Taking Children’s Rights Seriously in Brazilian Public Law: the absolute priority of children’s fundamental rights and best interests

Article 227 of Brazilian Constitution expressly provided that the fundamental rights of children must be guaranteed by the State, society and families with “absolute priority”, as well as stated by the CRC/UN that the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. However, studies in Brazilian public law are silent on analyzing this constitutional provision, even though children are at the center of very important constitutional debates, such as the prohibition of homeschooling, compulsory vaccination and medical treatment against parents’ beliefs and damages from institutionalized alternative care. This present article aims to deepen this debate through the lens of proportionality, especially with regard to the child’s full capacity to evoke constitutional rights, despite their limited autonomy; to their fundamental right, and its horizontal effect, to absolute priority of their rights and best interests; and also to their fundamental right to equality and solidarity