Improving the health status of Indigenous children has been a priority in the political agenda of many governments worldwide. Several United Nations human rights treaty bodies have addressed the situation of Indigenous children. However, the right to health specifically addressing Indigenous children is only contemplated by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its General Comment No. 11 (2009). The General Comment referred to the need by State parties to consider the application of special measures in order to ensure that Indigenous children have access to culturally appropriate services in the area of health. It is particularly important the interpretation of the Committee of the General Principles of the Convention with regards to Indigenous children, which clearly serves as basis in the identification of human rights interventions with an impact in health.
This presentation aims at addressing the need to contemplate the health of Indigenous children from the social, cultural and historic contexts in which it takes place. In this regard, successful health programs will take into account a community perspective broad enough to address both the needs of children as well as the local worlds in which they live.
This presentation will assess specific health interventions addressing Indigenous children in Brazil and their impacts, contemplated from a human rights perspective. In particular, this presentation will evaluate the impact of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) in the country towards the reduction of Indigenous child mortality. Other interventions that will be reviewed during this presentation include food security and immunisation for Indigenous children in Brazil. Very important advances from a human rights perspective have been done in the country in the field of Indigenous children and immunisation. Among the actions developed by the districts for health promotion and prevention and control of diseases, immunisation constitutes one of the priorities. Taking into account the vulnerable conditions in which many Indigenous children live and with the aim of promoting greater protection of this group, the Ministry of Health established the National Indigenous Calendar for Immunisation, which provides the application of a greater number of vaccines at different ages among the general population.