Brazil 1988 Constitution (reviewed 2017)

Table of Contents



Article 193

The social order shall be founded on the primacy of labor and aimed at social well-being and justice.


SECTION I. General Provisions

Article 194

Social security consists of an integrated group of actions initiated by the Government and society, designed to assure rights relating to health, social security and social assistance.

Sole Paragraph

It is the responsibility of the Government, as provided by law, to organize social security, based on the following objectives:

  1. universality of coverage and attendance;
  2. uniformity and equivalence of benefits and services for urban and rural populations;
  3. selectivity and distribution in the provision of benefits and services;
  4. irreducibility of the value of the benefits;
  5. equitable participation in funding;
  6. diversity in the basis of financing;
  7. democratic and decentralized character of administration, through four-part management, with participation of workers, employers, retirees and the Government through its collegial agencies.

Article 195

Social security shall be financed by the entire society, directly and indirectly, as provided by law, through funds derived from the budgets of the Union, States, Federal District, and Counties and from the following social contributions:

  1. from employers, firms and equivalent entities, as provided by law, incident upon:
    1. payrolls for wages and other earnings from work paid or credited, in whatever form, to individuals who render services to them, regardless of whether there is an employment link;
    2. receipts or invoices;
    3. profits;
  2. from workers, and other persons insured by social security, but not imposed upon the contribution for retirement benefits and pensions conceded under the general social security regime dealt with in art. 201;
  3. from lottery revenues;
  4. from the importer of foreign goods and services, or from a person whom the law deems equivalent thereto.
  1. The revenues of the States, Federal District and Counties intended for social security shall be included in their respective budgets and shall not be part of the Union’s budget.
  2. The proposal for the social security budget shall be prepared jointly by the agencies responsible for health, social security and social assistance, taking into account goals and priorities established in the law of budgetary directives, assuring each area management of its funds.
  3. A legal entity owing money to the social security system, as established by law, may not contract with the Government nor receive benefits or fiscal or credit incentives therefrom.
  4. The law may institute other sources in order to guarantee maintenance or expansion of social security, observing the provisions of art. 154, I.
  5. No social security benefit or service may be created, increased or extended without a corresponding source of full funding.
  6. The social contributions dealt with in this article may be collected only ninety days after the publication date of the law that instituted or modified them, and the provisions of art. 150, III, b shall not apply to them.
  7. Charitable entities of social assistance complying with the requirements established by law are exempt from social security contributions.
  8. Rural producers, joint venturers, sharecroppers, and self-employed fishermen, as well as their respective spouses, who conduct their activities as a family enterprise, without permanent employees, shall contribute to social security by applying a rate to the proceeds from marketing their production and shall be entitled to benefits, as provided by law.
  9. The social contributions provided for in subparagraph I of the heading of this article may have differentiated rates or bases of calculation in accordance with economic activity, intensive utilization of manpower, the size of the firm or the structural condition of the labor market.
  10. The law shall define the criteria for transference of resources for the unified system of health and social assistance actions of the Union for the States, Federal District and Counties, and of States for Counties, observing the respective counterparts of the resources.
  11. Concession of remission or amnesty for social contributions dealt with in subparagraphs I, a, and II of this article is prohibited for debts in amounts greater than that fixed by complementary law.
  12. The law shall define sectors of economic activity so that the contributions levied in subparagraphs I, b; and IV of the heading shall be non-cumulative.
  13. The provision of § 12° applies in the event of gradual, total or partial substitution, of the contribution levied in the form of subparagraph I, a, upon receipt or [issuance of an] invoice.


Article 196

Health is the right of all and the duty of the National Government and shall be guaranteed by social and economic policies aimed at reducing the risk of illness and other maladies and by universal and equal access to all activities and services for its promotion, protection and recovery.

Article 197

Health activities and services are of public importance, and it is the Government’s responsibility to provide, in accordance with the law, for their regulation, supervision and control. Such activities and services shall be carried out directly or through third parties and also by individuals or legal entities of private law.

Article 198

Public health activities and services are part of a regionalized and hierarchical network and constitute a unified system, organized in accordance with the following directives:

  1. decentralization, with a single management in each sphere of government;
  2. full service, giving priority to preventive activities, without prejudice to treatment services;
  3. community participation.
  1. The unified health system shall be financed, in the terms of art. 195, with funds from the social security budget of the Union, States, Federal District and Counties, as well as other sources.
  2. The Union, States, Federal District and Counties shall apply annually in public health activities and services a minimum of the funds derived from the application of percentages calculated on:
    1. in the case of the Union, the net current receipts from the respective fiscal period may not be less than 15% (fifteen percent).
    2. in the case of the States and the Federal District, the amount of tax collections referred to in art. 155 and the funds dealt with in arts. 157 and 159, subparagraph I, a, and subparagraph II, deducting the amounts transferred to the respective Counties;
    3. in the case of the Counties and the Federal District, the amount of tax collections referred to in art. 156 and the funds dealt with in arts. 158 and 159, subparagraph I, b, and § 3°.
  3. Complementary law, which shall be reevaluated at least every five years, shall establish:
    1. the percentages dealt with in subparagraphs II and III of § 2°;
    2. the criteria for allocating the resources of the Union linked to health destined for the States, Federal District and the Counties, and from the States destined to their respective Counties, with the goal of progressive reduction in regional disparities;
    3. the rules for supervision, evaluation and control of health expenses in the federal, state, district and county spheres;
    4. Repealed.
  4. Local managers of the unified health system shall admit community health agents and agents for combat of endemic diseases through a public selection procedure, in accordance with the nature and complexity of their powers and specific requirements for their functioning.
  5. Federal law shall provide for the legal regime, national professional minimum salary, directives for the Career Plans and regulation of the activities of community health agents and agents for endemic disease control, with the Union, in accordance with the law, rendering complementary financial assistance to the States, the Federal District, and the Counties, for performance of the referred to minimum salary.
  6. In addition to the cases provided for in §1° of art. 41 and §4° of art. 169 of the Federal Constitution, employees who exercise functions equivalent to community health agents or agents for combat of endemic diseases may lose their posts for noncompliance with specific requirements, fixed by law, for such exercise.

Article 199

Health care is open to private enterprise.

  1. Private institutions may participate on a supplementary basis in the unified health system, according to its directives, by means of contracts or agreements of public law, with a preference for philanthropic and non-profit entities.
  2. Allocation of public funds to aid or to subsidize for-profit private institutions is prohibited.
  3. Direct or indirect participation of foreign firms or capital in health assistance in the Country is prohibited, except for cases provided by law.
  4. The law shall provide for the conditions and requirements to facilitate removal of human organs, tissues, and substances for transplants, research and treatment, as well as collection, processing and transfusion of blood and its by-products, forbidding all types of commercialization.

Article 200

The unified health system, in addition to other duties, as provided by law, shall:

  1. control and supervise procedures, products and substances of interest to health and participate in production of medicines, equipment, immuno-biological products, blood by-products and other inputs;
  2. perform supervisory sanitary and epidemiological supervisory activities, as well as those relating to workers’ health;
  3. organize training of human resources in the health area;
  4. participate in the formulation of basic sanitation policy and performance of activities relating thereto;
  5. increase scientific, technological, and innovative development within its sphere of action;
  6. supervise and inspect foodstuffs, including control of their nutritional contents, as well as drinks and water for human consumption;
  7. participate in the control and inspection of production, transportation, storage and use of psychoactive, toxic and radioactive substances and products;
  8. collaborate in environmental protection, including that of the work place.

SECTION III. Social Security

Article 201

Social security shall be organized in the form of a general regime, characterized by contributions and mandatory affiliation, observing the criteria that preserve the financial and actuarial equilibrium, and shall provide for, as defined by law:

  1. coverage of the events of illness, disability, death and advanced age;
  2. maternity protection, especially for pregnant women;
  3. protection for the involuntarily unemployed;
  4. family allowance and confinement aid for dependents of insured persons with low incomes;
  5. a pension for the death of an insured man or woman, for the spouse or companion, and dependents, obeying the provision of § 2°.
  1. Adoption of differentiated requirements and criteria for the concession of retirement benefits in the general regime of social security is prohibited, except for activities under special conditions that prejudice health or physical integrity and for insureds who are handicapped, as defined by complementary law.
  2. No benefit that replaces the contribution salary or earnings from labor of the insured shall have a monthly value lower than the minimum wage.
  3. All contribution salaries included in the calculation of benefits shall be duly updated, as provided by law.
  4. Readjustment of benefits to maintain their real value permanently is assured according to criteria defined by law.
  5. A person participating in his or her own social security regime is prohibited from affiliating with the general social security regime as an optional insured.
  6. The Christmas bonus of retirees and pensioners shall be based on the value of earnings in the month of December of each year.
  7. Retirement in the general social security regime is assured, as provided by law, obeying the following conditions:
    1. Contributions for thirty-five years if male, and thirty years, if female;
    2. Age sixty-five, if male, and age sixty, if female, this age limit being reduced by five years for rural workers of both sexes and for those who perform their economic activities with their family, including rural producers, placer miners and self-employed fishermen.
  8. The requirements referred to in subparagraph I of the prior paragraph shall be reduced by five years for teachers who dedicated themselves exclusively to the effective performance of teaching functions in pre-elementary, elementary and secondary education.
  9. For retirement purposes, one is assured that periods of contribution in public administration and in private activity, both rural and urban, shall be taken into account on a reciprocal basis, in which case the various social security systems shall financially compensate themselves, according to criteria established by law.
  10. The law shall regulate covering of risks of work accidents, which shall be provided for concurrently by the general social security regime and by the private sector.
  11. Habitual earnings of the employee, of whatever nature, shall be included in salary for the purposes of social security contributions and consequent repercussion on benefits, in the cases and manner provided by law.
  12. A law shall provide for a special system for including in social security low-income workers and those with no income of their own who dedicate themselves exclusively to domestic work within their homes, provided that they are members of low-income families, guaranteeing them access to benefits equal to one minimum wage.
  13. The special system for including in social security dealt with in § 12° of this article shall have lower rates and forfeitures than those prevailing for others insured by the general regime of social security.

Article 202

The private social security regime, in a supplementary manner and organized autonomously from the general social security regime, shall be optional, based upon the constitution of reserves that guarantee the contracted benefits, and regulated by a complementary law.

  1. The complementary law dealt with in this article shall assure participants in private social security entities full access to information relating to management of their respective plans.
  2. Employer contributions, benefits and contractual conditions provided for in the bylaws, regulations and benefit plans of private social security entities shall not be integrated into the participants’ labor contracts, nor shall they be integrated into the participants’ remuneration, with the exception of conceded benefits, as provided by law.
  3. The funding of private social security entities by the Union, States, Federal District and Counties, their autarchies, foundations, public firms, mixed-capital companies and other public entities is prohibited, except in their capacity as a sponsor. In such situation, in no case may its normal contribution exceed that of the insured.
  4. A complementary law shall regulate the relationships among the Union, States, Federal District or Counties, including their autarchies, foundations, mixed-capital companies and firms controlled directly or indirectly, when sponsors of closed private social security entities and their respective closed social security entities.
  5. A complementary law dealing with the prior paragraph shall be applied, when proper, to private firms holding permits or concessions for providing public services, when sponsors of closed social security entities.
  6. The complementary law referred to in § 4 of this article shall establish the requirements for designation of officers of closed private social security entities and shall regulate the enrollment of participants in collegial groups and instances of decision in which their interests are the objects of discussion and deliberation.

SECTION IV. Social Assistance

Article 203

Social assistance shall be provided to those who need it, regardless of contributions to social security, and shall have the following objectives:

  1. protection of the family, maternity, childhood, adolescence and old age;
  2. support of needy children and adolescents;
  3. promotion of integration into the labor force;
  4. training and rehabilitation of the handicapped and promotion of their integration into the community;
  5. guarantee of a monthly benefit of one minimum wage to the handicapped and elderly who prove that they are without means to provide for their own support or having it provided by their family, as provided by law.

Article 204

Government actions in the social assistance area shall be implemented with funds from the social security budget, as provided for in art. 195, along with other sources, and shall be organized on the basis of the following directives:

  1. political and administrative decentralization, with responsibility for coordination and general rules falling within the federal sphere and coordination and execution of respective programs falling within the state and county spheres, as well as upon charitable and social assistance entities;
  2. participation of the population, by means of representative organizations, in the formulation of policies and in the control of actions taken at all levels.

Sole Paragraph

States and the Federal District may bind up to five-tenths of one percent of net tax receipts for support of the program for social inclusion and promotion, but these resources may not be used for payment of:

  1. the expenses of personnel and social charges;
  2. debt service;
  3. any other current expense not linked directly to the supported investments or actions.


SECTION I. Education

Article 205

Education, which is the right of all and the duty of the National Government and family, shall be promoted and encouraged with societal collaboration, seeking the full development of the individual, preparation for the exercise of citizenship and qualification for work.

Article 206

Teaching shall be provided on the basis of the following principles:

  1. equality of conditions for access to and remaining in school;
  2. freedom to learn, teach, research and express thoughts, art and knowledge;
  3. pluralism of ideas and pedagogical concepts, and the coexistence of public and private teaching institutions;
  4. free public education in official establishments;
  5. valorization of teaching professionals, guaranteeing, as provided by law, career plans, with admittance of public school teachers exclusively by public competitive examinations and professional credentials;
  6. democratic administration of public teaching, as provided by law;
  7. guarantee of standards of quality.
  8. a national professional base salary for public school professionals, in accordance with federal law.

Sole Paragraph

The law shall provide for the categories of workers considered elementary education professionals and for determination of the period for establishment or conformity of their career plans for the Union, States, Federal District and Counties.

Article 207

Universities enjoy autonomy with respect to didactic, scientific and administrative matters, as well as autonomy in financial and patrimonial management, and shall comply with the principle of the inseparability of teaching, research and extension.

  1. Universities are permitted to hire foreign professors, technicians and scientists as provided by law.
  2. The provisions of this article shall apply to institutions of scientific and technological research.

Article 208

The National Government’s duty towards education shall be effectuated through the guarantees of:

  1. free, compulsory elementary education from 4 (four) to 17 (seventeen) years, including assurance that it will be offered gratuitously for all who did not have access to it at the proper age;
  2. progressive universalization of gratuitous secondary school education;
  3. special educational assistance for the handicapped, preferably within the regular school system;
  4. early education in nurseries and pre-school for children up to 5 (five) years of age;
  5. access to higher levels of education, research and artistic creation, according to individual capacity;
  6. provision of regular night courses adequate to the student’s condition;
  7. educational assistance in all stages of basic education by means of supplemental programs of school books, teaching materials, transportation, nutrition and health care.
  1. Access to compulsory and free education is a subjective public right.
  2. The Government’s failure to offer compulsory education or offering it irregularly implies liability on the part of the competent authority.
  3. The Government has the responsibility to conduct a census of elementary school students, to take attendance, and to make sure, jointly with parents or guardians, that students attend school.

Article 209

Education is open to private enterprise, observing the following conditions:

  1. compliance with the general rules of national education;
  2. authorization and evaluation of quality by the Government.

Article 210

Minimum curricula shall be established for elementary education so as to assure a common basic education and respect for national and regional cultural and artistic values.

  1. Religious education shall be an optional course during normal school hours in public elementary schools.
  2. Regular elementary education shall be given in the Portuguese language, also assuring to indigenous communities the use of their native languages and their own learning procedures.

Article 211

The Union, States, Federal District and Counties shall collaborate in organizing their educational systems.

  1. The Union shall organize the federal education system and that of the Territories, shall finance the institutions of federal public education, and shall exercise a redistributive and supplementary function in educational matters, so as to guarantee equalization of educational opportunities and a minimum standard of educational quality through technical and financial assistance to the States, Federal District, and Counties.
  2. The Counties shall act on a priority basis in elementary and pre-elementary education.
  3. The States and Federal District shall act on a priority basis in elementary and secondary education.
  4. In the organization of their educational systems, the Union, States, Federal District, and Counties shall define forms of collaboration, in order to assure the universality of compulsory education.
  5. Elementary public education shall give priority to regular teaching.

Article 212

The Union shall apply annually not less than eighteen percent of its tax revenues, and the States, Federal District and Counties at least twenty-five percent of their tax revenues, including revenues resulting from transfers, for maintenance and development of education.

  1. For the purposes of the calculation provided for in this article, the share of tax revenues transferred from the Union to the States, Federal District and Counties, or from the States to their respective Counties, shall not be considered as revenues of the government making the transfer.
  2. For purposes of complying with the heading of this article, the federal, state and county educational systems and funds employed pursuant to art. 213 shall be taken into account.
  3. In the distribution of public funds, priority shall be assured to meeting the needs of compulsory education, where it refers to universality, a guarantee of the standard of quality and equity, in the terms of the national educational plan.
  4. The supplemental food and health assistance programs provided for in art. 208, VII, shall be financed with funds derived from social contributions and other budgetary funds.
  5. Basic public education shall have as an additional source of financing the educational salary assessment, collected from companies, as provided by law.
  6. State and municipal shares from collection of the educational salary assessment shall be distributed in proportion to the number of students matriculated in basic education in their respective systems of public education.

Article 213

Public funds shall be allocated to public schools, and may be directed to community, religious and philanthropic schools, as defined by law, that:

  1. prove that they are non-profit and apply their surplus funds in education;
  2. ensure that their patrimony will be transferred to another community, philanthropic or religious school, or to the Government, in the event they cease their activities.
  1. The funds dealt with in this article may be used for elementary and secondary school scholarships, as provided by law, for those who show that they have insufficient funds, whenever there are no places or regular courses in the public school system in the locale where the student resides, placing the Government under an obligation to invest, on a priority basis, in expansion of the public school system in that locale.
  2. Activities of research, extension, and stimulation and promotion of innovation performed by universities and/or institutions of professional or technological education may receive financial support from the Government.

Article 214

The law shall establish a national educational plan, with a ten year duration, designed to articulate a national educational system in a regime of collaboration and to define the directives, objectives, goals and strategies for implementation in order to assure the maintenance and development of teaching at various levels, stages and modalities by means of integrated actions by the public powers of the different federative spheres in which it is conducted:

  1. eradication of illiteracy;
  2. universal school attendance;
  3. improvement of the quality of teaching;
  4. vocational training;
  5. humanistic, scientific and technological promotion of the Country.
  6. establishment of a goal for application of public resources in education as a percentage of gross domestic product.


Article 215

The National Government shall guarantee to all full exercise of cultural rights and access to sources of national culture, and shall support and grant incentives for appreciation and diffusion of cultural expression.

  1. The National Government shall protect expressions of popular, indigenous and Afro-Brazilian cultures and those of other participant groups in the process of national civilization.
  2. The law shall provide for establishing highly significant commemorative dates for various national ethnic segments.
  3. The law shall establish a National Cultural Plan, of multi-year duration, seeking the cultural development of the country and the integration of public actions that lead to:
    1. defense and valorization of Brazilian cultural patrimony;
    2. the production, promotion and diffusion of cultural goods;
    3. formation of qualified personnel for the multiple dimensions of cultural management;
    4. democratization of access to cultural goods;
    5. valorization of ethnic and regional diversity.

Article 216

Brazilian cultural heritage includes material and immaterial goods, taken either individually or as a whole, that refer to the identity, action and memory of the various groups that form Brazilian society, including:

  1. forms of expression;
  2. modes of creating, making and living;
  3. scientific, artistic and technological creations;
  4. works, objects, documents, buildings and other spaces intended for artistic-cultural manifestations;
  5. urban complexes and sites with historical, landscape, artistic, archeological, paleontological, ecological and scientific value.
  1. The Government, with the collaboration of the community, shall promote and protect Brazilian cultural heritage by inventories, registries, surveillance, monument protection decrees, expropriation and other forms of precaution and preservation.
  2. It is the responsibility of public administration, as provided by law, to maintain governmental documents and take measures to make them available for consultation by those that need to do so.
  3. The law shall establish incentives for production and knowledge of cultural property and values.
  4. Damages and threats to the cultural patrimony shall be punished, as provided by law.
  5. All documents and sites bearing historical reminiscences of the old hideouts for fugitive slaves are declared to be historical monuments.
  6. States and the Federal District may bind up to five-tenths of one percent of their net tax receipts from the state fund for cultural development for financing cultural programs and projects, but these resources may not be used for payment of:
    1. personnel expenses and social charges;
    2. debt service;
    3. any other current expense not linked directly to the supported investments or actions.

Article 216-A

The National System of Culture, organized as a collaborative regime, in a decentralized and participative form, institutes a process of joint development and promotion of public policies of culture. These democratic and permanent policies, agreed to among the entities of the Federation and society, have the objective of promoting human, social and economic development with full exercise of cultural rights.

  1. The National System of Culture is based upon a national policy of culture and its directives, set out in the National Plan of Culture, and shall be governed by the following principles:
    1. diversity of cultural expressions;
    2. universality of access to cultural goods and services;
    3. encouragement of the production, diffusion and circulation of cultural knowledge and goods;
    4. cooperation between the federated entities and the public and private actors operating in the cultural area;
    5. integration and interaction in the execution of developed policies, programs, projects and actions;
    6. complementation of the roles of cultural actors;
    7. transversality in cultural policies;
    8. autonomy of federated entities and the institutions of civil society;
    9. transparency and sharing of information;
    10. democratization of the decision-making process with social participation and control;
    11. articulated and agreed to decentralization in administration, resources, and actions;
    12. progressive increasing of the resources contained in public budgets for culture.
  2. The structure of the National System of Culture, in the respective spheres of the Federation, consists of:
    1. administrative organs of culture;
    2. councils of cultural policy;
    3. cultural conferences;
    4. inter-administrative committees;
    5. cultural plans;
    6. cultural financial systems;
    7. systems of cultural information and culture indicators;
    8. formative programs in the cultural area;
    9. cultural sectorial systems.
  3. Federal law shall provide for the regulations for the National System of Culture, as well as for its articulation with respect to the other national systems or sectorial policies of the government.
  4. The States, the Federal District, and the Counties shall organize their respective systems of culture in their own laws.


Article 217

It is the duty of the State to foster formal and informal sporting activities as each individual’s right, observing:

  1. autonomy, as to their organization and operation, of entities and associations controlling sports;
  2. allocation of public funds for promotion, on a priority basis, of educational sports and, in specific cases, high return sports;
  3. differentiated treatment for professional and non-professional sports;
  4. protection of and granting incentives to nationally created sports.
  1. The Judiciary shall only hear legal actions relating to sports regulation and competitions after exhaustion of remedies in sports tribunals, as regulated by the law.
  2. The sports tribunals shall render final decisions within a maximum period of sixty days from the date of filing the action.
  3. The Government shall encourage leisure as a means of social promotion.


Article 218

The State shall promote and give incentives to scientific development, research, scientific and technological training, and innovation.

  1. Basic scientific research and technology shall receive priority treatment from the State, taking into account public well-being and progress in science, technology, and innovation.
  2. Technological research shall be oriented principally towards solution of Brazilian problems and towards development of national and regional productive systems.
  3. The State shall support human resources training in the areas of science, research, technology, and innovation, including by means of support for technological extension activities, and shall offer those engaged in such activities special means and conditions of work.
  4. The law shall support and foster firms that invest in research, in creation of technology appropriate for the Country, and in training and improvement of their human resources and that adopt compensation systems that assure employees, apart from their salary, participation in the economic gains resulting from the productivity of their labor.
  5. The States and Federal District may allocate part of their budgetary receipts to public entities for promotion of education and scientific and technological research.
  6. In the execution of the activities provided for in the heading of this article, the State shall stimulate articulation among entities, as much public as private, in the diverse spheres of government.
  7. The State shall promote and give incentives for performance abroad by public institutions of science, technology, and innovation, with a view towards execution of the activities provided for in the heading of this article.

Article 219

The domestic market comprises part of the national patrimony and shall be encouraged to make viable cultural and socio-economic development, the well-being of the population and the technological autonomy of Brazil, as provided by federal law.

Article 219-A

The Union, States, Federal District and Counties shall be able to sign instruments of cooperation with public agencies and entities and with private entities, including for sharing of specialized human resources and installed capacity, for the execution of projects of research, scientific and technological development, and innovation, through counterpart financing and financing not assumed by the beneficiary entity, in the terms of the law.

Article 219-B

The National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation (SNCTI) shall be organized under a regime of collaboration among entities, as much public as private, with a view towards promotion of scientific and technological development and innovation.

  1. Federal law shall provide for the general rules of SNCTI.
  2. The States, Federal District, and Counties shall legislate concurrently as to its peculiarities.


Article 220

The expression of thoughts, creation, speech and information, through whatever form, process or vehicle, shall not be subject to any restrictions, observing the provisions of this Constitution.

  1. No law shall contain any provision that may constitute an impediment to full freedom of the press, in any medium of social communication, observing the provisions of art. 5°, IV, V, X, XIII and XIV.
  2. Any and all censorship of a political, ideological and artistic nature is forbidden.
  3. It is the province of Federal law to:
    1. regulate public entertainment and shows, and it is the responsibility of the Government to advise about their nature, the ages for which they are not recommended and the locales and times unsuitable for their exhibition;
    2. establish legal measures that afford individuals and families the opportunity to defend themselves against radio and television programs or schedules that contravene the provisions of art. 221, as well as against commercials for products, practices and services that may be harmful to health and the environment.
  4. Commercial advertising of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, pesticides, medicine and therapies shall be subject to legal restrictions, in the terms of subparagraph II of the preceding paragraph, and shall contain, whenever necessary, warnings about harms caused by their use.
  5. The media of social communication may not, directly or indirectly, be subject to monopoly or oligopoly.
  6. Publication of printed means of communication shall not require a license from any authority.

Article 221

Production and programming by radio and television stations shall comply with the following principles:

  1. preference for educational, artistic, cultural and informational purposes;
  2. promotion of national and regional culture and fostering any independent production aimed at its dissemination;
  3. regionalization of cultural, artistic and journalistic production, according to percentages established by law;
  4. respect for ethical and social values of the individual and family.

Article 222

Ownership of firms of journalism and broadcasting of sounds and images with sounds is restricted to native-born Brazilians or those naturalized for more than ten years, or to legal entities organized under Brazilian law and having their headquarters in the Country.

  1. In either case, at least seventy percent of the total capital and voting capital of firms of journalism and broadcasting of sounds and images with sounds must be owned, directly or indirectly, by native-born Brazilians or those naturalized for more than ten years, who must manage the activities and determine the programming content.
  2. In any means of social communication, editorial responsibility and the activities of selecting and directing programming are restricted to native-born Brazilians or those naturalized for more than ten years.
  3. Irrespective of the technology utilized for rendering the service, electronic means of social communication shall observe the principles enunciated in art. 221, in the form of a specific law, that shall also guarantee the priority of Brazilian professionals in the execution of national productions.
  4. Participation of foreign capital in the firms dealt with in § 1° shall be regulated by law.
  5. Changes in controlling shareholders in the firms dealt with in § 1° shall be communicated to the National Congress.

Article 223

The Executive has the power to grant and renew concessions, permits and authorizations for the services of broadcasting sounds and images with sounds, observing the principle of the complementary roles of private, public and state systems.

  1. The National Congress shall consider such acts within the time period of art. 64, §§ 2° and 4°, starting from the date of receipt of the message.
  2. Non-renewal of concessions or permits requires approval by at least a two-fifths nominal vote of the National Congress.
  3. Grants or renewals shall be legally effective only after consideration by the National Congress, in accordance with the preceding paragraphs.
  4. Cancellation of a concession or permit prior to its expiration date requires a judicial decision.
  5. The term of a concession or permit shall be ten years for radio stations and fifteen years for television stations.

Article 224

For the purposes of the provisions of this chapter, the National Congress shall institute, as an auxiliary agency, the Social Communications Council, as provided by law.


Article 225

Everyone has the right to an ecologically balanced environment, which is a public good for the people’s use and is essential for a healthy life. The Government and the community have a duty to defend and to preserve the environment for present and future generations.

  1. To assure the effectiveness of this right, it is the responsibility of the Government to:
    1. preserve and restore essential ecological processes and provide for ecological management of species and ecosystems;
    2. preserve the diversity and integrity of the Country’s genetic patrimony and to supervise entities dedicated to research and manipulation of genetic material;
    3. define, in all units of the Federation, territorial spaces and their components that are to be specially protected, with any change or suppression permitted only through law, prohibiting any use that compromises the integrity of the characteristics that justify their protection;
    4. require, as provided by law, a prior environmental impact study, which shall be made public, for installation of works or activities that may cause significant degradation of the environment;
    5. control production, commercialization and employment of techniques, methods and substances that carry a risk to life, the quality of life and the environment;
    6. promote environmental education at all levels of teaching and public awareness of the need to preserve the environment;
    7. protect the fauna and the flora, prohibiting, as provided by law, all practices that jeopardize their ecological functions, cause extinction of species or subject animals to cruelty.
  2. Those who exploit mineral resources are obligated to restore any environmental degradation, in accordance with technical solutions required by the proper governmental agencies, as provided by law.
  3. Conduct and activities considered harmful to the environment shall subject the violators, be they individuals or legal entities, to criminal and administrative sanctions, irrespective of the obligation to repair the damages caused.
  4. The Brazilian Amazonian Forest, the Atlantic Forest, the Serra do Mar, the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, and the Coastal Zone are part of the national patrimony, and they shall be utilized, as provided by law, under conditions assuring preservation of the environment, including use of natural resources.
  5. Lands necessary to protect natural ecosystems, which are vacant or which have reverted to the States through discriminatory actions, are inalienable.
  6. Power plants with nuclear reactors shall be located as defined in federal law and may not be installed otherwise.
  7. For purposes of the provision in the final part of subparagraph VII of § 1º of this article, sporting practices that utilize animals shall not be considered cruel as long as they are cultural manifestations, in conformity with §1° of art. 215 of this Federal Constitution, registered as a good of immaterial nature that is part of Brazilian cultural patrimony, which should be regulated by a specific law that assures the well-being of the involved animals.


Article 226

The family, which is the foundation of society, shall enjoy special protection from the State.

  1. Marriage is civil, and the marriage ceremony is free of charge.
  2. Religious marriage has civil effects, as provided by law.
  3. For purposes of State protection, a stable union between a man and a woman is recognized as a family unit, and the law shall facilitate conversion of such unions into marriage.
  4. The community formed by either parent and his or her descendants is also considered a family unit.
  5. The rights and duties of the conjugal society shall be exercised equally by men and women.
  6. A civil marriage may be dissolved by divorce.
  7. Based upon the principles of human dignity and responsible parenthood, couples are free to decide on family planning; it is incumbent upon the State to provide educational and scientific resources for the exercise of this right, prohibiting any coercion on the part of official or private institutions.
  8. The State shall assure assistance to the family in the person of each of its members and shall create mechanisms to suppress violence within the family.

Article 227

It is the duty of the family, the society and the Government to assure children, adolescents, and youths, with absolute priority, the rights to life, health, nourishment, education, leisure, professional training, culture, dignity, respect, liberty and family and community harmony, in addition to safeguarding them against all forms of negligence, discrimination, exploitation, violence, cruelty and oppression.

  1. The Government shall promote full health assistance programs for children, adolescents, and youths, permitting participation by non-governmental entities and obeying the following precepts:
    1. allocation of a percentage of public health funds to assist mothers and infants;
    2. creation of preventive and specialized care programs for the physically, sensorially or mentally handicapped, as well as programs of social integration for handicapped adolescents or youths, through job training and community living, and facilitation of access to public facilities and services by eliminating prejudices and architectural obstacles.
  2. The law shall provide standards for construction of public sites and buildings and manufacturing of public transportation vehicles in ways that guarantee appropriate access to the handicapped.
  3. The right to special protection shall encompass the following aspects:
    1. a minimum age of fourteen years to be allowed to work, observing the provisions of art. 7°, XXXIII;
    2. guarantee of social security and labor rights;
    3. guarantee of access to school for the adolescent and youth worker;
    4. guarantee of full and formal understanding of the charges of an infraction, equality with respect to the procedural phase and technical defenses by qualified professionals, according to the provisions of specific protective legislation;
    5. compliance with the principles of brevity, exceptionality and respect for the particular condition of being a developing individual when applying any liberty-depriving measure;
    6. Government encouragement, through legal assistance, fiscal incentives and subsidies, as provided by law, for protection through guardianship of orphaned or abandoned children or adolescents;
    7. prevention and specialized treatment programs for children, adolescents, and youths addicted to narcotics and related drugs.
  4. The law shall severely punish abuse of, violence towards, and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
  5. Adoption shall be assisted by the Government, as provided by law, which shall establish the cases and conditions under which foreigners may adopt.
  6. Regardless of whether born in or out of wedlock or adopted, children shall have the same rights and qualifications, prohibiting any discrimination with respect to filiation.
  7. In attending to the rights of children and adolescents, the provisions of art. 204 shall be taken into consideration.
  8. The law shall establish:
    1. the statute of youth, designed to regulate the rights of youths;
    2. the national youth plan for a ten-year period, seeking the articulation of various spheres of governmental power for the execution of public policies.

Article 228

Minors under eighteen years of age are not criminally responsible, subject to rules of special legislation.

Article 229

Parents have a duty to assist, raise and educate their minor children, and children of age have a duty to help and support their parents in old age, need or sickness.

Article 230

The family, society and the State have a duty to assist the elderly, assuring their participation in the community, defending their dignity and well-being, and guaranteeing their right to life.

  1. Support programs for the elderly shall be carried out preferably in their homes.
  2. Those over sixty-five years of age are guaranteed free urban public transportation.


Article 231

The social organization, customs, languages, creeds and traditions of Indians are recognized, as well as their original rights to the lands they traditionally occupy. The Union has the responsibility to delineate these lands and to protect and ensure respect for all their property.

  1. Lands traditionally occupied by Indians are those on which they live on a permanent basis, those used for their productive activities, those indispensable for the preservation of environmental resources necessary for their well-being and those necessary for their physical and cultural reproduction, according to their uses, customs and traditions.
  2. The lands traditionally occupied by Indians are destined for their permanent possession, and they shall be entitled to the exclusive usufruct of the riches of the soil, rivers and lakes existing thereon.
  3. Utilization of water resources, including their energy potential, and prospecting and mining of mineral wealth on indigenous lands may only be done with the authorization of the National Congress, after hearing from the communities involved, which shall be assured of participation in the results of the mining, as provided by law.
  4. The lands dealt with in this article are inalienable and nontransferable, and the statute of limitations does not run against rights thereto.
  5. Removal of indigenous groups from their lands is prohibited except by referendum of the National Congress, in the event of a catastrophe or epidemic that places the population at risk or in the interest of national sovereignty, after deliberation of the National Congress, guaranteeing, under all circumstances, immediate return as soon as the risk ceases.
  6. Acts aimed at the occupation, dominion and possession of the lands referred to in this article, or at exploitation of the natural wealth of the soil, rivers and lakes existing thereon, are null and void, producing no legal effects, except in the case of important public interest of the Union, according to the provisions of a complementary law; such nullity and extinction of acts shall not give rise to a right to compensation or to sue the Union, except, as provided by law, for improvements resulting from occupation in good faith.
  7. The provisions of art. 174, §§ 3° and 4° do not apply to indigenous lands.

Article 232

Indians, their communities and their organizations have standing to sue to defend their rights and interests, with the Public Ministry intervening at all stages of the proceedings.