing to the defence of these rights has given meaning to the existence of Diaconia for the past forty-five years. With this to guide it, Diaconia has been working in urban and rural areas of three north-eastern states: Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará. The Organisation exists because it does not accept the poverty of the rural families in the Semiarid Region, and because it believes everyone in the Region has the right to clean water and food the whole year long.
Diaconia is outraged by the abandonment and neglect experienced by thousands of children in Brazil, and especially in the Northeast, victims of hunger, infant mortality and various forms of violence. In this sense, the Organisation exists because it believes children must be treated as a priority by their families, by Society and by the State. Disgusted with the prejudice against people living with HIV and their difficulty in accessing information so as to take the necessary measures against this virus, defends the right to a quality life for serum-positive people, as well as suitable conditions for the prevention of HIV. One definition of right is: all that is correct, is just. If each person should be entitled to a full life, everything that threatens this, is not right, is unjust. When there is no water in your tap for days; when you are unable to get your child attended to by a healthcare agent, or even when you have no place to live in, your rights are being denied and the State is in debt to you. For that reason, you should do all you can to gain your civil rights. For that reason, Diaconia is on your side!