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Peru[1] [print]

Last edited: December 2005

Summary and Analysis

 

When Peru ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child [CRC] in September of 1990, the Convention became part of national law in accordance with Article 55 of the Constitution.  Following the ratification of the CRC, in 1992, Peru bolstered the legal authority of the Convention with the approval of el Código de los Niños y Adolescentes [CNA] (the Children's and Adolescents' Code) which incorporated all of the principles of the Convention.  Over the next few years Peru developed and strengthened the child protection system established by the CNA.  In 2000, Peru passed a new Children's and Adolescents' Code, resolving contradictions in the text and incorporating subsequent amendments and other legislation.  Other legislation governing child protection includes the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence and the Law

The protection system, called the National System of Integral Attention to Children and Adolescents, is run by the Ministry for Women and Social Development and includes the Comprehensive National Program for the Welfare of Families, the National Program against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and the Children's Bureau.  Offices of the Defense of the Child and Adolescent provide legal representation and advice as well as social services.  Though the Children's and Adolescents' Code provides for child protective proceedings to take place in Family Courts, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor reports that most are resolved out of court by the 1,312 Offices of the Defense of the Child and Adolescent throughout the country, as allowed by the subsequent Law No. 27007.[2]  Approximately half of these offices are run by the government, and the other half are run by schools, churches or NGOs.  The U.S. Bureau reports:

Law students staffed most of the units; only the offices in the wealthiest districts of the country had professionally trained lawyers, psychologists, and social workers. When these offices could not resolve cases, officials typically referred them to the local prosecutors' offices of the Public Ministry. Settlements adjudicated by these offices were binding legally and had the same force as judgments entered by a court of law.[3]

Article 12 of the CRC, providing children with the right to express their views in all matters affecting them, is clearly apparent in Peru's legislation.  Judges in Peru must “listen to the views of the child and take into account those of the adolescent,” in child protective proceedings.[4]  Children also have the right to legal representation and advice, provided by the Offices of the Defense of the Child and Adolescent, but legislation does not explicitly state that the wishes of the child must be conveyed by the representative.  Children who have been sexually abused are required to have legal representation. 

Peru faces a number of difficulties in fully implementing the Convention and the Children's and Adolescents' Code.   The country is still recovering from the governmental corruption of the 1990s characterized by the deterioration of the country's infrastructure, a lack of enforcement of the rule of law, and the violation of human rights.[5]  There continue to be problems with guerilla groups which terrorize both civilians and government officials.  Over 50% of the population, including 60% of children, is living in poverty.[6]  Due to lack of education or a child's illegitimacy, many of the poorer parents do not register their children at birth, and those undocumented children have difficulty accessing government services.[7]  Furthermore, many children are malnourished, and there is a persistent problem of child labor.[8]

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

Original Text

International Law

Convención sobre los derechos del niño,[9] ratificada 4 setiembre 1990

Artículo 12

1. Los Estados Partes garantizarán al niño que esté en condiciones de formarse un juicio propio el derecho de expresar su opinión libremente en todos los asuntos que afectan al niño, teniéndose debidamente en cuenta las opiniones del niño, en función de la edad y madurez del niño.

2. Con tal fin, se dará en particular al niño oportunidad de ser escuchado, en todo procedimiento judicial o administrativo que afecte al niño, ya sea directamente o por medio de un representante o de un órgano apropiado, en consonancia con las normas de procedimiento de la ley nacional.

 

Laws

Código de los Niños y Adolescentes[10]

Artículo 9°.- A la libertad de opinión.- El niño y el adolescente que estuvieren en condiciones de formarse sus proprios juicios tendrán derecho a expresar su opinión libremente en todos los asuntos que les afecten y por los medios que elijan, incluida la objeción de conciencia, y a que se tenga en cuenta sus opiniones en función de su edad y madurez.

Artículo 42°.- Definición.- La Defensoría del Niño y el Adolescente es un servicio de la Sistema de Atención Integral que funciona en los gobiernos locales, en las instituciones públicas y privadas y en organizaciones de la sociedad civil, cuya finalidad es promover y proteger los derechos que legislación reconoce a los niños y adolescentes.  Este servicio es de carácter gratuito.

Artículo 85°.- Opinión.- El juez especializado debe escuchar la opinión del niño y tomar en cuenta la del adolescente.

Artículo 99°.- Impugnación de los actos del tutor.- El adolescente puede recurrir ante el Juez contra los actos de su tutor, así como pedir la remoción del mismo.

Artículo 107°.- Remoción de la medida de Colocación Familiar.- El niño o adolescente bajo Colocación Familiar podrán solicitar la remoción de dicha medida ante la autoridad que la otorgó.

Artículo 146°.- Abogados de oficio.- El Estado, a través del Ministerio de Justicia, designa el número de abogados de oficio que se encargarán de brindar asistencia judicial integral y gratuita a los niños y adolescentes que la necesiten.  En los casos de violencia sexual contra niños y adolescentes, la asistencia legal gratuita al agraviado y a su familia es obligatoria.

 

Translation[11]

International Law

Convention on the Rights of the Child, [12] ratified Sept. 4, 1990

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

 

Laws

Children's and Adolescents' Code[13]

Article 9.- The right to an opinion.- The child and adolescent capable of forming their own views shall have the right to express their opinion freely in all of the affairs that affect them and through the means that they elect, including the objection of conscience, and to have their opinions taken into account as a function of their age and maturity.

Article 42.- Definition.- The Office of the Defense of the Child and Adolescent is a service of the System of Integral Attention that functions in local governments, in public and private institutions, and in organizations of civil society, whose goal is to promote and protect the rights that legislation recognizes of children and adolescents.  This service is free.

Article 85.- Opinion.- The specialized judge ought to listen to the opinion of the child and take into account that of the adolescent.

Article 99.- Refutation of the acts of the guardian.- The adolescent is able to appeal to the Judge against the acts of his guardian so as to request the removal of the guardian.

Article 107.- Removal of the measure of Family Placement.- The child or adolescent under Family Placement shall be able to solicit the removal of the said measure before the authority that executed it.

Article 146°.- Public Defenders.- The State, through the Ministry of Justice, designates a number of public defenders that are charged with providing free integral judicial assistance to children and adolescents who need it.  In cases of sexual violence against children and adolescents, free legal assistance to the victim and his family is mandatory.

 

Additional Resources and Links

 

Programa Integral Nacional para el Bienestar Familiar [INABIF]— Comprehensive National Program for the Welfare of Families (In Spanish): http://www.inabif.gob.pe/

 

Defensoría del Niño y del Adolescente [DNA]— Office of the Defense of the Child and Adolescent (In Spanish):  http://www.dna.org.pe/

 

Programa Nacional Contra la Violencia Familiar y Sexual [PNCVFS]— National Program Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence (In Spanish): http://www.mimdes.gob.pe/pncvfs/

 

Ministerio de la Mujer y el Desarollo Social [MIMDES]— Ministry for Women and Social Development (In Spanish): http://www.mimdes.gob.pe/

 

Acción por los Niños— Action for the Children (In Spanish): http://www.accionporlosninos.org.pe/

 

UNICEF- Peru (In Spanish): http://www.unicef.org/peru/

 



Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Human Rights Report: Peru, U.S. State Department, §5 (2005) available http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41771.htm.

[3] Id., §5.

[4] Children's and Adolescents' Code, Law No. 27337, art. 85 (2000).

[5] Third Periodic Rep

ort of States Parties due in 2004: Peru, Committee on the Rights of the Child, May 24, 2005, ¶3-5, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/125/Add.6 available at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[6] Id., ¶15; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, §5, supra note 1.

[7] Third Periodic Report of States Parties due in 2004: Peru, ¶103-106.

[8] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, §5, supra note 1

[9] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989) available at http://www.unicef.org/spanish/crc/fulltext.htm.

[10] Código de los Niños y Adolescentes, Ley No. 27337, art. 9, 42, 85, 99, 107, 146 (2000) available at http://www.congreso.gob.pe/ntley/Imagenes/Leyes/27337.pdf and also as .pdf Document.

[11] The translations are not official.

[12] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989).

[13] Children's and Adolescents' Code, Law No. 27337, art. 9, 42, 85, 99, 107, 146 (2000).

 

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