The Directory Board of ANPUH-Brasil once again manifests itself with regards to the course of the 4699 Law Project which regulates the historian´s profession. The demand for a law of this kind is old and justifies itself based on two main arguments: the need to create legal conditions for the hiring of historians by public organs, such as archives, libraries, cultural preservation institutions, etc.; and the intention to avoid that those without specific graduation teach the History subject at the Primary and Secondary Schools.

It is worth highlighting that since last July, when the Project began to have real possibilities of being approved, the contrary demonstrations have increased, having come from national entities (Brazilian Society for the Progresso of Science, Brazilian Society of the History of Education, Brazilian Society of the History of Science, Brazilian Commitee of History of Art) as well as international (Société d’Histoire et d’Épistémologie des Sciences du Langague e Royal Historical Society) which appeal for Brazilian legislators not to approve the Project. ANPUH, always willing to an outspoken and democratic debate, has expressed the reasons which have motivated the initiative, in various meetings with associations, in order to seek the dialog and annul possible doubts.

We have insisted that the mobilization in favor of the law is not moved by other interests, as some of the critics of the project have stated. There is no intention of guaranteeing undue privileges to anybody, but to value the importance of the specialized academic background for the professionals of History. Neither is there the purpose of controlling an area of knowledge which everyone wants to be free and, even less, us professional historians – the main party interested in ensuring freedom – would intend otherwise. Let it be clear: the law does not foresee professional council boards nor similar bodies and no entity will control the profession. Likewise, it is important to make evident, in a clear and unmistakable way, that the Project does not have any intention of regulating the editorial market: any person has, as has always had and will always have, the right to research, write and publish works which approach themes, matters, places, events, characters or any aspect related to History. To present the proposal as retrencher of this kind of activity is to ignore completely the intention of the regulamentation. As a matter of fact, it seems that some critics have not read the text of the law, whereas it would be recommended that everyone did.
In the past few weeks, some international entities have manifested themselves against the project, based on their national experience and reality. Although we respect all opinions, we believe that we cannot lose sight of the Brazilian peculiarities. In these lands, State traditionally interferes in work relations and regulates a number of professional activities, with not always negative results. There are laws regulating the professions of sociologist and museologists, for instance. If such a law is necessary so that public organs may hold public contests to hire historians, why be against?

The Directory Board of ANPUH vigorously defends the need for the law, notwithstanding, is open to dialog with all interested parties in matters related to the role of the historian. We understand that initiatives turned to the improvement of the project may be beneficial, provided they do not imply a grave retrocession in its parliamentary channels.

Therefore, it is with this intention that we have come to request your support demonstration to the initiative of regulating the profession of the Historian.