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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


RUOTTI, Caren; FREITAS, Taís Viudes de; ALMEIDA, Juliana Feliciano de  and  PERES, Maria Fernanda Tourinho. Gross violation of human rights and inequality in city of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.3, pp.533-540.  Epub Apr 17, 2009. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE:To analyze the profile of gross human rights violations, and the relationship between these violations and socioeconomic and demographic indicators. METHODS:Cross-sectional ecological study of 96 census districts of the city of São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil) in the year 2000. The data used came from the gross human rights violations database maintained by the Núcleo de Estudos de Violência (Center for the Study of Violence) at the Universidade de São Paulo. This database contains information on all the cases of summary executions, lynching and police violence reported on the written press. Socioeconomic and demographic data were obtained from the 2000 Census carried out by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). A descriptive analysis of the data was carried out, and the association between the dependent variable - gross human rights violations (number of police violence victims, lynching episodes and summary executions) -, and different socioeconomic and demographic variables was tested. In order to test this association the Spearman's correlation test was used. RESULTS: The correlations between gross human rights violations and the socioeconomic and demographic indicators were statistically significant, except for the urbanization rate and the hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants. The strongest correlations were found between the dependent variable and the following variables: size of the resident population (r=0,693), proportion of youths aged from 15 to 24 years (r=0,621), and proportion of household heads with no education or with up to three years of schooling (r=0,590). CONCLUSIONS: Gross human rights violations more markedly occur in the population with the worst living conditions. Therefore, in a scenario in which inequality in attaining social and economic rights is directly superposed to the violation of civil rights, the violence cycle is intensified and perpetuated.

Keywords : Human Rights; Human Rights Abuses; Violence; Socioeconomic Factors; Social Inequity; Ecological Studies.

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