Traditional People Emancipation and Post-colonialism. Limits for Human Rights Relativism Effectiveness in Brazil

Prof. Ricardo Falbo
Dr. Monique Falcão

According to ILO 169 Convention, 88’s Brazilian Constitution recognized, for the first time, specific civil and cultural rights for “ex-slaves descendants communities” and redefined “indigenous peoples” juridical concept. Those are the two most significant Brazilian ethnic minorities, both remaining from Portuguese colonial time.

Both current legal regime of identification and recognition for “ex-slaves descendants communities” and “indigenous people” are based on post-colonial epistemology and on critical anthropological methodology, developed under Brazilian historical and social specificities, since XX century. However, those legal-technique criteria contradicts real-state, farming and industries market’s and also economic, political and governmental interests.

The aim of this work is to reveal material limits for effectiveness of human right’s relativist conception on current Brazilian political specificities. Mostly when relativist public policies intend to protect specificities of vulnerable minorities groups, a critical analysis of boundaries between i) historical colonial and current post-colonial official definitions of Subject of rights, from one side, and ii) a contemporary universalist meaning required by current economic and politic power agents allows to rethink political and legal strategies for minorities inclusion, recognition and protection.
For this work we present conceptual aspects on legal, academic and jurisprudence scenario, to reveal its traditional people as subject of human rights in a relativist current official legal regime. For this, it’s necessary, as preliminary part, to describe which rights were and are guarantee during its juridical, political and social historical trajectory in Brazil.
As legal scenario, a brief revision of main legal sources is presented to reveal main historical legal aspects for each of those categories. As academic scenario, a brief bibliographic revision were made to present the main theoretical-methodological used to characterize academically its groups. As jurisprudence scenario main epistemological foundations from Brazilian Supreme Court are presented to reveal law enforcement criteria. All those sources reveal current post-colonial aspects as foundation for relativism and multicultural policies for emancipation of those traditional people as Human Rights effectiveness.
However, as social scenario, main social and economic conflicts after 88’s Constitution are presented to reveal boundaries and limits of Human Rights effectiveness between i) legal – academic – jurisprudence scenario and ii) social reality.