Group of Women Family Members of Adolescents Confined in Youth Detention Centers

Through the paths walked by Luisa Mahin: the self-organization of female families and relatives of adolescents confined in youth detention centers in Fortaleza / CE


Objectives and target audience

Strengthen the autonomy of women defending their rights and the rights of adolescents confined in youth detention centers through political education, community mobilization and the establishment of channels for dialogue and reporting of daily violations.

Main activities

Group of Women Family Members of Adolescents Confined in Youth Detention Centers

Organization of meetings in two regions of Fortaleza.

Meetings aiming at the exchange of information between women who experience different organizational processes. The aim is to promote exchanges and facilitate the sharing of experiences on ways to resist rights violations.

Construction of agendas that could be integrated with the ones of the feminist movement.


The socio-educational system in Ceará is experiencing a serious crisis in recent years, which pushes it away from the legal and pedagogical parameters expressed on ECA, on the SINASE Law (Law 12,594 / 2012) and in the international standards that deal with the human rights of children and adolescents. In 2015, for example, over 60 rebellions, riots and conflictual episodes involving units in Fortaleza were registered. The crisis and repeated rebellions,  characterized by allegations of torture and ill-treatment suffered by the adolescents, the overcrowding (which reached the percentage of 400% in some of units), the general lack of basic supplies such as mattresses, towels and sheets, restriction on the access to water and the right to visits, besides the lack of systematic education and vocational training, cultural, sports and leisure activities, among other human rights violations. As the maximum expression of the collapse of the socio-educational system in Ceará, on November 6, 2015 the adolescent Márcio Ferreira do Nascimento died, victim of gunfire while confined in a youth detention center. Despite the granting of precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to be adopted by the Brazilian State in the socio-educational system in Ceará, the scenario remains daunting.

The mobilization of families, which began in 2013, revealed that women, whether mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters or companions of the adolescents, are those that play a greater incidence in the daily life of the units. In addition to the violations in the socio-educational system experienced by adolescents, the members of this group are mainly Black women in difficult economic situation, who are the solely responsible for the livelihood of their families. They suffer prejudiced and discrimination due to the law infraction attributed to their children or relatives.

About the organization

Since September 2013, women family members and relatives of adolescents in compliance with socio-educational measures have been meeting to discuss a proposal elaborated by the Center for the Defense of Children and Adolescents (CedecaA Ceará) and the Pastoral do Menor. The aim is to strengthening the fight against violations of rights of adolescents confined in youth detention centers in Ceará. The first meetings were focused on discussions about the reality lived by these families, focusing on their rights and on the rights of the adolescents. In 2014, the meetings prioritized dialogue with the Public Defender, the Public Ministry and the judiciary, as well as with civil society. In 2015, the self-organization of women was encouraged with the inclusion of INEGRA – Black Women Institute of Ceará in the project. Mobilization and dissemination activities were conducted in the units, as well as the launch of a handbook on the system published by Ceará CEDECA in two units. In 2014 and 2015, members of the group took part in national meetings on the rights of children and adolescents in Brasilia.


Cedeca Ceará.
Permanent Forum of NGO's for the Defense of the Rights of Children and Adolescents - Ceará (DCA Forum).
INEGRA - Black Women Institute of Ceará
Women Forum of Ceará (FCM).

Funding Line

Annual Call for Proposals



Total Granted

R$ 40,000.00


12 months

Main Themes

The rights of children and adolescents

Help transform Brazil!
Colaborate with our work!



Get to know the projects we support