On March 26, 2009, El Salvador’s Legislature passed this comprehensive law, formally to recognize and protect the  rights of children and adolescents living in that country.  It was signed by then-President of the Republic Elias Antonio Saca Gonzalez and entered into the legal record on April 16, 2009.

The Ley de Protección Integral de la Niñez y la Adolescencia (Law of Integral Protection of Childhood and Adolescence) will take effect on April 16, 2010.  The delay in enforcement was due to all the infrastructure set-up required actually to practice all the measures prescribed therein.

As future-parents of Salvadoran kids, we were interested in what this “New Child’s Law” actually said.  Especially since it will impact our adoption process, and we kept hearing about it in adoption and missions circles. 

Unfortunately, I found that the “Google Translator” version didn’t make as much sense as I had hoped.  So I spent some time cleaning it up, and I’m posting it here in case it may prove helpful to someone else (who needs it “en ingles, por favor”)  who’s curious about what is – and is not – covered under the law.  [But let me please insert this one disclaimer:  I am neither a fluent Spanish-speaker, nor a lawyer.  This post is intended for information purposes only.]

Please feel free to link to this post if you’d like to share it with others!

-Kim

This Law shall enter force on April 16 two thousand ten, according to Legislative Decree No. 839, dated 26 March 2009, published in the Official Journal No. 68, Volume 383, dated 16 April 2009. 
DECREE No. 839 

THE LEGISLATURE OF THE REPUBLIC OF EL SALVADOR, 

 

WHEREAS: 
I. That Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic recognizes the right of every girl, boy and teenager, to live in a family and in environmental conditions that allow integral development, for which s/he will have protection from the State, establishing further that the law will determine State duties and create the institutions for the protection of motherhood and childhood. 

II. That in accordance with Article 35 thereof, it is a State obligation to protect the physical, mental and moral development of children and adolescents, and ensure their right to education and assistance, with the proviso of the Legal System which referred him/her. 

III. That under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the Republic of El Salvador on 27 April 1990, States Parties shall respect the rights contained in it, and ensure its application to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination, regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, economic status, disability, birth or other status of children, their parents or their legal representatives; commitment to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for welfare, taking into account the rights and duties of parents, guardians or other persons responsible for them under the Act, taken to that end, all legislative and administrative measures appropriate. 

IV. That children and adolescents are born and begin their life as being completely dependent and full subjects of law are the most vulnerable in the society, and this change, as well as legislative measures that the State takes, have a greater impact on them than any other group in society, it becomes convenient to issue a law to protect them holistically, as is the obligation of State, providing the security and certainty that every girl, child and adolescent needs for full development. 

 

THEREFORE

In exercise of their constitutional powers, on the initiative of the President of the Republic through the Minister for Education, and with the support of Deputies: Rubén Orellana Mendoza, José Antonio Almendáriz Rivas, Zoila Beatriz Quijada Solís, Alex René Aguirre Guevara, Rubén Antonio Álvarez Fuentes, Herberth Néstor Menjívar Amaya, Irma Segunda Amaya Echeverría, Ernesto Antonio Angulo Milla, Federico Guillermo Ávila Qüehl, Fernando Alberto José Ávila Quetglas, Fredi Javier Benítez Molina, Blanca Flor América Bonilla Bonilla, Yohalmo Edmundo Cabrera Chacón, Oscar Enrique Carrero, José Vidal Carrillo Delgado, Carlos Alfredo Castaneda Magaña, José Ernesto Castellanos Campos, María Julia Castillo Rodas, Darío Alejandro Chicas Argueta, Carlos Cortez Hernández, Luis Alberto Corvera Rivas, José Ricardo Cruz, Ana Vilma Castro de Cabrera, Omar Arturo Escobar Oviedo, Enma Julia Fabián Hernández, Sonia Elizabeth Farfán de Cuéllar, Luis Arturo Fernández Peña, Carmen Elena Figueroa Rodríguez, Ana Elda Flores de Reyna, Fernando Antonio Fuentes, Julio Antonio Gamero Quintanilla,  Argentina García Ventura, Juan García Melara, José Rinaldo Garzona Villeda, Marco Aurelio González, Jesús Grande, César Edgardo Guadron Pineda, Rafael Enrique Guerra Alarcón, Manuel de Jesús Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, Héctor Alfredo Guzmán Alvarenga, Carlos Walter Guzmán Coto, Juan Carlos Hernández Portillo, Carlos Rolando Herrarte Rivas, Wilfredo Iraheta Sanabria, Jorge Alberto Jiménez, Oscar Abrahán Kattán Milla, Elio Valdemar Lemus Osorio, Audelia Guadalupe López de Kleutgens, Hortensia Margarita López Quintana, Mario Marroquín Mejía, Calixto Mejía Hernández, Misael Mejía Mejía, Alexander Higinio Melchor López, Manuel Vicente Menjívar Esquivel, Roberto de Jesús Menjívar Rodríguez, José Francisco Merino López, Erick Mira Bonilla, Israel Montano Osorio, José Francisco Montejo Núñez, Guillermo Antonio Olivo Méndez, María Irma Elizabeth Orellana Osorio, José Alfonso Pacas González, Irma Lourdes Palacios Vásquez, Julio Milton Parada Domínguez, Mariella Peña Pinto, Julio Cesar Portillo Baquedano, Gaspar Armando Portillo Benítez, Francisco Antonio Prudencio, José Mauricio Quinteros Cubías, Carlo René Retana Martínez, Carlos Armando reyes Ramos, Inmar Rolando Reyes, Othon Sigfrido Reyes Morales, Dolores Alberto Rivas Echeverría, Pedrina Rivera Hernández, Luis Roberto Angulo Samayoa, Hipólito Baltazar Rodríguez Contreras, Abilio Orestes Rodríguez Menjívar, Alberto Armando Romero Rodríguez, Ana Silvia Romero Vargas, Manuel Rigoberto Soto Lazo, Donato Eugenio Vaquerano Rivas, Ana Deysi Villalobos de Cruz.

 


DECREE the following, 

 

INTEGRAL PROTECTION ACT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS 

Book I 


Rights, Duties and Guarantees  

Preliminary Title 


General Provisions 

Chapter I 


Preliminary Provisions 

 

Article 1 .- Purpose 

This Act aims to ensure the full exercise and enjoyment of the rights and facilitate performance of the duties of every girl, boy and adolescent in El Salvador, contained in this Act, regardless of nationality, to which end it creates a National System for Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents with involvement  of the family, the state and society, based on the Constitution of the Republic and the International Human Rights Treaties in force in El Salvador, particularly in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

 

Article 2 .- Definitions 
For purposes of this Act it shall mean by: 

a)    Positive action: Those state regulations, policies or practices aimed at removing social, political and economic obstacles that in practice prevent or restrict the exercise of rights accruing to the benefit of children and adolescents;

b)    Immediate actions for removal: Any immediate and effective measures aimed at achieving prevention, prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor as a matter of urgency; 

c)    Community: A group of people linked by common characteristics or interests;

d)    Medical emergency: The medical situation in which a child or teenager is found, in which waiting involves a high probability of death or irreparable harm to physical health; 

e)    Worst Forms of Child Labor: All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery such as sale and trafficking of children and adolescents, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, the use, procuring or offering of girls, boys and adolescents for prostitution, production of pornography or pornographic performances; the use, procuring or offering of children and adolescents to perform illicit activities, in particular production and trafficking of drugs as defined in relevant international treaties in force in El Salvador and the work which by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to harm the health, safety or morality of children and adolescents; 

f)     Program: organized series of actions undertaken by any public, private or mixed entity; 

g)    Guardians: For the purposes of this Act, guardians are those people over of the age of majority who have responsibility for the care, supervision and protection of the girl, boy, or adolescent because of their office or relationship with the dependent; 

h)    Integral Health: The guarantee of the provision of all services, goods and actions conducive to the conservation or restoration of the health of girls, boys and adolescents; 

i)      Society: natural or agreed grouping of people who are distinct from each other, to fulfill, through mutual cooperation, all or any of the purposes of life, and 

j)      Breastmilk Substitutes: Any food marketed or otherwise presented as partial or total replacement of breast milk, whether or not suitable for this purpose. 

 

Article 3 .- Definition of Girl, Boy and Adolescent 

The rights and guarantees provided for in this Law shall be granted to any person from the moment of conception to eighteen years of age. 
For purposes of this Act, a boy or girl is a person from the moment of conception until twelve years of age and is termed an adolescent from twelve years old until he or she reaches eighteen years of age. 

 

Article 4 .- Presumption of Childhood and Adolescence 
If there is doubt about the age of a girl, boy or adolescent, he or she is to be presumed to be a girl or boy rather than a teenager. In case of doubt about whether the person is a teenager or adult, he or she is presumed to be an adolescent. 
The age of the person will be determined by the court that has jurisdiction under this Act, by means of the relevant evidence. 

Article 5 .- Subjects of Rights 
All boys, girls and adolescents are full subjects of rights. 
The rights, guarantees and obligations conferred by this Act apply to any person from the moment of conception until the age of eighteen years of age and shall be exercised directly by children and adolescents, taking into consideration the evolving development of their authority, direction and appropriate guidance from their mother and father and the limitations established in this Law. 

 

Article 6 .- Scope 

This Act applies to all children and adolescents who are nationals or foreigners in the territory of the country. 

 

Article 7 .- Subjects Compelled 
Mothers and fathers and, on condition of fairness, representatives or guardians of children or adolescents, officers, employees and public institutions, private organizations and society general, are obliged to respect and enforce the provisions of this Act.

 

Article 8 .- Duties of State 
It is the duty of the State to promote and adopt all necessary measures to protect the family and and fathers and mothers, to fulfill the rights and obligations under this Law.

 

Chapter II 

Guiding Principles 

 

Article 9 .- Principle of the Primary and Fundamental Role of the Family 

 

The family is the bedrock of society and will have state protection. 
It recognizes the fundamental role of the family as the natural environment to ensure full protection of girls, boys and adolescents and their primary and dominant role in education and training them. Parents have a right to choose their children’s education. 
The judicial and administrative authorities shall take into account this principle, which will hear the apparent mother, father or legal representative, as appropriate. 
The power to exercise the rights established in favor of children and adolescents will be directed and guided by those legally exercising parental authority or legal representation. In case of doubt, the final decision shall be the responsibility of the person exercising parental authority of the child or adolescent unless that person is the alleged violator of the rights of the girl, boy or adolescent, in which case the decision shall be made by the competent authority. 
None of the principles and rights set forth in this Act shall be deemed to limit or prejudice in any way the parental authority when legitimately exercised with regard to children and adolescents under the same. 

 

Article 10 .- Principle of Progressive Exercise of Powers 
The rights and guarantees afforded to children and adolescents will be exercised by them progressively, taking into account the evolutionary development of their faculties, the direction and appropriate guidance from their parents or the person holding legal representation, and the provisions established in this Law. 
To facilitate the exercise of these rights, public and private projects will be aimed at children and adolescents, which include activities, plans or educational programs regarding rights and obligations of children and adolescents. In the case of schools, these activities will be coordinated by the Executive in the field of Education. 

 

 

Article 11 .- Principle of Equality, Non-discrimination and Equity 
All children and adolescents are equal before the law and for that reason any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on criteria such as sex, race, color, age, language, religion, worship, opinion, affiliation, national, ethnic or social origin, property, special physical needs or mental disability, birth or other status of girls, boys, adolescents or their mothers, fathers, and responsible representatives, whose purpose or result impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of their fundamental rights cannot be justified. 

 

Nothing in the foregoing paragraph shall preclude the establishment of special positive action measures for certain groups or collectives of children or adolescents. 
Article 12 .- Principle of the Best Interests of the Girl, Boy and Adolescent 
In the interpretation, application and integration of all standards, in making judicial and administrative decisions, as well as the implementation and evaluation of public policies, compliance is required with the principle of best interests of children and adolescents, with regard to ensuring their comprehensive development and enjoyment of their rights and guarantees. 
It is meant for the best interest of the girl, boy and adolescent any situation that favors their physical, spiritual, psychological, moral development and social order to achieve full and harmonious development of his/her personality. 
The mother and father have common responsibilities regarding the upbringing and development of the girl, boy or adolescent. It is for the mother and father or, where applicable, legal guardians to bear primary responsibility in breeding and development of the child or adolescent and their concern should be their best interests and the State shall guarantee it. 
To weigh the principle of the best interests in specific situations, the following elements may be considered concurrently: 
a) The status of subject of rights and the non-involvement of the essential content of them; 
b) The opinion of the child or adolescent; 
c) Their status as a person at different stages of their evolutionary development; 
d) spiritual, physical, psychological, moral, material and social status of child or adolescent; 
e) The opinion of the father and mother or other person acting as legal representation, as appropriate, and, 
f) The decision taken should be the one that guarantees more rights and respect for longer, and the least restricted rights for the shortest time possible. 
Consideration of this principle is mandatory for any judicial, administrative or private authority. 

 

Article 13 .- Principle of Responsibility 

The security of the rights of children and adolescents corresponds to the family, the state and the society. 

This principle carries a direct responsibility of the parent, extended family and representative or guardian, as appropriate for participating in the natural and suitable environment which promotes the development of the personality of children and adolescents. 
The State has an irrevocable and inescapable obligation through policies, plans, programs and activities create the conditions for the family to play its role adequately. 
It must also ensure the rights of children and adolescents when for any circumstances the family cannot do so, upon the resolution of competent authority under this Law. 
The society must actively and continuously be involved in guaranteeing the rights of children and adolescents.  Also, ensure that each of the obligations imposed by this Act is actually accomplished. 

 
Article 14 .- Principle of Priority 
The State must ensure as a priority all the rights of children and adolescents through preferential consideration in public policy, resource allocation, access to public services, providing assistance and care in vulnerable situations and in any other care they need. 
Article 15 .- Nature of Rights and Guarantees 
All rights of children and adolescents recognized in the Constitution of the Republic, International treaties in force in El Salvador in the subject matter of this Act and those contained in this Act are indispensable, inalienable, indelible, intransigent, indivisible and interdependent. 

 

 

Title I 


Rights Integral Survival and Growth 

Chapter I 
Right to Life

 
Article 16 .- Right to Life 
The right to life from the moment of conception is recognized. The family, the state and society have an obligation to ensure baby, child and adolescent survival, optimum growth and comprehensive physical, mental, spiritual, psychological and social development in a manner compatible with the human dignity. 
The State should create public policies and programs for adequate coverage and prenatal, perinatal, neonatal and postnatal care and interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality maternal and child childhood. 
Everyone has the right to be born in family, environmental and other circumstances that allow him or her to obtain his or her full and normal bio-psycho-social development. 

 
Article 17 .- Right to Protection of Unborn Persons 
The protection of unborn girls or boys shall be exercised by the health and psychological care of the pregnant mother from the moment of conception until birth. 
With the aim of assuring the right to life of girls and boys, corresponds the State’s free care for women in prenatal, perinatal, neonatal and postnatal stages, for which, in these stages, it shall provide services and specialized medical treatment, provision of medicines, nutritional counseling and food support for the mother and daughter or son who are in special health or poverty conditions. 

 
Article 18 .- Measures to Safeguard the Right to Life 
When a girl, a boy or adolescent should be treated or hospitalized for emergency surgery because he or she is in imminent danger of death or irreparable harm to their physical health, medical-surgical care should be provided in the closest public or private health setting to stabilize the patient and then later remit him or her to the appropriate center for attention; care will be provided, having the medical professional proceed as the science directs and then communicate the proceedings to the father, the mother, the representative or guardian. 
If the situation is not an emergency, but could result in irreparable damage to the child’s or adolescent’s physical health, their provider will ask the parent, or responsible representative for authorization for hospitalization or intervention for the child or adolescent; if they are absent or in opposition to the care, the health care provider may request the intervention of Attorney General of the Republic, who must decide within a maximum period of twenty-four hours. 

 
Article 19 .- Prohibition of Experimentation and Practices Against Life 
Any activity that threatens the life, dignity or physical integrity, psyche or morale of children and adolescents is prohibited, such as: 
a) Medical experimentation; 
b) Genetic experimentation and, 
c) Ethnic, cultural or social practices. 
Any person having knowledge of experimentation or practices referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be obliged to file a criminal complaint. 

 

 

Article 20 .- Right to a Dignified and Adequate Standard of Living 

All children and adolescents have the right to enjoy an adequate standard of living in dignity and enjoyment of their rights. The right to a decent standard of living is essential and appropriate for comprehensive development from conception. 
This comprises: 
a) Food nutritionally balanced under the requirements and regulations that health authorities establish; 
b) Proper, safe and sanitary housing, with essential services like drinking water, sewerage and electricity; 
c) Clothing suitable to weather, clean and sufficient for their daily activities and, 
d) Recreation and healthy amusement. 

It is for the mother, father, extended family, representatives and guardians to ensure this right according to their abilities and financial capacities. The state, through public policies and programs should assure conditions for meeting this responsibility. 

 

Chapter II 
Health, Welfare and Environment

 

 
Article 21 .- Right to Health 
Health is a public good and fundamental right of children and adolescents that should comprehensively be understood as the result of the dynamic interaction of various biopsychosocial, economic, and environmental factors, water in sufficient quantity and quality, lifestyle and health care system. 
The State shall guarantee this right through the development of public policies and programs necessary to ensure the overall health of children and adolescents. In any case, the absence of health policy or program does not remove the state’s responsibility for individualized care that is required for every child or adolescent. 

 
Article 22 .- Free Medical Service 
The State shall provide free, in the appropriate level of care, health services to the children or adolescents who need them. This service also involves providing free consultations, medicines, tests, prosthetic devices, the implementation of programs for the therapeutic use of human organs or tissues or other items necessary for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation child or adolescent. 
If it is not possible for children or adolescents to access care and public health system services or is not appropriate given the means, the Executive Branch in the field of Health And Welfare, under the National Health System should coordinate efforts with the Members and partners of the same, as well as national and international institutions, public or private to preserve the health of children and adolescents who require it. 
Exceptionally, in cases of imminent danger of death, when the alternatives have been exhausted, the State can manage the health services provided by private entities and should assume the cost, if any, when the mother, father, agent, person or their families cannot afford it by themselves. For this purpose, appropriate accommodations will be made. 
In no case, may medical care be denied on the pretext of the absence of legal representative, the lack of space or resources and technical considerations of care. 

 
Article 23 .- Obligation to Emergency Medical Care for the Child, Adolescent or Pregnant Woman 

Any child, adolescent or pregnant woman in imminent danger of death or irreparable harm to their health or that of the unborn child therefore requiring emergency medical attention will be dealt with in the institution of public health or the nearest private location found, according to the provisions of the preceding article. 
The insolvency of the applicant or lack of required resources of the institution shall not relieve the duty of attention for a pregnant woman in labor. 

 

Article 24 .- Early Pregnancy 

Any pregnant child or teen is considered in a state of obstetric and perinatal high-risk and therefore must receive comprehensive medical attention in public health institutions. 

The state, with the cooperation of society, must establish a public policy and specific programs for the prevention of early pregnancy in girls and adolescents through information, education and care. 
A pregnant child or adolescent cannot be forced to submit to humiliating examinations or interrogations. 

 
Article 25 .- Obligations of the National Health System 
The State will, through the National Health System: 

a) To develop and implement comprehensive health policy for the care of children and adolescents in, among other areas, primary care, combat child and maternal mortality, malnutrition, early pregnancy, care and treatment of persons suspected of being carriers of the human immunodeficiency virus or suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome, as well as those suffering from chronic diseases; 
b) To ensure easy access of the child or adolescent to necessary services for treatment; 
c) To develop comprehensive care for sexual and reproductive health of the girl child and adolescent; 
d) To promote and encourage exclusive breastfeeding, at least in the first six months of life, in public and private health centers; 
e) To develop ongoing programs to prevent consuming of alcohol, snuff, drugs or any type of psychotropic substances; 
f) To develop detoxification and rehabilitation programs for children and adolescents with addictions; 
g) To develop ongoing programs and food safety guidance, to be broadcast to children and adolescents in public and private education; 
h) Develop ongoing programs for prevention, care and treatment of mental health in childhood and adolescence; 
i) To enable the mother, father, representative, or guardian for the girl, the boy or adolescent treated at public health facilities to accompany them in case of hospitalization; 
j) To establish guidelines and protocols for performance of health personnel for prevention, identification, care and treatment of the neglected or sexually abused child or teen and to give notice or complaint to the competent authority; 
k) To report on the state of health of the child or adolescent to his family and the patient himself, taking into account their development or maturity; 
l) To monitor the growth and development of any child or adolescent appropriate to their chronological age  guide and support the mother, father, agent, or guardian to take the measures to that end; 
m) To report to the corresponding Family Status Register in the period specified by the Act on the births and, where appropriate, deaths, and, 
n) To establish protocols for the care of the girl, boy, or adolescent and pregnant woman. 

Article 26 .- Responsibilities of the Family Against the Right to Health 

It is the duty of the mother, father, agent, or responsible for the child or adolescent: 
a) To register with the health or social security system after the moment of birth; 
b) To ensure attendance at periodic health checks, vaccinations and other medical services; 
c) To provide necessary care, for prevention, care and combating of diseases and for the special care of those with disabilities; 
d) Take them to the medical services needed before a symptom of disease or health risk; 
e) To comply with the instructions of public and private health care professionals, in regard to treatment to which they were subject, and, 
f) To avoid subjecting children or adolescents to treatments without scientific basis of support, or performed by professionals and auxiliary staff who are not licensed by the respective Supervisory Board or who do not have proper authorization. 

 

 

Article 27 .- Responsibilities of Society Pertaining to the Right to Health 

The responsibility of society: 
a) To cooperate with the state in developing policies and programs needed to reduce infant mortality, to prevent disease, to educate the family on hygiene and sanitation practices, to combat malnutrition and others that are necessary for the guaranteed health of children and adolescents and, 
b) To support and monitor compliance with the objectives of public policies on health, to propose actions that could complement or extend those processes. 

 

Article 28 .- Right to Breastfeeding 

It is the obligation of the State, the father, mother, representatives, managers, employers, and private health organizations: 
a) To inform and be informed of the advantages of breastfeeding and the effects its replacement by breast milk substitutes; 
b) To provide safe nutrition for infants, controlled and sufficiently promoting of breastfeeding, using informed and appropriate breast milk substitutes; 
c) To provide the infant, to the extent possible, breast milk until at least six months age; 
d) To inform and be informed about the risk of disease transmission through breastfeeding, offering alternatives to substitute the same in the case that this is not possible;

e) To train and inform health personnel, mothers, parents and communities in infant feeding and, 
f) To implement mechanisms that facilitate working in breastfeeding, and generate spaces for the employed or working mother to breastfeed the child during the first six months of life. The State shall promote conditions for breastfeeding children of women undergoing imprisonment.

 

 

Article 29 .- Health Promotion of Children and Adolescents The National Health System should establish a policy of preventive care for children and adolescence, both nationally and locally. As a mandatory part of this policy health care, dental and psychological programs shall be implemented. It is the duty of the father, mother, representatives or guardians to ensure that children and adolescents be vaccinated in a complete and timely manner according to the instructions provided by the National Health System. 
Vaccination against infectious, epidemic or endemic diseases, is compulsory and free. Such action will be made through the National Health System. 

 

 

Article 30 .- Primary and Family Health 

Primary care, including family health, will address the most frequent community problems and focus on providing preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative care able to maximize the health and welfare of children and adolescents. The State will coordinate between the National Health System, its members and partners to establish programs for the comprehensive care of the girl, boy and adolescent up to eighteen years old, seeking active family and community involvement. 
Among the indispensable development actions, are: the verification and certification of water fit for human consumption, environmental health, through human animal and industrial waste, hygiene and nutritional health, control of diarrheal and respiratory diseases and programs for sexual and reproductive health.  

Article 31 .- Mental Health 

The State shall ensure the care of mental, neurological and psychosocial health, of the girl, boy and teenager through the formulation of public policies and implementation of specific programs. 

Placement of any child or adolescent suffering mental, neurological or psychological problems in public or private institutions must be authorized by the parent or legal representative, and may be revised by the competent judicial authority, upon request of the interested party. 
Special attention will be given to the mental health of children and adolescents in cases of natural disasters or other situations of vulnerability. 

 
Article 32 .- Sexual and Reproductive Health 
All children and adolescents, according to their physical, psychological and emotional development, have the right to receive information and education on sexual and reproductive health as a priority from their mother and father. 
The State, in corresponding classes, shall guarantee the existence of and ensure access to health services and programs and comprehensive sexuality education for children and adolescents, in order to strengthen

its implementation, prevent sexually transmitted infections, reduce risks of sexual abuse and prepare for responsible, healthy and safe motherhood and fatherhood in adulthood. Services and programs implemented will ensure and promote respect for the right to life from the moment of conception. 


The Executive in the field of education should include sex and reproductive education as part of their programs, respecting the evolutionary development of children and adolescents. 

 


Article 33 .- Prohibition of Sale or Distribution of Materials or Substances that can Generate Damage to Physical and Mental Health 

It is prohibited to sell or even distribute to children and adolescents, by whatever means, pornographic material, as well as narcotics and psychotropic substances, alcohol, industrial glue, snuff and other substances that can lead to addiction. 

Actions that facilitate access to, use of, possession and carrying of firearms, ammunition and explosives of any kind by children and adolescents are also prohibited. 

Article 34 .- Right to Social Security 


The children and adolescents have the right to be registered and qualify as a priority for health services provided by the Salvadoran Social Security Institute when their mother or father is entitled thereto. Similarly, other public institutions that provide social security services accord the same coverage. 

The coverage of services for children and adolescents, will be assumed and progressively developed in accordance with applicable law, with response to capacities and to the maximum of the resources available.  Such progress will be monitored by the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence. 
In case of non-beneficiaries, they may be served when the public health system lacks the means and resources needed for medical-surgical treatment and the emergency need so warrants. 


Article 35 .- Right to a Healthy Environment 


Children and adolescents have the right to enjoy a healthy environment, ecologically sustainable and suitable for development. 
The State has the duty to provide environmental policy, ongoing programs directed to promote participation of girls, children and adolescents in the protection, preservation and enjoyment of the natural resources and to reduce risks from environmental hazards. 

Also, with the cooperation of the society and families, educational programs related to proper handling of solid waste, recycling of wastes and monitoring quality of drinking water supplied to their community must be implemented. 

 

Article 36 .- Girls, Boys and Adolescents with Disabilities 


The family, the state and society are obliged to ensure the enjoyment of a dignified life and remove all physical, urban, architectural, communications, transportation, social, economic and cultural rights barriers, which prevent children and adolescents with disabilities from accessing health services. 
Access to health includes the prevention, care, rehabilitation, programs to support families and other actions aimed at their development.  
For access to health care the following aspects should be taken into account: 
a) public and private health centers are required to perform the diagnostic tests that enable prevention, early detection, timely reference and counter reference in the network services; 
b) It shall establish plans and programs for prevention, adequate treatment and rehabilitation; 
c) The national hospital network shall maintain updated statistical information that allows referring disability cases at the respective institutions; 
d) Training of medical personnel and adequate assistance for the care of children and adolescents with disabilities; 
e) Adequate and appropriate equipment and infrastructure and, 
f) comprehensive care programs which incorporate the family. 

The infrastructure must be created to facilitate access of children and adolescents with disabilities. 

 

 

Title II 


Rights Protection 

Chapter I 


Personal Integrity and Freedom 

 

 

Article 37 .- Right to Personal Integrity 

Children and adolescents have the right to respect for personal integrity, which includes physical, psychological, cultural, moral, emotional and sexual integrity. 

Therefore they should not be subject to any form of violence such as abuse, exploitation, abuse, torture, punishment or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. 
The family, the state and society must protect children and adolescents from all forms of exploitation, abuse, torture, abuse or neglect that affects their right to personal integrity. 

 

 

Article 38 .- Protection from Abuse 


The State has an obligation to establish public policies and programs for prevention, care and eradication of child abuse and physical and emotional neglect of children and adolescents. 

Abuse means any act or omission that causes or could cause pain, suffering or injury to the integrity or physical health, psychological, moral or sexual abuse of a child or adolescent, by any person, including their fathers, mothers or other relatives, teachers and persons in charge of their care, whatever the means used. 

 

Neglecting to comply with the obligations concerning providing nutritionally balanced food, medical care, education and day care, or use of children and adolescents in the begging are also considered abuse. 
The State guarantees the creation of programs dedicated to the care and aid of those families due to lack of financial resources can not satisfy themselves with the obligations before identified. 
Children and adolescents should be treated with respect for their person and individuality and may not be subjected to corporal, psychological, or other offensive punishment that violates their dignity, without prejudice to the right of the mother and father to lead, guide and correct moderate properly. 

 


Article 39 .- Protection from Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment 

No child or adolescent may be subjected to torture, forced disappearances, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. 


It prohibits the abuse of, or use without medical prescription issued by a skilled health professional with sufficient authority for such purpose, of any chemical, psychotropic or other substances in the families of the amphetamines that have the effect of altered states mood of children and adolescents in order to ensure control and discipline in the study centers, nurseries, host institutions and places, whether public or private. 

The state must guarantee the existence of prevention and care for children and adolescent victims of the crimes described above, must maintain special vigilance in the places and detention centers and those which safeguard the children and adolescents. 

 

Article 40 .- Protection from Imprisonment, Detention and Institutionalization 

All children and adolescents have the right not to be deprived of their liberty arbitrarily or illegally without restrictions other than those determined by law. 

Any measure of imprisonment, detention or institutionalization of children or adolescents who are taken by the competent authorities and should be exceptional, should be duly substantiated, and must comply with deadlines set by law.  In no case shall adolescents be confined in police detention centers or adult prisons. 

 

Article 41 .- Protection Against Trafficking in Children and Adolescents 

The children and adolescents are entitled to be protected from trafficking. 

The term means, the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of children or adolescents, using the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a girl, boy or adolescent and a person who is authority over them, for the purpose of exploitation. This exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. 

In the context of public policy development for childhood and adolescence, the State shall establish and develop actions and measures that permit: the care and protection of migrant girls, boys and adolescents and the development of international cooperation plans for returning people.

 


Article 42 .- Freedom of Transit 


The children and adolescents have the right to travel freely throughout the national territory, there should be no restrictions other than those established by the Act and the powers derived from their mothers, fathers, representatives or guardians. 

 


Article 43 .- Special Protection Against Wrongful Transfer or Retention 

It is prohibited to illegally transfer or retain children and adolescents, although this practice has as its origin the exercise of parental authority, custody and care, visitation or authorization rules to leave the country.  Accordingly, the State guarantees the eradication of the practice. 
Children and adolescents who have been unlawfully transferred or retained have the right to be reintegrated into their family environment and enjoy the visits of parents and other relatives, provided that does not contravene the best interests of the former. 

 

The State shall take all measures necessary for achieving family reintegration of a boy, girl or adolescent who is in the situation envisaged in this article, under the Convention Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. 

 

Article 44 .- Travel Abroad 


Children and teens can travel outside the country, accompanied by the father and mother or by one of them, but in the latter case they are required to have authorization by the other parent issued as a notarized affidavit or by a document approved by the Attorney General’s Office or by an auxiliary the latter has delegated to that effect. 


Both the affidavit and the document issued by the Attorney General’s Office, whichever is the case, will have a validity period not exceeding one year from the date of issue. 
When the mother or father are found to be missing or the child or adolescent is in the care of a legal representative, the Attorney General of the Republic shall issue approval, where appropriate, on the issue of passports, and authorize the departure of the child or adolescent. The opinion issued will be binding. 
When the parent unreasonably refuses to give corresponding authorization, the grant by abbreviated process, the competent judicial authority will provide reasoned qualification. 
In the event that children and adolescents are traveling alone or with third parties, they are also required to have permission from their parents or guardians, according to the rules already mentioned and issued in one of the instruments listed in paragraph one. 


In either case, the authorization must contain the following requirements: 
a) A list of certified birth certificate and passport of the child or adolescent; 
b) To express the full name, age, profession or occupation, address and identity document of the person who is traveling with the child or adolescent and 
c) An indication of the destination to where they will travel and residence time, either temporarily or final. 

 
Article 45 .- Right to Family Reunification 


Foreigners legally residing in the country have the right to apply to the competent authority for entry of their children to the territory of the Republic, for which they must demonstrate the family link. They may also seek legal regularization of their children if they are not lawfully in El Salvador. 
Children and adolescents who are legally resident foreigners in the country have the right to request, of the competent authority, entrance of their family of origin to the territory of the Republic, for which they must prove family ties; also they may apply for legal regularization of their parents if they are not legally resident in El Salvador. 


For purposes of family reunification shall follow the administrative procedure available to the Law. 
The right to family reunification may be refused if the latter violates the best interests of the boy, girl or adolescent, or if there is a prior legal cause to prevent the entry of the family of the child into the country, duly informed by the immigration authorities. The decision, in any case, can be reviewed in court. 

 


Article 46 .- Rights to Honor, Image, Private Life and Privacy 

Children and adolescents have the right to honor, self-image, private life, and personal and family privacy without prejudice to the right and duty of mothers, fathers, representatives or guardians to exercise supervision and monitor any activity that could endanger the dignity of girls, boys and adolescents. 
It is prohibited, by any means, to disclose, display or use the image of children and teens against their will and without the knowledge and approval of their mothers, fathers, representatives or guardians. It is also forbidden to expose or disclose data, images or information that harm the honor or reputation of children and adolescents or constitute arbitrary or unlawful interference in their private life or personal and family privacy. 

 

It is prohibited to intervene in the correspondence and all types of telephone or electronic communication of children and adolescents, without prejudice to the end of the first paragraph of this article. 

 


Article 47 .- Specific Prohibitions Against the Use of the Image and Involvement of the 
Personal Privacy of Children and Adolescents 


The use of the image of children and adolescents is prohibited in: 
a) Programs, advertising and production of pornographic content; 
b) Programs, advertising and productions whose contents incite violence or are unsuitable for their age; 
c) The publication or display of news, features, stories, life stories or any other journalistic expression with photos or names of children or adolescents which directly or indirectly identify the victims of mistreatment or abuse; 
d) The publication or display of images and recordings or written references to allow direct or indirect identification or individualization of a child or adolescent victim of any crime; and 
e) The publication of the name and image of children or adolescents processed or sentenced for crimes or offenses. 

 

 

Article 48 .- Right of Rectification or Answer 

In case of violation of privacy, honor or self-image of a child or adolescent by a media, right of rectification or answer is guaranteed, through the courts, which may be used by the child or adolescent or by his/her mother, father, representatives or guardian. 

 

Article 49 .- Rights of Refuge and Asylum 

Children and adolescents who have refugee status or are in a position of asylum in El Salvador are entitled to protection and legal and humanitarian assistance for the full enjoyment of their rights. The same right assists his/her mother, father or persons responsible for their upkeep

 


Article 50 .- Protection of Their Material Rights

Children and adolescents have the right to defend themselves, with all means that the Law makes available, in the face of any person, entity or body, either public or private. 

They are also guaranteed administrative and judicial protection, which implies the possibility of going 
to the competent authorities, either directly or through their mother, father, representative or guardian, under the provisions of this Act 

To exercise this right, the state must guarantee free assistance and legal representation to children and adolescents. 

 

 

Article 51 .- Right of Access to Justice 

Children and teenagers are guaranteed free access to justice, which includes, among other elements, the following: 
a) Advice and specialized care for the protection of child rights and adolescence; 
b) Priority attention both in court and in institutions, assisting in the administration of justice, police and administrative offices; 
c) The adoption of measures to protect their identities and those of their families, where appropriate; 
d) Facilities for the taking of their testimonies in non-formal and non-hostile environments and, if deemed necessary, by closed circuit or teleconference, and recording of their testimonies to facilitate their reproduction in administrative or judicial hearing, where possible and necessary; 
e) Follow-up of initiated actions and enforcement of judgments for child and adolescent protection; 
f) Information to children and adolescents regarding in the status of their judicial processes and administrative procedures; 
g) Availability and adequate territorial distribution of services; 
h) Treatment with dignity and respect to the girl, boy and adolescent and his/her mother, father, representative or guardian;  
i) Availability of informative material, information and guidance on legal proceedings and administrative procedures for the rights of children and adolescents; 
j) Preparation of clear and simple judicial and administrative decisions; 
k) Guarantee of the right to speak of the girl, boy and adolescent in all those trials and administrative proceedings where the decision affects them directly or indirectly, and, 
l) The quick and timely resolution of administrative and judicial processes.  

 


Article 52 .- Right to Due Process 

In any proceeding, judicial or administrative, children and adolescents have the right to due process, under the terms embodied in the Constitution of the Republic, this Act and in the rest of legal system. 
In any case, the administrative and judicial authorities should avoid actions that cause major harm to children and adolescents, increasing their victimization. 

 


Article 53 .- Guarantee of Confidentiality 

All authorities or persons involved in the investigation and adjudication of court cases or administrative matters relating to children and adolescents as well as in implementing the measures are bound to secrecy on matters before them, those are considered confidential and shall not be disclosed under any circumstances. However, mothers, fathers, legal representatives and officials will have access to the proceedings and relevant files.  


Judicial and administrative authorities may also to allow access to records to accredited institutions to conduct research for scientific purposes with the condition of secrecy of subjects’ identities. 
In compliance with the provisions of this article prohibits the total or partial reproduction of the records relating to children and adolescents, except as may be in the interest of themselves, to try any judicial or administrative or report the doctrine contained, provided that in the latter case can identify them. 

 


Article 54 .- Special Protection in Cases of Disasters and Armed Conflicts 

Children and adolescents are entitled to special protection in cases of natural disasters and internal or international armed conflicts. This protection is expressed, among other measures, in the priority provision of means of evacuation of affected areas, accommodation, food, medical and psychological attention as well as the provision of medicines. 

The state must guarantee the preservation of the right to identity of children and adolescents and family reintegration as soon as possible, and consider the comments of the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. 


Article 55 .- Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse 

All children and adolescents have the right to be protected against abuse and sexual exploitation. 
For purposes of this Act, the terms are defined as follows: 
a) Sexual abuse: any conduct criminalized in the Penal Code, which undermines freedom and sexual integrity of a child or adolescent to gain advantage or profit of any kind or nature, and, 
b) Sexual exploitation: any form of sexual abuse procured by means of payment in cash or in kind, brokered or not. 

The use, procuring or offering of children and teens for prostitution, or for the production or performance of pornography shall be regarded as abuse and sexual exploitation. 

The State must ensure free and permanent programs of prevention and comprehensive care for abused children and adolescents. 

 

Article 56 .- Protection from Other Forms of Exploitation 

The children and adolescents will be protected from all forms of economic exploitation. The State shall eradicate all practices that affect the dignity and physical integrity of children or adolescents. 
The following are considered forms of economic exploitation of children and adolescents: 
a) Those that, under international law, are considered the worst forms of child labor violations; 
b) The sale and trafficking of children and adolescents; 
c) The extraction and marketing of human organs or tissues; 
d) Contemporary forms of slavery or practices similar to it; debt bondage, servitude, or labor that is forced, mandatory or without pay; 
e) Work which by its nature, or the circumstances in which it is carried out, damages health, safety or morals of children and adolescents; 
f) The induction or facilitation to begging for third-party benefit;  
g) The forced or compulsory recruitment of children and adolescents for use in armed conflict, and 
h) The use, procuring or offering of children and adolescents for the use of illicit activities, in particular the production and trafficking of drugs and narcotics. 

The collaboration of children and adolescents in the economic and productive activities of the family may be conducted if: 
a) It does not affect the right to education and healthy recreation; 
b) It does not put their physical, psychological and moral health at risk, and
c) It does not affect their development. 

 

 

Chapter II 


Protection of Juvenile Workers 

 

 

Article 57 .- Protection from Work 

Adolescents have the right to be protected from all labor practice within the formal and informal sector of the economy that might jeopardize the exercise of their rights. To that end, the State and society formulate policies, plans and protective measures to eradicate the work of children and adolescents who have not attained the minimum age for work. 

The Executive in the area of Labor and Social Welfare should develop campaigns, inspections and continuing actions in the workplace, in order to punish employers for breach this provision. 

 

Article 58 .- Right to Protection at Work 

Adolescents who work enjoy all the rights, benefits and compensation due to them, which correspond to the time of the employment relationship; as provided in this Act and the Code of Labor, the State must ensure that adolescents who work do so in decent work conditions. 
They also have the right to hold rallies, contracts and agreements, whether individual or collective.  For conclusion of such contracts they must have approval from their mother, father or, failing that, their representative or guardian.  The employment contract will be presumed in favor of the adolescent worker and presumed as certain the statements made on it by adolescents, except with evidence to the contrary. 


Article 59 .- Minimum Age for Work 


The minimum age for a person to perform work activities is fourteen years old, provided that guarantee respect for their rights and not prejudice the right to access and education. Under no circumstances should one authorize work for children and adolescents under fourteen. 
The National Council for Childhood and Adolescence will establish policies to increase progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work to a level consistent with the fullest development physical and mental health of adolescents. 


Article 60 .- Working Day 
The working time of adolescents under the age of sixteen, in any kind of work, not may be longer than six hours daily and thirty-four hours a week. Work is also prohibited at night. 

 


Article 61 .- Relationship Between Work and Education 

The Executive in the field of Education, through the participating institutions of the National Education System,  will promote vocational and professional orientation policies to link the study, work and economic and social development of the country, especially for those with disabilities.

 
In the case of trainees of the training colleges, this law prohibits night work and work conducted in premises or places inappropriate or harmful to their physical and mental health. 

 


Article 62 .- Learning and Technical-Vocational Training 


Adolescents will be protected when working as apprentices under the technical guidelines of their training, especially those with disabilities. To determine the criteria for protection, the following aspects especially must be taken into account, being established by law in matters of education, rights labor and other special and international treaties in force in El Salvador on the subject: 
a) Employers are obliged to grant them facilities that reconcile their work with attendance at school; 

b) Work should be compatible with development activities and powers of the teenager without incurring the prohibitions under this Act; 
c) The schedule must take into account attendance of adolescents at school or a training center, as established in the labor laws and, 
d) Family, State, society and employers ensure the full physical, mental, moral and cultural development of the adolescent.
Article 63 .- Welfare and Social Security 
Juvenile workers, including those that are self-employed and Apprentices are entitled to welfare and social security set out in these provisions, the Social Security Act, the Labor Code and the special rules of matter.  They shall enjoy all the benefits, economic benefits and health services under the same conditions as do those who are over eighteen years of age. 
Employers must enroll young workers within eight days after the start of employment. An employer who does not enroll within that time period will be responsible for paying all benefits and services which would have benefited if the teen has been entered on-time, without prejudicing any damages that occurred, as established by the this law, labor law and the law of the Salvadoran Social Security Institute. 

 
Article 64 .- Domestic Work 

Those persons over the age of sixteen may start work or domestic labor as employees. In case of recruitment, they recognize all employment rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, international treaties in force in El Salvador and in this Law 
The working day shall not exceed that stipulated in this Law.  They have a right to have their mealtimes and break times respected and to exercise the right to education in this sense, the employer must provide assistance to the nearest school. 
The remuneration for such work shall not be less than that received by people over the age of eighteen. 

 
Article 65 .- Disability and Work 
The family, the state and society are obliged to remove any obstacle or physical, social, cultural, economic, ideological and any other barrier that may impair performance and discharge of adolescents with disabilities. 
Their work should be governed under the same terms set forth in this Chapter and by the laws and international treaties in force in El Salvador, which govern the matter. 
The State shall promote the implementation of programs to strengthen their skills and abilities, in order to pursue their professional integration, under the supervision and monitoring of the competent institutions. 

 
Article 66 .- Registration of Adolescent Workers 
To work, adolescents must register with the appropriate authority which will convey to the Executive Body in the area of Labor and Social Welfare. The registration shall contain: 
a) Full name; 
b) Photograph; 
c) Date of birth; 
d) Place of residence; 
e) School, education level and school; 
f) Name of mother, father, representatives or guardians; 
g) Location, type and timing of work; 
h) Date of admission to employment; 
i) Indication of the employer, if applicable; 
j) Medical examination and, 
k) Any other information it may wish for better protection at work. 

 
Article 67 .- Credential for the Worker 
The registration in the Register of Adolescent Workers, entitles each to a free worker-identification card, which will contain: 
a) Full name; 
b) Photograph; 
c) Date of birth; 
d) Place of room; 
e) School, education level and school; 
f) Name of mother, father, representatives or guardians; 
g) Location, type and work schedule and, 
h) Date of entry into the job. 

 

Article 68 .- Medical Examination 

Adolescents may choose employment if, they have undergone an examination before the doctor of some public health facility, certifying that they are in an adequate position to perform the work for which they will be hired.
This test is repeated annually and shall be binding until the adolescent reaches the age of eighteen.  To those who on the occasion of the medical examination are diagnosed with a condition, they should provide timely treatment for diseases and for rehabilitation. 

 
Article 69 .- Inspection and Supervision 

The Executive in the area of Labor and Social Welfare shall conduct inspections and permanent supervision in the workplace, both in town and country, to establish whether the conditions under which work is conducted of adolescents conform to the provisions of this Law For young workers who are registered, inspections are conducted as at least once a year. 

Without prejudice to other established labor standards, the inspection will monitor in particular that: 
a) The work performed is not prohibited or restricted under this Act and the rules of law labor force in the country; 
b) The work does not interfere with regular attendance at the educational institution and, 
c) The working conditions not harm or jeopardize the physical or mental health of people adolescents. 

 
Article 70 .- Complaint 
Any person may complain to the Boards for the Protection of Children and Adolescents and before the Executive Branch in the area of Labor and Social Welfare, the situations that may involve threats or violation of the rights of young workers and the children who are being employees, used or exploited in ways prohibited by this Act 

 
Article 71 .- Right to Judicial Protection 
Competent courts shall have jurisdiction over violations of and threats to the labor rights of young workers. 

 

 

Title III 


Right to Development 

Chapter I 
Personality 
Article 72 .- Right to Free Development of Personality 
Children and adolescents have the right to free and full development of their personalities, without further limitations than those established by law. 

 
Article 73 .- Right to Identity 
Children and adolescents have the right to identity and its constituent elements, especially the name, nationality, paternal and maternal relationship subsidiaries and obtaining government identification documents in accordance with the Law. 
In no case will be listed in the places of the State Family Registry or in documents they issued, situations which indicate the origin of sonship. 
The state is obliged to create programs that ensure relevant public institutions identity every girl, boy and adolescent. 

 
Article 74 .- Right to Identification 
The birth of a person shall be registered immediately and free-of-charge in the State Family Registry. The state is obliged to ensure that people are identified from the time of birth. 
The State guarantees the right to identification by the department of the State Family Registry, including streamlined and simplified procedures for birth registration, which shall based on the provisions of the articles below. 
Also it will take specific measures to facilitate the enrollment of children and adolescents that have not been timely. 

 
Article 75 .- Registration in Health Institutions 
The management or administration of hospitals, whether public or private, should maintain an registration of births occurring in the same by means of individual medical records in the which includes the following information: 
a) Medical data related to the birth; 
b) Identification of the newborn, name, according to the data supplied by the mother, father, agent, or responsible; 
c) Record of the printing plant of the new born person; 
d) particulars of the mother, with her signature and fingerprints; 
e) particulars of the father, with his signature and fingerprints, when it is already present, and, 
f) Date and time of birth, without prejudice to other methods of identification.  Information on paternal and maternal filiation will focus exclusively on the declaration and voluntary recognition by them. 

 
Article 76 .- Registration of the Newborn 
The institutions referred to in the preceding article shall forward, directly to the Family Status Registry in the respective municipality, a record of registration of birth and medical record at the latest within ninety days, which will be held with the relevant entry. In addition, monthly books of the State Family Registry shall consolidate reports of all births produced in each medical institution. 
Doctors and midwives who have assisted in a birth outside a hospital, must report the address of those births, in no later than ninety days within the public health post in their locality, who in turn shall inform the State Family Registry under the relevant provisions of the preceding paragraph. 

 
Article 77 .- Requirements for Identification 
Birth registration of a person is done with the single presentation to the State Family Registry  of the municipality where had occurred, the certificate issued by the hospital or public health institution, whichever was the case. 
When the person had been born without the assistance of a doctor or midwife, the mother or father are required to enroll in State Family Registry of the municipality where the birth occurred or the their residence; in the absence of both parents, the closest relatives of the newly born have the same obligation, in any case with testimony from two witnesses. 
Registration must be made within ninety days after delivery. 
In any event, the State Family Registry will provide the first free Birth Certificate. In case of manifest material error name of the newborn, mother, father or legal representative may request the correction or rectification according to established laws of the State Family Registry and of Marital Property Regimes. 

 


Article 78 .- Right to Know One’s Mother and Father and be Raised by Them 
All children and adolescents, regardless of the origin of their ancestry, are entitled to know their mother and father and be raised by them, except in the case when it is contrary to their best interest. 

 
Article 79 .- Right to Maintain Personal Relationships with One’s Mother and Father 

Children and adolescents, have the right to maintain with their mother and father emotional and personal relationships that promotes normal development of their personality, even when they are separated, unless this is contrary to their best interests. 
The State should seek the reunion of children and adolescents missing for any circumstances with their families, and restore elements of their identity. 

 
Article 80 .- Right to be Brought up in a Family 
Children and adolescents have the right to live, to grow up and to develop in their nuclear or extended family of origin. 
Exceptionally, where the former is impossible or contrary to their interests, children and adolescents have the right to live, to grow and to develop in a foster family under the Law 

Children and adolescents may only be separated from their families of origin in cases where such is strictly necessary to preserve their interests in accordance with the requirements and procedures under the Act 

 

Chapter II 


Education and Culture 

 

 

Article 81 .- Right to Education and Culture 
The girl, boy and adolescent has the right to education and culture. Education will be comprehensive and will address the full development of her/his personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential. 
Also, education should be directed to the full exercise of citizenship, respect for human rights, gender equity, promoting values, respect for cultural identity, peace, democracy, solidarity, family responsibility and environmental protection. Following their powers and their vocation, children and adolescents are entitled to participate in cultural life and artistic life. 
The State shall guarantee this right through the development of comprehensive educational policies suitable education to ensure full and high quality. Consequently, resources must ensure adequate for actions to facilitate implementation of these rights. 

 
Article 82 .- Right to Free and Compulsory Education 
Preschool, nursery, primary, secondary and special school will be free and compulsory.  The services of public child development centers will be free and must meet all conditions for the care of children. 

 
Article 83 .- Access to Education and Culture 
The State must guarantee access to education and culture, which includes, among other conditions, territorial coverage in all educational levels, adequate infrastructure, good procedures, plans and programs of education, teaching qualified, adequate teaching resources, technological and cultural and recreational areas shall also be guaranteed access and retention of children and adolescents in the educational system under conditions of equality and without any discrimination. 
In no case should the lack of documentation of parentage or identity of the girl, boy and adolescent be an obstacle to his/her corresponding entry. 

 
Article 84 .- Disability and Education 
The State guarantees integrated or special programs as appropriate for children and adolescents with physical or mental disability, specifically designed to assure effective access to education, training and recreation opportunities. 
The public and private educational institutions must adapt its infrastructure to ensure access this right. 

 
Article 85 .- Private Education 

The Executive Branch in the field of education will monitor and control that private establishments impart holistic education in accordance with the terms of this Act, the General Education Law and regulations governing the matter. 

 
Article 86 .- Responsibility of the State in Education 

To realize the right to education the State must: 
a) Ensure quality and integral education progressive conditions of equality and equity for every girl, boy and teenager; 
b) Ensure free food assistance in public institutions of initial education, preschool and primary; 
c) Develop and promote the highest standards of scientific and technological knowledge; 
d) Promote artistic and cultural expression; 
e) Promote the ethical, moral and citizens; 
f) Disseminate and promote respect for the rights of every child, adolescent and child rights Humans in general; 
g) Promote awareness and respect of the Castilian language, cultural identity and other cultural events; 
h) Create and maintain learning centers with infrastructure and facilities that have the space and suitable conditions for the development of science and technology education, recreational activities, sports and culture; 
i) Provide research facilities and qualified human resources to ensure these conditions adequate labor shall also be providing educational materials, scientific, technological, recreational, sporting, cultural and appropriate tools for any type of expression artistic; 
j) Encourage all levels of education the development of intelligence and thought autonomous, critical and creative initiative and respecting the individual characteristics of each child, child or adolescent; 
k) Ensure procedures and special school schedules that allow adolescents workers regularly attend study centers; 
l) Develop strategies to eradicate the educational dropout; 
m) Include in educational programs related to nutrition issues, sex education and reproductive, early pregnancy, equity and gender violence, drugs, diseases infectious and contagious and environment and ensure the continuity in the school and not discrimination against girls and young mothers, pregnant women or victims of violence; 
n) To promote communication and social networking between educational authorities and parents, representatives or guardians of children and adolescents; 
o) Promote research on education and take into account the best proposals to pedagogy, teaching, assessment, curriculum and methodologies put forward by experts or international organizations, which meet the needs of children and adolescents; 
p) Monitor the performance and application of teaching methods in order to ensure educational quality in public and private schools and, 
q) Develop a financial policy aimed at meeting the education of the children and adolescence.

 

Article 87. – Responsibility of Mothers, Fathers, Representatives or Guardians Regarding Education 
It is the responsibility of parents, representatives and guardians for children and adolescents: 
a) To register the child or adolescent in a school in a timely manner; 
b) Encourage, enforce and verify regular attendance at classes and actively participate throughout the process education; 
c) Ensure the maximum utilization of educational media that they be provided; 
d) Respect for and monitor compliance with the educational rights of children and adolescents, to denounce any violations of those rights; 
e) Report offending acts contrary to the life and dignity of children and adolescents and 
f) Make available to children and adolescents instances where they should go if endangering the life and integrity of the women and men. 

 

Article 88 .- Responsibility of Public and Private Schools 

Education authorities inform mothers, fathers, representatives or guardians of children or adolescents, as well as school administration agencies cases of school desertion, rates of failure and repeated unexcused absences. 
Education authorities are also obliged to report any form of threat or violation or the physical, psychological and sexual abuse of children and adolescents, conducted within or outside schools. 

 
Article 89 .- School Discipline 
The public and private schools should teach the value of discipline and respect for teachers, students and all people. 
In the imposition of disciplinary measures, schools are obliged to respect the dignity, rights and guarantees of every child, child and adolescent. Consequently, it is forbidden to abuse and mistreat with physical and psychological punishment and any form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. 
It is prohibited to apply sanctions that are: corporal, collective or issued because of pregnancy or maternity of a student.  The imposition of disciplinary measures must be timely and keep the due proportionality with the conduct calling for them. 
Sanctions may be imposed only for conduct previously categorized in the regulation of the educational center and not contravene the provisions of this Act and the rules applicable to the subject.  Any procedure, in order to establish responsibility for the child or adolescent by an act of discipline in a school, would guarantee the right to due process and the student’s defense by him- or herself or by his or her mother, father, agent, or guardian. 

 
Article 90 .- Right to Rest, Recreation, Leisure, Sport and Play 
Children and adolescents have the right to rest, recreation, leisure, sport and play. 

The exercise of the rights enshrined in this provision should be addressed to ensure the integral development of children and adolescents and strengthen the values of solidarity, tolerance, cultural identity and environmental conservation, the State must ensure continuing campaigns to eradicate the use of toys and games of war and violence. 
The state, with the active participation of society, must ensure recreational programs, recreation, sports and leisure games, targeted at all children and adolescents, particularly for those with disabilities. These programs must meet the different needs and interests of girls, boys and adolescents and promote, especially, toys and traditional games associated with national culture, as well as others to be creative or pedagogical. 
Article 91 .- Spaces and Facilities for Rest, Recreation, Leisure, Sport and Play 
The State shall ensure the establishment and maintenance of public areas and facilities aimed at recreation, sport, play and relaxation, such as parks and playgrounds. 
Access to and use of these spaces and public facilities is free for children and adolescents who lack the economic means. 
Urban planning should ensure the creation of green areas, recreational and sports intended for the use of children and adolescents and their families, especially facilitating access to those with disabilities. 

 

 

Title IV 
Right of Participation 
Chapter One

 
Article 92 .- Right to Petition 

 

Children and adolescents have the right to file petitions and conduct themselves with respect to any legally constituted authority and to obtain timely and consistent information. 
It guarantees all children and adolescents and direct personal exercise of this right, without more limitations than those derived from the legal powers that relate to their mother, his father, his representatives or guardians. 
The petitioners must state the necessary elements of their identity and place to receive notifications. 

 
Article 93 .- Right to Freedom of Expression 
Children and adolescents have the right to speak freely, to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, either orally, in writing, art form, symbolic or otherwise means they choose, without further limitations than those prescribed by law and are necessary to protect safety, order, morality or public health or the rights and freedoms of others. 
To exercise this right, the State will guarantee the existence of bodies and spaces in which the children and adolescents to disseminate their ideas and opinions. 

 
Article 94 .- Right to Express Opinions and be Heard 

Children and adolescents have the right to speak and be heard regarding the exercise of principles, guarantees and powers established in this Law That right may be exercised before any entity, public or private and they shall record in its resolutions considerations and assessments related to the view expressed by them. The opinion of the girls, boys and adolescents will be greeted with methods according to their age and will be rewarded according to their evolutionary development. 
When the personal exercise of that right would be inappropriate in the best interests of the child or adolescent, it is exercised through his mother, father, agent, or responsible, provided that no are stakeholders and have interests adverse to those of children or adolescents. 
It is guaranteed to children and adolescents that they have personal exercise of this right, especially in the administrative or judicial proceedings that might affect their rights and interests, without further limits than those derived from their best interests. 
In cases of children or adolescents with a disability to communicate, they will be mandatorily assisted by their mother, father, agent, or guardian, or through others, due to their profession or special relationship of trust, to convey their views objectively. 
No child or young person shall be compelled in any way to express their opinion, especially in administrative and judicial processes. 

 
Article 95 .- Right to Access to Information 
Children and adolescents have the right to seek, receive and use information through different media, under proper direction and guidance of his mother, father, agent, or responsible according to their evolutionary development, without other limitations than those established by law. 
It is the duty of the family, state and society secure and ensure that children and adolescents receive diverse information, accurate and suitable to their needs and provide guidance and education for critical analysis. 
The State must guarantee access for all children and adolescents to public services information and documentation, libraries and other similar services that meet their different information needs, including cultural, scientific, artistic, recreational and sporting activities.  The public library service and any information service or public documents, is free for children and adolescents. 

 
Article 96 .- Protection from Harmful or Inappropriate Information 
For the protection of children and adolescents, it is prohibited to: 
a) Disseminate or providing access to public events, publications, videos, recordings, television, radio and other means of communication containing messages inappropriate or harmful to their development and training; 
b) Disseminate information, programs, publicity or propaganda inappropriate or harmful to those in television media in times of family segment and, 
c) Market products for those with wrappings or coverings that contain images or text messages that are inappropriate or harmful to their development. 
The Executive in the corresponding branch slots shall define which television and radio programs are suitable for children and adolescents, and inform about the nature of the contents and ages for which it is recommended. 
For the purposes of this Act the following are considered inappropriate or harmful: materials containing advocacy of discrimination, violence, pornography, alcohol and drug use, as well as those who exploit fear or immaturity of children and adolescents, to induce them to harmful or dangerous behavior to their health and personal safety. These prohibitions apply to public and private media and communication services, as well as to advertisers. 

 
Article 97 .- Obligation of the Media 
The media such as television, radio and print media, must allocate spaces for the dissemination of the rights, guarantees and duties of children and adolescents. They are also duty to disseminate messages and programs aimed exclusively at children and adolescents, meeting their information needs, including educational, cultural, scientific, artistic, recreation and sports. 

 
Article 98 .- Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion 
Children and adolescents have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which shall be exercised as appropriate, pursuant to its progressive development, no more limiting than the prescribed by law that are necessary to protect public safety, order, morality or public health or rights and fundamental freedoms of others. 
The mother, father, or representatives or guardians have the right and duty to guide the children and adolescents in the exercise of this right in a manner that contributes to their development. 
In any case, children and adolescents who attend private schools of education must respect the religious practices and learn from them. 

 
Article 99 .- Freedom of Assembly 
Children and adolescents have the right to meet publicly or privately for lawful purposes and peacefully, within the limits established by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, morality or public health or the rights and freedoms of others. 
It is prohibited to allow children and teenagers to enter gambling houses brothels, bars or similar places that affect their health or spiritual, physical, psychological, mental, moral or social development – regardless of name or identity given to them. 

 
Article 100 .- Freedom of Association 
Children and adolescents have the right to associate freely and voluntarily for the development of any lawful activity, within the limits set by law. 
Adolescents from the age of fourteen may constitute non-profit associations, even form part of their directing bodies.  Legal entities composed exclusively of adolescents with property obligations should appoint, in accordance with its statutes, a legal representative with full civil capacity to assume responsibility that may arise from these acts. 
The State shall promote the development of associations identified in the preceding paragraph when the object of the same is the promotion, care and monitoring of the rights of children and adolescents. 

 

 

Title V 


Duties of Children and Adolescents 

 

Article 101 .- Common Provision 
The mother, father, or representatives or guardians of children and adolescents, have the right and duty to lead and guide in the enjoyment and exercise of the rights established in the previous articles, so that they contribute to their development.

 

 
Article 102 .- Obligations 
The children and adolescents have the following duties: 
a) Understand and actively defend their rights; 
b) Respect and obey their mother, father, representatives, managers and teachers; 
c) Treat public servants with respect and decency; 
d) Respect the rights and interests of others; 
e) To respect and uphold the Constitution and laws of the Republic; 
f) Respect national symbols and cultural diversity; 
g) Recognize national history; 
h) Comply with school and family obligations and duties; 
i) To protect and conserve the environment and rational use of natural resources and, 
j) Any other duty that is established in this Law 

 

 

Book II 
National System for Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents 
Title I 
System Common Provisions 
Chapter One

 
Article 103 .- Definition and Objective of Comprehensive Protection System 
The National System for Integral Protection of Childhood and Adolescence, also referred to in this Act “Integrated Protection System” or simply the “System” is the coordinated set of organs, bodies or institutions, public and private agencies whose policies, plans and programs aim paramount to ensure the full enjoyment of the rights of children and adolescents in El Salvador. 

 

 

Article 104 .- Principles of the Integral Protection System 

 

The Integral Protection System will be organized and governed under the principles of legality, participation, democracy, efficiency and effectiveness. 

 

The performance of the System members will be ruled by the principles of coordination, cooperation, transparency, good faith and will be free. 

 
Article 105 .- Composition of Integral Protection System 

The Protection System shall consist of: 
a) The National Council for Childhood and Adolescence; 
b) Local Committees for the Rights of Children and Adolescents; 
c) Boards for the Protection of Children and Adolescents; 
d) Promotion and Assistance Associations; 
e) The Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents; 
f) The Judiciary; 
g) The Attorney General’s Office; 
h) The Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights, and, 
i) Members of the Shared Care Network. 

 

Article 106 .- Declaration of Public and National Interest 

It will be declared a national and public interest, the creation, implementation and operation of the National System of Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents. 
The Central and Municipal Government will be obliged to cooperate in implementing the system Integral Protection, whose plans have coordination and national development. 

 

Article 107 .- Duty of Partnership 

An official, agency, institution or agency of the state or municipalities are obliged to provide cooperation and assistance to the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence, Local Committees, Protection Boards, as well as giving information on request relating to the state of affairs of childhood and adolescence. 

 

 

Article 108 .- Responsibility in Case of Failure 

All officials, officers, employees, agencies, institutions or agencies, public or private, related to the comprehensive protection system, shall be held accountable when their negligence, inexperience, ignorance or inexcusable neglect, cause a violation or threat to the rights of the child or adolescent. Similarly, when they divulge or take advantage of any sensitive information they acquire in the discharge of their duties, they incur liability for damages caused by them to third parties, without prejudice to the administrative or criminal liability that apply. 

 

Title II 
Public Policy and Plans 
Chapter I 
National Policy for Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents 

Article 109 .- Definition and Objective 

The National Policy for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents, hereinafter “National Policy” or “PNPNA” is the systematic set of goals and guidelines of a public nature intended to ensure full enjoyment of the rights of children and adolescents. 
The PNPNA establish the guidelines for action and coordination of all members of the National System of Protection, directing state and private actions that have links with the security of rights of children and adolescents. 
The National Policy for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents will be implemented through formulation, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of programs, plans, projects and strategies. 

 
Article 110 .- Best Interests and Priority in Resource Allocation 

The best interests will be a principle that shall guide the PNPNA decisions regarding state and family as well as society involvement. 
To achieve its aims, the PNPNA should set guidelines to ensure the effective and priority allocation of state resources, both nationally and locally. 

 
Article 111 .- Type and Consistency 
The PNPNA should propose guidelines that will be useful for the protection of children and adolescence, so too it must develop and harmonize policies and general plans of the State relationship with these guidelines. To this end, it shall consider the following types of public policies: 
a) Basic social, including the minimum conditions to guarantee universal development of all people and particularly children and adolescents, including those relating to health, education, housing, social security and employment; 
b) Social assistance, which includes requirements to protect sectors of the children and adolescents who are in situations of social exclusion due to the extreme poverty, natural disasters or other conditions that prevent their development; 
c) Special protection, including state actions aimed at protecting and restore the rights of children and adolescents who are threatened or been violated; 
d) Legal protection, including all actions to establish and maintain legal mechanisms that permit the effective defense of all the rights of children and adolescence and, 
e) Participation, including the conditions under which children and adolescents are involved directly in their own development and that of their community and state. 
The  PNPNA will also determine guidelines for coordination and coherence of economic and social policies with comprehensive protection purposes arising under the Constitution of the Republic, of International Treaties Concerning Human Rights existing in El Salvador, and of this Act .

 

Article 112 .- Guiding Principles 

The PNPNA must meet the following principles: 
a) Best interests of the child, child and adolescent; 
b) absolute priority; 
c) Comprehensiveness in the protection of rights; 
d) Social participation involving children and adolescents;  
e) Equality and non-discrimination and 
f) Gender Equity.

 

 

Article 113 .- Minimum Essential Contents

Without prejudice to other matters, the decision must contain PNPNA and guidelines aimed at achieving the following purposes: 
a) Strengthening the role of family in society; 
b) The equal participation of society in the comprehensive protection of childhood and adolescence; 
c) The definition of relevant public decisions that ensure the full enjoyment of human rights 
childhood and adolescence; 
d) The implementation of mechanisms to ensure the effective and efficient coordination of the State decisions and governance, both nationally and locally, with respect to protecting the rights of children and adolescents; 
e) Decentralization of the immediate and continuing care services to children and adolescents and the gradual decentralization of the mechanisms of development and monitoring of public decisions on comprehensive protection; 
f) Implementation of state mechanisms to ensure the allocation of material resources and financial resources for comprehensive protection of childhood and adolescence; 
g) The promotion, dissemination and training on rights of children and adolescents and, 
h) Participation of children and adolescents in the state and social life as well as in exercise direct their rights in accordance with their evolving capacities. 

 
Article 114 .- Participation in the Formulation of PNPNA 

The preparation, approval and monitoring of PNPNA should involve the family, civil society and the State, in accordance with the provisions of this Law.  Civil society’s participation in the policy formulation should include, primarily, the consultation of children and adolescents.  The forms and processes of participation will be defined in regulations. 

 

 

Chapter II 


Local Plans 

 

Article 115 .- Definition and Objective 

Each municipality must draw up plans and local strategies for child and adolescent protection that address the realities of the population under their jurisdiction. To this end, CONNA in coordination with municipalities will create local committees of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, whose operation and competition are governed by the provisions of this Law. 

The plans and local strategies must keep full consistency with the PNPNA and follow the guidelines enacted for that purpose by the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence. 

 

 

Title III 


Programs 
Chapter One 

 

Article 116 .- Purpose 

The purpose of the program is prevention, protection, care, restoration, promotion or dissemination of the rights of children and adolescents. 

 
Article 117 .- Type 
Care agencies may develop all kinds of programs whose purpose, technical contents, implementation methodology and resources will be determined within the limits of this Act, and technical conditions set by the competent regulating authority. They may also develop programs for the compliance with the measures of administrative and judicial protection. 

 
Article 118 .- Adaptation and Registration 
The programs for children and adolescents must adapt their objectives and actions to the Constitution, International Human Rights Treaties in force in El Salvador, provisions of this Act and the guidelines of the PNPNA. 
Any program must be accredited by the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence, for which shall be assessed for suitability in the terms suggested in the preceding paragraph.  Similarly, all programs will be subject to the supervision and coordination of the Salvadoran Integral Development of Children and Adolescents. 
All the institutions and programs must respect the character of the subject of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, and ensure the implementation of the best interests over the interests of the care entity running the programs. 

 

Title IV 
Protection Measures 
Chapter I 
General Provisions

 
Article 119 .- Definition 

The protection measures are mandatory orders imposed by the competent authority on behalf of children or adolescents as individuals, when there is a threat or violation of their rights or legitimate interests. 
The threat or violation referred to in this article may come from the act or omission by the State, through its institutions, officers and employees, the society, his/her mother, father, agent and responsible party, or by the child or adolescent him/herself. 
In any case the protection measures may include imprisonment, as mandated in the Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Declaration of Children’s Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

 
Article 120 .- Types of Protective Measures 
The protection measures are administrative and judicial. 

Administrative measures of protection are: 
a) The inclusion of the child or adolescent and family, jointly or separately, in one or various programs referred to in this Law; 
b) The order of compulsory registration or attendance in public or private schools; 
c) The order of medical, psychological or psychiatric examination of the child or adolescent or of his mother, father, or responsible representative; 
d) The separation of the child or adolescent from work; 
e) Emergency accommodation for an affected child or teen; 
f) The warning to the parent, or responsible representative and, 
g) The statement of the mother, father, agent or responsible in taking responsibility in the relationship with the girl, the boy or adolescent. 
Legal measures of protection are: 
a) Foster care and, 
b) Institutional placement. 

 

 

Article 121 .- Application Rules 
Protective measures can be applied in isolation, together, simultaneously or consecutively. 
In implementing measures, those are preferred that protect and develop the family and community links.

 
A lack of economic resources does not constitute grounds for the application of either protection measure. This being the case, the mother, father, or responsible agent should be included in one or more of the programs covered by this Law.
Article 122 .- Powers 

Administrative protective measures shall be ordered by the Boards for the Protection of Children and Adolescence. 
The legal measures of protection can only be ordered by Judges. 

 
Article 123 .- Emergency Accommodation 

The emergency placement is an exceptional and temporary measure, issued in situations of extreme urgency or need for a child or adolescent, which may consist of separation from their family environment, and by which their care is entrusted to appropriate persons with whom the child has kinship or the Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents as a transition to other administrative or judicial measure of protection. 
The Protection Board shall supervise, within forty-eight hours of the execution of the measure and then continuously, the conditions in which it finds the child or adolescent by the executor of the measure. 

If within a maximum of fifteen calendar days it has not been able to resolve the case by the administrative way, the Protection Board will put the order to a competent judge. 

 

Chapter II 


Judicial Measures 

 

Article 124 .- Fostering 

Foster care is a step taken by the competent court, allowing a temporary family, not being of nuclear origin, to host a child or adolescent who is temporarily or permanently deprived of their family environment, either for lack of father, mother or both, or because they are affected in the ownership of parental authority. 
Foster care may be given by a single person or married couple, who must have psychological and social conditions that make possible the protection of the child or adolescent and their overall development; and it includes the following procedures: family placement and foster family placement, in the latter case family status is irrelevant to the application of the measure, but a caring relationship with the protected child is relevant. 
Whatever form is adopted, he, she, or they who are designated for the foster placement must 
be united by marriage or have no impediment for marriage.

 
The responsibility of whoever is chosen to serve on any of the modalities above is personal and not transferable. 
Article 125 .- Family Placement 
Family placement is the location of a child or adolescent with a relative within the fourth degree of onsanguinity or second of affinity. This method guarantees the permanence and care of the child or adolescent with people with whom he was joined by ties of kinship, these people must first be qualified, registered and subject to supervision of the Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents. 

 
Article 126 .- Foster Family 
The foster family is a form of foster care in which a family that is not the family of origin houses a child or adolescent in order to assume responsibility for supplying protection, affection, education and thus takes on the obligation of his/her care, protection and material and moral assistance. This measure should be reviewed every six months in order to assess the return of the child or adolescent to the family of origin or to take the most appropriate measure to his or her situation. 
The competent judge shall assess the suitability of the family who want to serve as a foster placement. 

The foster families must meet, at least with family conditions, moral, psychological, social, economic and health standards which demonstrate the ability and willingness to take the parental responsibility. 
In the event that the foster family requests the adoption of the child or adolescent received by them, provided they are eligible for adoption, the time the child or adolescent has lived with the foster family will be counted toward the length of the time required in the Article 176 of the Family Code. 
Foster families will be supervised by the Institute for the Integral Development of the Children and Adolescents. 

 
Article 127 .- Conditions of Foster Care 

The foster care must meet the following: 
a) Be implemented in a home previously qualified for this purpose; 
b) The child or adolescent subject to the measure must be heard and their consent will be required when they are twelve or more years old, if not impaired by any disability that impedes discernment, in every case it will be decided based on the best interests of the girl, boy or adolescent; 
c) Be implemented in a home, which by its location and organization will allow the child or adolescent subject to the measure, to participate normally in community life and to use all the services it offers; 
d) Ensure the children or adolescents proper socialization process and ensure safety, emotional stability, and 
e) Ensure that the relationships of the girl, boy or adolescent are developed in the context of a family and are personalized, so as to facilitate the construction of identity and development of his or her personality. 

 
Article 128 .- Option to Adopt Foster Children 

Persons who have been responsible for a child or adolescent in foster care will have first option for adoption, provided they comply with legal requirements and with respect to best interests. 

 
Article 129 .- Institutional Fostering 
The institutional placement is a measure of judicial protection, strictly temporary, exceptional and for the shortest possible time. It will be applied in cases where the child or adolescent is deprived of family environment and it is not possible to implement some of the arrangements for foster care. This measure will be fulfilled in due care institutions authorized and supervised by the Executive Directorate of the National Council for Childhood and Adolescents and will endeavor to exercise family-based alternative care. 
This measure will be reviewed by a judicial authority, within a maximum time period of three months, who will seek by all possible means to preserve, improve, strengthen or restore family links, seeking the return of the child or adolescent in their family of origin or to adopt a more appropriate measure for his or her situation. 

 
Article 130 .- Obligations of the Care Entities that Execute the Measures of Foster and Institutional Care

In addition to the general obligations of any care entity, those running foster programs, in the form of a foster family or institutional care, must meet the following obligations: 
a) Assume personal care of the child or adolescent when the court so determines; 
b) Ensure the strengthening of family ties and overcoming the causes that motivated the measure; 

c) Assist in clarifying the legal status of the child or adolescent deprived of his family environment; 
d) Exhaust all actions necessary to reintegrate the child or adolescent in his or her family of origin; 
e) Report periodically to the competent authority of the general situation of the hosting or at any time the circumstances change which prompted the extent to which it is ratified, modified or terminated; 
f) Assist in the procedures necessary to meet the needs of children and adolescents served, and support them in obtaining their identity cards before competent authorities and, 
g) Inform the judge who delivered the measure of the impossibility of continuing to exercise the measure so that he or she may decide as appropriate, in the best interests of the child or adolescent received. 

 

 

Chapter III 


Common Provisions 

 

 

Article 131 .- Termination of foster and institutional care
The causes of termination of foster and institutional care, whichever is the case, are: 
a) The reintegration of the child or adolescent in his/her family of origin; 
b) The adoption of the child or adolescent, and 
c) The resolution of the authority that ordered the measure. 

 
Article 132 .- Priority 

When the imposition of measures is required for a child or adolescent, the trial judge is to exhaust the possibilities of the methods of fostering, preferring in his/her order: family placement, foster family and, in exceptional cases, institutional placement in a care institution. 

 
Article 133 .- Financial Resources and Prohibition of Profit 

The lack of financial resources can not constitute grounds for disqualifying the family of origin or who intend to perform any of the arrangements of foster care, provided that their situation not prejudice the integral development and protection of the child or adolescent, as it is established in this Law.
It is prohibited to make a profit as a result of institutional and foster care. 

 

 

Title V 


Administrative Component 

Chapter I 


National Council for Childhood and Adolescence 

Section One 


General Aspects 

 

Article 134 .- Nature and functions 
The National Council for Childhood and Adolescence, hereinafter “CONNA” is an institution with public legal personality, its own resources and technical, financial and administrative autonomy, with which it will interact and coordinate with the other organs of the state through the Ministry of Education. 
CONNA will have its home in the city which it established his headquarters and its field of action is extended throughout the national territory.  The primary functions of CONNA are the design, approval and monitoring of PNPNA; the coordination of the National System of Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents and the effective defense of the rights of children and adolescents. 

 
Article 135 .- Powers 
CONNA is the highest authority of the comprehensive protection system and has the following functions: 
1. Design, consult, approve, modify and disseminate PNPNA; 
2. Monitor and ensure consistency of policies, decisions and public actions of the PNPNA and omissions the public services have incurred, and issue recommendations; 
3. Assess PNPNA at least every three years and make appropriate recommendations; 
4. Plan and coordinate the implementation and operation of comprehensive protection system for the effective fulfillment of its purposes; 
5. Register to members of the Shared Care Network and accredit their programs; 
6. Discipline members of the Shared Care Network, where appropriate; 
7. Immediately inform the Local Committees and Boards for the Protection of the registration of Members of the Shared Care Network operating in their jurisdictions; 
8. Synthesize information on the actions of members of the Shared Care Network; 
9. Annually assess social investment and investment priorities in the budget of revenues and Public Expenditure Management and formulate recommendations and guidelines necessary to point good practice for effective implementation and full enjoyment of the rights of children and adolescents; 
10. Promote protective action in cases of rape or threats to collective rights and broad interests of children and adolescents, through the Executive Directorate; 
11. To promote the constitutional and administrative law processes that apply when certain rules, acts and omissions violate the rights of children and adolescents; 
12. Report to the competent organs actions or omissions of public and private services that threaten or violate the rights of children and adolescents; 
13. Monitor respect for the rights of children and adolescents subject to adoption; 
14. Collect and analyze information related to the situation of the rights and duties of children and adolescents and make it public knowledge within the limits established by this Law; 
15. Facilitate, in any case, access to information sources and information collected in their files, as long as it does not affect data protection and best interests of the girl, boy and adolescent; 
16. Select members of the Boards for the Protection of Children and Adolescents; 
17. Render an annual report on the status of children and adolescents in El Salvador to the Legislature, along with its work report and investigate specific aspects related to childhood and adolescence. The reports and investigations will be publicly accessible and will promote its dissemination; 
18. Support the preparation of reports due by the State under its international obligations of the rights of children and adolescents; 
19. Disseminate and promote awareness of rights and duties of children and adolescents, as well as the reports of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; 
20. Promote international cooperation in the dissemination and protection of human rights of childhood and adolescence; 
21. Advise the organs of government on the signing and ratification of international treaties on the rights of children and adolescents in force in El Salvador; 
22. Approve their budget, the allowances of members of Council, and investment plans of funds; 
23. Agree on the acquisition and disposition of property; 
24. Appoint, remove and fix the remuneration of the Executive Director and the External Auditor;
25. Develop and enact its rules and operation, as well as they are appropriate to implement and, 
26. The other duties that correspond in accordance with law. 
The powers of CONNA shall be exercised through the Board of Directors, who may approve and delegate to the Executive Director the exercise of certain powers, and, when deemed appropriate, the award of procurement and contracts not exceeding the amount of self-management.

 

 

Article 136 .- Reports 
CONNA will report regularly to the Executive Body in the field of Foreign Affairs, with the purpose of providing the necessary information regarding compliance with the commitments made in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international instruments in force in El Salvador cases of childhood and adolescence. 

 

Article 137 .- Organizational Structure 

To ensure the achievement of its objectives and fulfill its responsibilities, CONNA will have the following bodies: 
a) The Board of Directors; 
b) The Executive Directorate and, 
c) All other units defined by their internal rules and function. 
The bodies specified above will have the technical and administrative personnel as may be necessary. 

 

 

 

Section Two 


Trustees 

 

Article 138 .- Board 

The supreme body of CONNA is the Governing Board, which shall be made by the highest authority from the following institutions: 

a) The Executive Body, the owners responsible for the following fields: 

1. Public Safety and Justice; 
2. Finance; 
3. Education; 
4. Labor and Social Security and, 
5. Public Health and Welfare. 

b) The Attorney General’s Office; 
c) The Corporation of Municipalities of the Republic of El Salvador and, 
d) Four representatives of civil society organizations elected by the Shared Care Network, two of whom must belong to NGOs on Human Rights. The representatives of the Executive Body are the owners of Secretaries of State responsible for these branches, which may only be replaced exclusively by the appropriate Deputy, in the If the Attorney General’s Office may only be appointed for this purpose the respective Assistant prosecutor and the President of the Corporation of Municipalities of the Republic of El Salvador only may appoint a delegate to a vice president. The representatives of organized society will have their respective alternates. 

 
Article 139 .- Alternate Members of Civil Society Representatives 

Shared Care Network will also elect their alternates, CAP members representing society. The alternate members will replace the owners in case of absence justified and finally replaced in case of breach of their duties. 
When not replacing an owner member, alternate members may attend meetings of CONNA and are entitled to participate but without the right to vote in the decisions made.

 

 
Article 140 .- Quorum and Collegial Decision 

The Board may meet with half of its members and make decisions by simple majority, except the approval of the PNPNA to be adopted by the affirmative vote of seven members. 
In case of a tie vote the President shall have a qualified vote. 

 

Article 141 .- President of the Council 

The Board shall elect the President, who will serve for two years.  The chairmanship will rotate between representatives of state and society. 
The President shall represent CONNA and out of court, will chair meetings of the Council Directors. In case of absence, the meetings are chaired by the member elected from those present. 

 

Article 142 .- Society Representatives 

The society representatives will be elected in processes organized by the Network of Care Shared and therefore do not acquire the quality of public officials. It may belong to the public institutions already represented on the Governing Board nor the institutions of a mixed nature that integrate into the Shared Care Network, subject to the right of the latter to participate in choosing their representatives. 
It must be ensured that the representation of NGOs has a high social recognition for their work in defending and protecting the rights of children and adolescence, either nationally or internationally. 
The term of office is two years six months from the time of election and may be reelected only once in office. 
The method of election shall be regulated in the respective regulations for that purpose issued by CONNA. 

 

Article 143 .- Loss of Membership by the Society 

Society members of the Board will lose its capacity for the following reasons: 
a) Failure to fulfill their functions within the Board repeatedly without written justification, or for abandonment of post; 
b) Death or physical or mental illness that permanently unfit for office; 
c) Resignation; 
d) Having been sanctioned in the past five years, in a judicial or administrative, for violation the rights of children or adolescents or domestic violence, and 
e) Having been convicted in a final ruling by any intentional crime. 
Whoever loses the membership by either of the cases mentioned in subparagraphs a) and d) of this article may not be re-elected to the Board, in subsequent five years of the resolution adopted by the same Council in which it holds the loss of such quality. The regulation must contemplate how to replace the representatives of society. 

 


Article 144 .- Per Diems 

Regular members of the Board receive a per diem for attending ordinary and extraordinary meetings.

 

Section Three 


Executive Directorate 

 

 

Article 145 .- Executive Director 

The Executive Directorate will be the executing agency management CONNA, and shall consist of a Executive Director appointed by the Board through a public nomination process to ensure capacity and technical expertise and personnel for the job. 
The Executive Director shall be over thirty years, have recognized ethical and professional conduct, university education with a specialty in the field, according to the charge and demonstrable experience in the area of social and economic policy. The means and procedure to establish the requirements for appointed Executive Director shall be fixed in the respective rules of procedure of CONNA. 

The Executive Director position is incompatible with any other occupation, except of teaching and research, provided it does not interfere with the performance of its institutional functions. 

 

 

Article 146 .- Powers 

The Executive Director shall have the following powers: 
a) Providing all technical support required by the Board for the implementation of all its functions; 
b) Implement and monitor the decisions of the Board; 
c) Develop a PNPNA proposal and its subsequent amendments; 
d) Establish technical guidelines for implementing the action plan of the PNPNA; 
e) Develop the proposed technical guidelines to enable effective implementation, operation and coordination of comprehensive protection system; 
f) Implement the plan of protection system coordination; 
g) Develop the strategic plan for establishing technical links with local systems protection; 
h) technical assistance to municipalities in the creation, implementation and strengthening of the Local Committees; 
i) Promote and support, technical assistance, the establishment and operation of the Associations of Promotion and Support of Children and Adolescents Care and other entities throughout the nation; 
j) Develop and submit to CONNA its annual budget proposal of the operation; 
k) Organize and direct the administrative and technical work and the staff of the Executive Directorate; 
l) To participate, through the Executive Director in all meetings of CONNA, with voice but without vote; 
m) Develop proposals for implementing regulations referred to herein; 
n) Any other responsibilities that secures CONNA to support the exercise of their own powers, within the limits established by the Salvadoran legal system and, 
o) Run the procedure for creating departmental Protection Boards. 

 
Article 147 .- Powers of the Executive Director 

The duties of Executive Director: 
a) Comply with and enforce the decisions and resolutions of the Board and the powers and functions assigned; 
b) Plan, coordinate and monitor, at a general level and upper management, technical activities, administrative, financial and programmatic thereof; 
c) Manage the assets of Executive Directorate, according to its budget; 
d) Prepare the draft special budget and wage system of CTED for each fiscal year and the annual report for work and submit them for approval by CONNA; 
e) Make the calls for meetings of the Board, acting in them as Executive Secretary and Recorder, with voice but no vote, and take the corresponding minutes book and, 
f) All others to be necessary for the development of manufactured CONNA. 

 

Article 148 .- Delegation and Administrative Designation 

The Board may delegate to the Executive Director by the agreement concerned, the faculty recruitment, administration and removal of technical and administrative staff. The power shall be deemed incorporated in disciplinary function to manage people. 

The Board may also appoint the Executive Director to perform allocation processes and procurement of goods and services necessary to fulfill the institutional purposes, in the amount and conditions that it authorizes. This shall include the approval of the terms of bidding or competition. 

 

 

Section Four 


Financial System of CONNA 

 

 

Article 149 .- Heritage 

The assets of CONNA consists of: 
a) The initial input for installation provided by the Government of the Republic; 
b) The annual allocation for operation contained in the General State Budget; 
c) movable and immovable acquires by any title for its operation; 
d) The financial resources that will give individuals or corporations, domestic or foreign, under any title, and, 
e) All other resources that could be obtained in accordance with the Law 

 

Article 150 .- Technical and Financial Cooperation 

CONNA may request technical or financial assistance from governments or international specialized agencies. Similarly, it may agree to projects that promote cooperation with the private sector that channels social business responsibility, as part of PNPNA. 

 
Article 151 .- Financing 

CONNA will draw its operating budget annually and the system of wages, including financing of the Committees and Local Protection Boards, which will be submitted through the authorities, the respective approval of the Legislative Assembly. 

 
Article 152 .- Audit 

CONNA will be subject to the control of the Court of Auditors of the Republic, in addition it shall annually recruit the services of an external audit firm specializing in their performances.  All therefore are subject to internal audit practice at CONNA. 

 

 

Chapter II 


Local Committees for the Rights of Children and Adolescents 

 

Article 153 .- Nature and Functions 

Local Committees of Rights of Children and Adolescents, hereinafter “Local Committees,” are municipal administrative bodies, whose primary functions are to develop local policies and plans on the rights of children and adolescents, as well as ensuring the security of collective rights of all children and adolescents. 

 
Article 154 .- Establishment of Local Committees and Assistance 

All municipalities shall form local committees in accordance with the regulations, agreements and other relevant legal instruments. 
CONNA and municipalities, in a coordinated manner and according to their abilities and needs, financially and technically support the creation and operation of the Local Committees. 

 
Article 155 .- Powers 

In their jurisdictions, the local committees have the following functions: 
a) The implementation and dissemination of PNPNA; 
b) Establishing technical guidelines, in addition to those set by CONNA to implement PNPNA in the relevant locality; 
c) Proposing local policies on children and adolescents to municipal government; 
d) Monitoring the consistency of policies, decisions and actions against the local public PNPNA and issue appropriate recommendations; 
e) Assess, with the support of RES, the implementation of local policies concerning children and adolescents; 
f) Monitoring, locally, the quality of public services that are provided to children and adolescents; 
g) Proposing to the local government reform by municipal ordinance or adoption of measures necessary administrative to ensure the full enjoyment of the rights of children and adolescents; 
h) Proposing the creation of new Boards of Protection or, where appropriate, increasing the number of its members and recommend ways to implement necessary technical and material support for its operation; 
i) Reporting to the relevant bodies when, in exercising its functions, have knowledge of threats or violations of the rights of children and adolescents committed by health care institutions and the Associations for the Promotion and Assistance of Children and Adolescence; 
j) Reporting to CONNA, annually or whenever required, on the state’s childhood and adolescence rights at the local level and performance of public institutions, municipal and private in this context; 
k) Promoting protective action in case of threats or violations of rights collective and broad interests of children and adolescents at the local level; 
l) Disseminating and promoting locally the knowledge of rights and duties of children and adolescents; 
m) Developing and adopting internal rules and operations and, 
n) Any other functions provided by law. 
In exercising their powers, the Local Committees should maintain consistency of their actions in relation to PNPNA.

 

 

 

Article 156 .- Composition 

The local committees will be composed, at least six members as follows: 
a) One member selected by the City Council among its council members; 
b) A representative of public health institutions in the locality, the highest level possible; 
c) A representative of the institutions of local public education at the highest possible level; and, 
d) Three representatives of the community. 

One member elected by the same members of the Local Committee shall exercise the office of President. The elect shall exercise this function for a year, the office must be rotated among members. 
Precedence in the rotation for the presidency, the quorum and the voting method will be identified in the internal rules and operational. 

 

Article 157 .- Representatives of the Community 

For the election of community representatives, and alternates, CONNA will establish regulation, the procedure and criteria for selection, according to the following minimum rules: 
a) Members of the Shared Care Network who have a presence in the town, shall elect those who are deemed qualified to hold office, for which the municipal government provided the cooperation necessary and, 
b) Appointments shall be submitted to CONNA within eight days. 

The community representatives may not be public officials nor may they belong to any public institution, the term of office is three years from the time of their choice and they may be reelected once. These members shall qualify, by participating in meetings, for per diems available to CONNA. 

 

Article 158 .- Loss of Membership 

Local Committee members will lose that status definitively for the following reasons: 
a) Failure to fulfill their functions within the Local Committee repeatedly without justification writing, or for abandonment of post; 
b) resignation; 
c) have been sanctioned in the past five years, in a judicial or administrative, for violation the rights of children or adolescents or domestic violence; 
d) having been convicted by a final sentence of any offense, and, 
e) death or physical or mental illness that permanently unfit for the exercise of charge. 
 
Whoever loses the membership of any of the cases referred to in paragraphs a) and c) of this article may not be re-elected to the Local Committee, in subsequent five years of the resolution which provides for the loss of such quality. 
In the case of the Local Committee members and representatives of institutions of health and education public communication shall be concerned so as to proceed to replace them immediately.

 
It follows that the City Council know of the items covered in this article. 

 

Chapter III 


Boards for the Protection of Children and Adolescents 

 

Article 159 .- Nature and Function 

Boards for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, hereinafter “Protection Boards” are CONNA departmental administrative units, with technical autonomy, whose primary function is to protect the rights of children and adolescents at the local level. 

 
Article 160 .- Organizing 

CONNA shall create, organize, maintain and finance, at least one Protection Board per Department. In addition, it will develop and approve the internal rules and operation of each of the Protection Boards it creates. 

Depending on requirements, CONNA can create new Protection Boards or increase the number of existing members. 

 

Article 161 .- Powers 

Protection Boards have the following powers: 
a) To know competence within its own initiative or on application, threats or violations individualized rights of children and adolescents; 
b) To establish and ensure implementation of administrative measures necessary protection to protect threatened or violated rights; 
c) Record protection measures passed; 
d) Implement the respective sanctions, according to their skills; 
e) Require care institutions, local committees or other stakeholders as appropriate, to carry out the necessary actions to guarantee the rights of girls and boys, adolescents or their families or their inclusion in programs implemented; 
f) Bringing to the competent court cases of breach of its decisions for the latter’s execution; 
g) Require any authority the information and documentation necessary for the public performance of their duties; 
h) Require the appropriate authority, free extension to the certifications of birth, death or identity cards of children and adolescents who need them; 
i) Report to the competent authorities for administrative and criminal offenses committed against children and adolescents of which it has knowledge, and whose attention is not within their competence, and 
j) Other functions provided by law. 

In addition, the Protection Board to receive complaints on violations or threats of collective interest and broad interests of children or adolescents, and must immediately inform the Local Committee of information gathered, to proceed as provided under this Act in any case where the Protection Board identifies the existence of a possible violation or threat of collective interests and diffuse forward to the Local Committee of investigations and prosecutions that have practiced.

 

 
Article 162 .- Composition 

Protection Boards shall consist of three members or more, which will be selected and appointed to the post by CONNA. 
The members and alternates to form the various Protection Boards will be selected and appointed from a list of names made up of people selected through a competitive merit, in the manner determined by the respective regulations. 
One member of the Protection Boards, and his deputy, shall be an attorney of the Republic, the rest must have knowledge in the areas of social work, psychology or another branch of science behavior. 

Membership on the Board of Protection is incompatible with any other professional activity, except teaching. 

 

Article 163 .- Conditions for Integrating the Protection Boards 

To become a member of a Board of Protection will require: 
a) Be at least twenty five years of age; 
b) Be of recognized honesty and integrity; 
c) Not have been convicted, in a judicial or administrative court, for violation of the rights of children or adolescents or domestic violence; 
d) Not have been convicted by a final sentence of any offense; 
e) Accreditation roots to the jurisdiction of the respective Protection Board; 
f) Have obtained a university degree and, 
g) To approve a proficiency test to demonstrate your knowledge of this law and the rights of childhood and adolescence. 
The members that we had the quality of lawyers must demonstrate duly authorized for the exercise of his profession and not have been punished for mistakes in practice. 
The means and procedure to establish the requirements of this Article shall be fixed and conducted before CONNA.

 

 
Article 164 .- Performance 

Protection Boards will function permanently and shall establish a system of adequate attention to ensure adequate care of complaints at any time. 

Each Protection Board shall elect a person acting as coordinator. To ensure the care of Complaints, the Protection Boards shall have the technical and administrative staff necessary. 

 

Article 165 .- Decisions 

Decisions of the Protection Boards will be adopted by simple majority of its total constituent members. In case of tie, the Coordinator will have the casting vote. 
In the case of sanctions and protective measures shall be enforceable decisions. 

 

Article 166 .- Excuses and Challenges 

In case of inability to decide in a particular procedure, members of the Protection Boards should be excused and can also be disqualified for good cause. 
Legitimate grounds for disqualification or excuse are those provided in existing Common Law and the commission of any of the offenses under this Act.  For substantiation and resolution, procedures are prescribed therein as may be applicable. 

When an integral to the Boards is disabled, the remaining members and alternates shall be made aware.

 

If all members are disabled, the alternates shall know of the incident.

 

 

Article 167 .- Loss of Membership 

Members of a Protection Board will lose that status for the following reasons: 
a) For death or illness, physical or mental disability which prevents the office; 
b) resignation; 
c) Having been sanctioned by a judicial or administrative action for violation of the rights of children or adolescents or domestic violence; 
d) Having been convicted by a final sentence of any offense; 
e) Failing to perform its functions consistent manner, without proper written justification and, 
f) Permanently moving their residence outside the jurisdiction of the respective Protection Board.

 

Anyone who has lost his membership for any of the grounds specified in subparagraphs c), d) or e) above may not be a candidate for any Protection Board. The loss of membership will occur by agreement of CONNA. 

 

Article 168 .- Appeal Review 

All decisions of the Protection Boards, including those under which declares its incompetent to deal with cases submitted to it, may be reviewed on appeal review.  Protection Board will support and resolve the appeal in accordance with the rules of procedure administrative procedure provided for in this Law 

 

Chapter IV 


Shared Care Network 

Section One 
Common Provisions 

 

Article 169 .- Definition 

Shared Care Network is a coordinated package of care institutions, in which members’ main functions are protection, care, advocacy, study, promotion and dissemination of the rights of children and teenagers, who must act under this Act and all case, having regard to the principles of legality and interests. 
Members of the Shared Care Network are involved in the implementation of PNPNA, policies premises and as permitted by this Act, the enforcement of protective measures. 

 
Article 170 .- Coordination of Shared Care Network

 
Integrated care institutions in the Shared Care Network to coordinate their programs, services and activities to ensure the best national and local coverage, avoid duplication of efforts and serve effectively and efficiently to the protection of child rights and adolescents.

 
The Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents will coordinate and monitor the performance of members of the Shared Care Network. The means and procedures coordination will be regulated in a special regulation to be adopted by CONNA. 
The Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents may make recommendations it deems appropriate for integrated care institutions in the Shared Care Network to conform their actions to the provisions of this Act and the PNPNA.  Also, it can execute programs and projects of technical cooperation and financial institutions together with attention. 

 
Article 171 .- Nature of the Members of the Network 

Integrated care institutions in the Shared Care Network may be either private, public or mixed, and be formed by any form of organization authorized by the Salvadoran law. 
The Associations for Promotion and Support of Children and Adolescents, which are also care entities, shall be involved in Shared Care Network but their registration and authorization are subject to special requirements. 
The role of those institutions is in the public attention and is subject to accreditation authorization and oversight. 

 

Article 172 .- Registration of Members of the Shared Care Network and accreditation of their programs 

All care entities must be registered and accredited programs, at CONNA.  Registering care institutions constitutes an administrative permit to operate them. Breach of this obligation will be penalized in accordance with the Law.

The requirements, procedures and grounds for refusal to register the care institutions and accreditation of their programs will be determined by regulation by CONNA. In any case, the accredited programs may directly or indirectly affect the rights of children and adolescents established in this Law.

 

 

Article 173 .- Periodic Revalidation 

All care entities should revalidate their official authorization and accreditation of their programs at least every five years. 
The accreditation to run a program automatically will be revoked if the registration of the care institution developing it was suspended or revoked. 

 

Article 174 .- Minimum Requirements Related Programs Protection Measures 

The programs used to implement protection measures must be taken into account for operation, the best interests of the child, child and adolescent, and the following: 
a) Preservation of family ties; 
b) Conservation of sibling groups; 
c) to preserve and ensure the identity and dignity of children and adolescents served; 
d) personal and social study of each case and ensure individual attention and small groups; 
e) Ensuring adequate food and clothing, and the items necessary for hygiene and grooming; 
f) Ensuring medical, psychological, psychiatric, dental and pharmaceutical care; 
g) Access and security to educational activities, professional, cultural, sports, leisure and the right to be informed of the situations of the community and the country in general; 
h) Ensuring the identification, respect and preservation of property belonging to girls, boys and adolescents, and, 
i) Gradual preparation for girls, boys and adolescents for the separation and subsequent follow-up to the leaving the care institution. 

Care institutions should create files containing documents relating to implementing protective measures and any information that permits identification of the girl, boy and teenager, his mother, father, agent, or responsible person, family, home, educational level, relationship of personal property and other data that allow for individualization of care.

 

 
Article 175 .- Refusal of Accreditation of a Program 

CONNA will deny the accreditation of a program when it fails to satisfy the requirements in the respective regulations and despite a timely prevention, stakeholders do not remedy the program as required within thirty days. 

 
Article 176 .- Annual Report of Program Development 

Care institutions will send to the Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents an annual report on the implementation of its programs, which will interact at least those responsible, the resources invested, the needs identified and an indication of their beneficiaries. 
In the case of programs whose execution time is less than one year, the institution of attention 
responsible forwarded to the Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents one final performance report. 

 

Article 177 .- Registration Organization 

CONNA should organize a public register of care institutions and their programs, which shall be governed by regulation. 

 
Article 178 .- Monitoring and sanctioning power 

The Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents will monitor, at a minimum, quarterly performance and operation of programs of care institutions; particularly for tracking the status of the rights of children and adolescents who are subject to measures for fostering. 
For the purposes outlined above, CONNA will monitor the effective implementation of skills conferred by this Act to the National Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents.

 
CONNA will sanctioned the actions of the members of the Shared Care Network when they constitute infringements under this Act, after the procedure. 

 

 

Section Two 


Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents 

 

 

Article 179 .- Continuity and Nature 

The Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents, hereinafter “ISNA,” was created by Legislative Decree No. 482, dated 11 March 1993, published in the Official Journal No. 63, Volume No. 318, 31 of that same year, is transformed by this Act in a care institution of public nature, fully integrated into the comprehensive protection system through the Shared Care Network.

 
To fulfill its functions, the ISNA will be an official institution, with legal personality over public rights and with technical, financial and administrative autonomy, which will interact with others Organs of State through the Ministry of Education. 
ISNA must act according to the guidelines of the PNPNA, which will adapt its programs and services. 

 

 

Article 180 .- Powers 
ISNA will have the following powers: 
a) Disseminate the PNPNA guidelines throughout the national territory under the direction of CONNA; 
b) To coordinate and supervise the members of the Shared Care Network, and inform CONNA of violations and irregularities committed by them, in order to be deduce the corresponding responsibilities; 
c) Disseminate and promote awareness of the rights and duties of children and adolescents, as well as the reports of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child; 
d) Develop protection, assistance and education for children and adolescents whose rights have been violated or are threatened; 
e) Develop programs for training and accreditation of foster care families; 
f) Provide services necessary for the implementation and monitoring of protective measures dictated by the competent administrative or judicial authorities and assist others in this same function; 
g) Develop plans and preventive programs for the protection of children and adolescents in a family environment and care provided in state schools, municipal and NGOs; 
h) Promote and implement strategies, plans and training programs and training aimed at education, improvement and specialization of human resources in the areas of care, protection and treatment of children and adolescents, as well as in prevention of situations affecting the child, child, adolescent and family; 
i) Develop and promote the development of research in children, adolescents and families; 
j) approve special projects and a wage system, under what laws apply to the subject; 
k) Develop internal rules and operations within ISNA, and implement them appropriately and, 
l) others that correspond in accordance with law. 
ISNA competencies shall be exercised through the Board, which may delegate exercise of the powers that it considers appropriate to its Executive Director.

 
To fulfill the purposes of this Act, the ISNA may establish branches in any place in the national territory. 

 
Article 181 .- Implementation and Monitoring of Measures Implemented by the Juvenile Courts 

The execution and organization of programs for the implementation of the measures ordered by the Juvenile Courts and Enforcement of Child measures correspond to ISNA, and inform regularly to the Tribunal for any change in adolescent behavior, and the compliance measures. 

The duration and termination of the measures will be determined by judicial decision, by Justice of Implementation Measures of Child, for this purpose may draw from the reports submitted by the ISNA. 

If the Institute should be referred an adolescent subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts, it must provisionally receive an order from that authority immediately. 

 

Article 182 .- Organizational Structure 

The ISNA is composed of the following bodies: 
a) A Board; 
b) An Executive Director and, 
c) Any other setting its rules and laws. 


Article 183 .- The Board of Directors
The Board shall be composed as follows: 
a) A Director President who shall be appointed by the President of the Republic; 
b) A Director appointed by the Executive in the field of Education; 
c) A Director appointed by the Executive in the field of Public Health and Welfare; 
d) A Director appointed by the Attorney General’s Office and, 
e) Two Directors of the community, elected in selection processes managed by the Network of 
Shared Care. 
Except for the Director President, there will be a substitute Director for each of the members of the Board, who shall be appointed or elected in the same way as are the respective members, who may attend sessions with voice but no vote. The alternate directors shall replace those members in their absence, but when the President Director shall fail, the sessions will be chaired by someone designated by the Board itself.

 
The members and alternates of the Board shall be senior officials in management of each of the institutions represented and with sufficient power for decision making. 
All directors shall hold office for three years and may be reappointed once. 
The operation of the Board, voting method, and system of allowances will be fixed in regulation by ISNA. 

 

Article 184 .- The Directors of the Institute 

The Directors of the Corporation shall be chosen by applying a procedure to be defined in regulation by ISNA. In any case, elected officials may not be the same society representatives to the Directing Council of CONNA.

 
The inconsistencies and causes of loss of membership shall be those established by the member society representatives to the Directing Council of CONNA. 

 

Article 185 .- Meetings, Quorum and Collegial Decision 

The Board shall normally meet once a month and extraordinarily whenever convened by the Executive Director.  The Board may meet with four members and take decisions by simple majority present. In case of tie, the Director-President, or his/her substitute, shall have a qualified vote. 

 

Article 186 .- Powers of the Board 

The functions of the Board of the Institute: 
a) Approve the Five Year Work Plan ISNA; 
b) Approve the Special PDB system of wages for each fiscal year and submission and consideration by relevant authorities; 
c) Authorize the Executive Director will, where appropriate, the award of procurement and 
contracts not exceeding the amount of self-management; 
d) Approve the Annual Plan grants to other care institutions and programs; 
e) Approve the ISNA report; 
f) Develop the Institute’s Rules and issue regulations by the Centers for Minors to ISNA office; 
g) To appoint, remove and set salaries and Executive Director of ISNA Internal Auditor; 
h) To appoint a substitute Executive Director in case of absence, excused or temporary disability, 
i) Any other functions established laws and regulations. 

 

Article 187 .- Powers of the Chairman of the Board 

The President of the ISNA Board shall have the following powers: 
a) preside over the meetings of the Board; 
b) Ensure that agreements are met the Board; 
c) To represent ISNA in and out of court, granting powers to name the same, having acted in this case with the express permission of the Board and, 
d) Other functions assigned to this Act or the regulations. 

 

Article 188 .- Executive Director 

The Executive Director for the Institute is required to be greater than thirty years, have recognized ethical and professional conduct, university training commensurate with the duties and demonstrable experience in the area of social and economic policy. 
The position of Executive Director of ISNA is incompatible with the performance of other public office or paid employment, except with activities of education, and powers of full-time developers. 

 

Article 189 .- Powers of the Executive Director 

The duties of Executive Director: 
a) exercise the general administration of ISNA, in the technical, operational and financial, accordance with the laws and resolutions of the Board; 
b) organize and direct programs and services for the protection of children and adolescents; 
c) Act as Secretary of the Board, prepare the agenda of meetings, record the minutes and extend the corresponding certificates; 
d) To direct, coordinate and supervise the activities of the units of the Institute; 
e) Inform the Board about the administrative and program implementation and ISNA services; 
f) To submit through the President of the Board of the Preliminary Draft Wage Budget Scheme and changes to the annual report draft; 
g) To authorize expenditures to cover costs of the ISNA, which correspond under the laws; 
h) appoint and dismiss, under the Act, administrative and technical staff of ISNA, and, 
i) others indicated in the laws, regulations and resolutions of the Board. 

Article 190 .- Assets 

The assets of ISNA are: 
a) The annual allocation for operation contained in the General State Budget; 
b) movable property acquired or to acquire any title to operate; 
c) real property acquired for any title for its operation; 
d) The financial resources that will give individuals or corporations, domestic or foreign, under any title, and, 
e) All other resources that could be obtained in accordance with the Law 

 

Article 191 .- Technical and Financial Cooperation 

ISNA may request technical or financial assistance from governments or specialized international agencies. Similarly, it will agree to cooperative projects with the private sector social responsibility businesses, as part of PNPNA. 

 
Article 192 .- Control 

ISNA is subject to the control of the Court of Auditors of the Republic, in addition shall annually recruit the services of an external audit firm specializing in their performances. All therefore subject to internal audit practice at the ISNA. 

 

 

 

Section Three 


Associations for the Promotion of the Rights and Welfare of Children and Adolescents 

 

 

Article 193 .- Definition 

Associations for the Promotion and Assistance for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, hereinafter “Partnerships for the Promotion and Assistance,” are forms of organization legally constituted for the local protection of the rights of children and adolescents and integrated Shared Care Network.

 
The Promotion and Support Associations can be public or private as arranged by municipalities or by the society and may be integrated, as well as advocates, for any person wishing to participate in protecting and supporting the rights of childhood and adolescence.

 

 
Article 194 .- Services 

The Promotion and Support Associations may provide, among others, the following services: 
a) Implement alternative means of conflict resolution; 
b) Advise girls, boys and adolescents or their families to exercise their rights; 
c) To provide guidance in cases that require the provision of other services, programs or intervention bodies and public institutions; 
d) Advocate in administrative, educational and community instances; 
e) Implement activities to promote and publicize the rights of children and adolescents; 
f) Providing family care to prevent the violation or threats to the rights of children and adolescents; 
g) Monitor and report to the Local Committee, Protection Board or the trial judge when they know of violations or threats to the rights of children and adolescents and, 
h) Assist in allegations of domestic violence or other forms of violation or threats to the rights of children and adolescents. 

 
Article 195 .- Provision of Legal Services 

Whenever, by law, the representation of a child or adolescent does not correspond to the Attorney General’s Office, the Associations for the Promotion and Assistance may employ services of lawyers to provide legal advice and court representation to children and adolescents, when necessary. 

 

The associations ensure that they hire lawyers with knowledge of Rights Childhood and Adolescence. 

 

Article 196 .- Registration Requirements for Promotion and Support Associations 

For the purpose of obtaining registration of an Association for the Promotion and Assistance, stakeholders must submit a written request, accompanied by the following documents: 
a) The list of members that constitute it; 
b) The description of the type of service they provide and, 
c) Identification of the venue, where it will provide the service. 

 

Article 197 .- Service Gratuity 

All services offered by the Associations for Promotion and Support of children and adolescents are free and no form of remuneration can be required for them. 
Breach of this condition will result in loss of the Promotion and Assistance Association registration and the powers granted by law.

 

 
Article 198 .- Duty of Confidentiality 

The services provided by the Associations for the Promotion and Assistance are subject to a duty of confidentiality to the extent that it’s violation would be against the best interests of the child or adolescent attended.  In all cases, Promotion and Support Associations should ensure that the personal information collected on beneficiaries of its services remains protected from any form of 
knowledge or illegitimate dissemination. 
The father and mother in the full exercise of parental authority or the person holding legal representation of children and adolescents are entitled to know all the information that such associations have on their children. The duty of confidentiality may not be invoked against them except in adoption cases. 
However, the Association for the Promotion and Assistance may use for statistical purposes the information that does not reveal the identity of its beneficiaries.

 

 

 

 

Title VI 


Violations and Penalties 

Chapter I 
Common Rules 

 

Article 199 .- Sanctioning Power 

The procedures and penalties provided in this Title shall be applied according to the following rules: 
a) For violations committed by an individual or public servant at the local level, Protection Boards will meet in the jurisdiction where the violation was committed or where the adverse action had effects.

b) Infringements by local committees, the Protection Boards or their members will be handled by a competent judge and, 
c) violations committed by members of the Shared Care Network will be handled by CONNA. 
In any case the corresponding offices to the competent state institutions must free themselves regarding the application of other special laws, in order to deduce their respective administrative responsibilities.  Furthermore, when the conduct could constitute a crime, it shall be reported to the Attorney General of the Republic without prejudice to further sanction proceedings. 

 
Article 200 .- Rules for the Determination of the Penalty 

In the case of minor offenses written reprimand or a fine of fifteen to thirty times the minimum monthly urban wages may apply. In the case of serious infringements fines of thirty to fifty times the monthly urban minimum wage in the industry may apply, along with suspension of harmful activity and, in the case of an infringement committed by health care institutions, they may order the cancellation of registration program or institution in the Directorate. 
Sanctions will be imposed according to the following parameters: economic capacity of the offender, the gravity of the violation, the damage caused, the duration of the violation, recidivism or repetition, without prejudice to criminal liability that may arise if the offense constitutes a criminal offense. 

 

Chapter II 


Rules Violations 

 

Article 201 .- Minor Offenses 
Offenses considered minor: 
a) When the medical professional fails to request authorization from the mother, father, agent, or responsible person in cases where hospitalization or medical intervention of a child or adolescent is not the result of an emergency; 
b) To Charge for health services in the public health system; 
c) To deny a mother, father, agent, or responsible person a record of the registration and medical record of birth of a newborn; 
d) In the case of midwives who had assisted in childbirth, failing to inform the local public health office of this fact in the ninety days after the birth; 
e) In the case of public health units, failing to inform the local Family Status Registry of births reported by doctors and midwives, within ninety days of obtaining the information; 
f) Interfering in correspondence and communication, telephonic or electronic, of children and adolescents; 
g) To disseminate and facilitate access to publications, videos, recordings and radio programs that contain messages which are inappropriate or harmful to the development and training of children and adolescents. For the purposes of this violation should be considered the provisions of this Act; 
h) To disseminate inappropriate or harmful information on the air in times of family segment; 
i) To deny in the course of an administrative or judicial proceedings the right of a girl, boy or adolescent to speak; 
j) To disseminate, exhibit or use the images of children or teenagers against their will and without the knowledge or approval of their mother, father, agent, or responsible person; 
k) To market among children and adolescents products with labels that contain images, text, or inappropriate or harmful messages to their development and, 
l) To violate or threaten the right to expression, assembly, association of children and adolescents. 

 
Article 202 .- Serious Offenses 

Serious offenses are considered as follows: 
a) To ignore the complaint of any activity that threatens the life, physical dignity or integrity, psyche or moral development of children and adolescents; 
b) To ignore or alter the registry and medical record of births occurring in hospital institutions and health posts; 
c) To fail to report the birth of a daughter or son, in the case of the mother or father, having been reprimanded in writing for the third time for the same reason; 
d) Using chemicals and psychotropic and other substances in the amphetamine families which have the effect of altering the moods of children and adolescents in order to ensure control and discipline in the study centers, kindergartens, internment and host sites, whether public or private, unreasonably and without prescription issued by a health professional with expertise and sufficient authority for such effects; 
e) To not lend or facilitate the timely health care services to children and adolescents who, while under the protection of members of the Shared Care Network are are affected in their health; 
f) The refusal of hospitals and health care professional for attention when a child or adolescent must undergo surgery or hospital emergency because he or she is in imminent danger of death or irreparable harm to their health; 
g) To deny emergency medical care to pregnant women in the public or private institution nearest to the place where she is; 
h) To intern in public or private institutions children or adolescents suffering from mental, neurological and psychosocial issues without judicial oversight; 
i) To sell narcotic and psychotropic substances, alcoholic beverages, industrial adhesives, snuff and other substances that can lead to addiction to children and adolescents; 
j) To sell firearms and explosives of any kind to children and adolescents; 
k) To disseminate, exhibit or use the images of children and adolescents in programs, advertising messages, productions and shows whose content is unsuitable for their age; 
l) To use or display the name or image of children or adolescents in news reports, features, life stories or any other journalistic expression, allowing identification or individualization of those in the case of victims of abuse or any other crime; 
m) To publish the name or image of teenagers tried or convicted for crimes or misdemeanors; 
n) To expose or disclose data, images or information prejudicial to the honor or reputation of the children and adolescents or that constitute involvement in their private lives and personal or family privacy; 
o) To disclose or use any confidential information to which one had access by virtue of office held;

p) To detain or intern children or teenagers in police detention or adult penitentiary; 
q) To fail the obligation of registration of programs by institutions of care; 
r) To violate or threaten by neglect, inexperience, ignorance or inexcusable neglect, the rights of the child or adolescent’s officials, officers, employees, agencies, institutions or agencies, public and private, relating to the System of Integral Protection; 
s) The failure of one or more administrative or judicial resolutions regarding the protection of rights and, 
t) To manipulate human genes in children and adolescents, so as to alter the vital constitutional type as well as to experiment and manipulate cloning of them. 

 

 

Title VII 


Administrative Procedure 

Chapter One 

 

Article 203 .- Purpose 

The competent authorities shall apply the procedure regulated in this Chapter for the adoption of
administrative measures of protection and the imposition of appropriate sanctions. 

 

Article 204 .- Principle of Informality 

The practice will be encouraged by law in all its procedures. 

The competent authorities may, ex officio or upon request, order measures and gather evidence needed to determine the existence of the circumstances discussed. 

 

Article 205 .- Initiation of Proceedings 

The administrative procedure will be initiated by notice or petition filed with the competent authority and will be dealt with informally. 

 
Article 206 .- Notice 

Any person having notice of a violation which may have occurred may notify the competent authority or the National Civil Police, which shall report its receipt within a maximum of eight hours. 
The notice may be oral or written. If it is verbal, it will be recorded which shall contain a concise statement of the facts and shall be signed by the person making the report and authority that receives it.

 
Article 207 .- Report 
The complaint must relate to the extent possible: 
a) The identification of the complainant and the quality of that complaint; 
b) The identification of the child or adolescent whose rights have been violated or threatened; 
c) The identification of the reported person or persons to whom are attributed the violation or threaten to the rights and indication of the place where they can be cited; 
d) The description of the facts that establish the violation or threat to the rights of the child or adolescent; 
e) The evidence of the alleged infringements or where those are and, 
f) The designation of the place where one can be notified. 
Where the complaint is submitted orally, the competent authority shall prepare a record which shall appropriate the above information and be signed by the complainant. 

 
Article 208 .- Auto Opening 

When a notice or complaint is brought, the authority concerned shall order the opening or, where appropriate, declare the inadmissibility of petitions, within three days.  Likewise, when the procedure starts from the office the procedure will be the same. 
In any case, reasoned order shall be issued, containing, as appropriate, a statement of the following: 
a) The identification of the complainant, the offender and the child or adolescent whose rights are in question; 
b) The description of facts and description of the infringement in question; 
c) The evidence offered by the complainant or those available to the competent authority, in the case of official initiation or report; 
d) The operative part with reference to the rules on which it is founded, and, 
e) The date and time for holding the initial hearing. 
The order calling on interested parties must be issued within twenty four hours of the notice having been provided and, in any case, the alleged violator shall weigh the facts and violations alleged in the space of three days from following the notification and provide the exculpatory evidence he or she deems appropriate. 
With or without response, the competent authority shall make an appropriate decision, imposing the respective sanction or exonerating the alleged offender, unless evidence has been offered that must be responded to in a single hearing. 

 

Article 209 .- Single Hearing 

The date of the single hearing must be set within three days of the presentation of the evidence to be acted upon immediately, at the place indicated.  The competent authority shall put forth the facts which will be discussed, in order that the parties can take action on them. 

The facts set may be revised or expanded, if after the complaint, new knowledge or new circumstances arise that call for a change; this may lead to suspension of the hearing only, which will resume within three business days subsequent to suspension. 
When the teenager whose rights were harmed or threatened is present, he or she shall be heard; in the same way, a child or children shall be heard when his/her/their maturity allows. The authority responsible shall take all necessary measures to ensure that they could express their views freely, pursuant to their right under this Act to children and adolescents to express opinions and be ears, being able assistant reception mechanisms that eliminate or minimize the process re-victimization.

 
In the course of the hearing, the evidence will be provided and the complainant and the alleged violator may formulate arguments in the case. During the hearing only, the competent authority may order measures such as inspections, visits and other measures deemed necessary for the clarification of the alleged infringements and can be suspended once.

 
At the conclusion of the single hearing, the competent authority shall declare the final decision, which must be duly justified and in it the competent authority may: 
a) Adopt administrative measures of pertinent protection and, as appropriate, apply the corresponding penalty, or, 
b) Declare that there is no liability whatsoever for the defendant. 

The final decision will be announced with a full reading and stakeholders will receive a copy.  Those who are not present will be notified under the rules of civil, criminal or family procedure, 
as appropriate.

 

 

Article 210 .- Evidence
In the administrative procedure governing the principle of probation. 
The evidence shall be weighed and discharged in accordance with the rules of sound criticism. 

 

Article 211 .- Appeal Review 
The final decision or any other to end the administrative procedure shall allow for the appeal for review before the convicting authority. The deadline for lodging such an appeal shall be three working days, counted from the respective notification. 

The appeal will be decided by the competent authority, with only the view of the mystery, in, at the latest, ten working days. 

 

Article 212 .- Judicial Control 
Once the appeal is resolved, the affected party may refer to judicial decisions taken by competent authority as follows: 
a) The penalties may be appealed through administrative proceedings before the Board of 
Supreme Court jurisdiction, and, 
b) The protection measures by the necessary formalities to the competent judge. 

 

Article 213 .- Supplementary Application 

In the administrative procedure they will act with respect to fundamental rights and in order to guarantee the plan established in the Constitution and International Human Rights Treaties in force in El Salvador.

 
In all cases not covered in this chapter the rules of civil, criminal or family procedure shall apply additionally as appropriate. 

 

 

 

Book III 


Administration of Justice 

Title I 


Competition 

Chapter One 

 

 

Article 214 .- Competent Courts 

This regulation corresponds to family matters. 

The courts which have jurisdiction of processes governed by this Law shall be the “Specialized Courts and Specialized Chambers for Children and Adolescents.” 

 

Article 215 .- Applicable Processes 

To deal with claims relating to the rights and obligations established under this Act, in different stages, levels and degrees of knowledge, the provisions of Procedural Family Law apply, with the modifications specified in this Law. 

 

Matters relating to the protection of children and adolescents that have not had a special procedure established in the following provisions shall be governed in accordance with the requirements for the overall process of protection. 

No judicial authority may rely on the lack or insufficiency of explicit rules and procedures in order to ignore or justify the violation of or threat to the rights of children and adolescents. 

 

Article 216 .- Territorial Application of the Law 

The courts of the Republic shall be competent to understand the processes regulated by this Act, and of those affecting nationals and foreigners. The competency will be extended to include the following cases: 
a) When children and adolescents reside in El Salvador, regardless of their nationality; 
b) Where the parties have been referred expressly to national courts; 
c) Where a defendant, regardless of their nationality, has a domicile or residence in the country; 
d) If the obligation in question must be satisfied in El Salvador and, 
e) When the claim is based on an event, act or legal transaction concluded with effects in the nation’s territory. 

 
Article 217 .- Powers for Reason of Territory 
The following shall have jurisdiction over the claim for the protection of child and adolescence rights: 
a) The judge of the domicile or residence of the child or teen affected; 
b) The judge of where they threaten or violation has occurred, whether by act or omission of such rights and, 
c) The judge of the domicile or residence of the authority, official or private individual who is to blame for the respective threat or violation. 

In a case in which several competent judges exist, the first one to arraign the defendant will be the one to decide. 

 

 

Title II 


Parties 

Chapter One 

 

 

 

Article 218 .- Procedural Legal Capacity 
Children and adolescents under age fourteen may participate in processes established by this Act through their mother, father and other representatives, and where appropriate, by the Attorney General’s Office or its agent duly authorized to do so. Teenagers over fourteen years of age may also appear through an attorney legally constituted under the common law rules, processes regulated by this Act to achieve protection of their rights. However, in cases of loss or suspension of parental authority and deprivation of administration of rights, the Attorney General of the Republic or its agent duly authorized to do so must act to represent the child or adolescent. 

 
Article 219 .- Right of Action 

The following are entitled to require the judicial protection of child rights and adolescence: 
a) The child or adolescent whose rights have been threatened or violated; 
b) The mother, father or other legally authorized representative of the child or teen affected and their relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity; 
c) The Attorney General’s Office and, 
d) The Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights. 

 
Article 220 .- Institutions of Public Prosecutions 

The Attorney General’s Office gives legal assistance to children and adolescents, representing them in court in defense of their rights, when appropriate legal provision or when the mother, father, agent, or responsible, can not or should not do it for the best interests of the child or adolescent. In addition, ensure appropriate support to children and adolescents crime victims. 

The Counsel for the Defense of Human Rights shall give notice to the Attorney General of the Republic and the Attorney General’s Office, as appropriate when it receives the or threatened violation of the rights of children and adolescents to exercise legal action concerned. 

For the purposes set out in this Act, the Attorney General’s Office is seconding, to least one public defender specializing in this area, in each of the Special Tribunal. 

 

 

Title III 


Principles and Procedure Activity 

Chapter One 

 

 

Article 221 .- Guiding Principles of the Process
For the substantiation and resolution of the net claims and objections deduced based on this Act, the following principles will be observed: legality, contradiction, equality, device, orality, immediacy, concentration, publicity and gratuity. 

 

Article 222 .- Adoption of Interim Measures of Protection 

In proceedings based on this Law, when the circumstances so warrant, a judge may issue a reasoned decree, with the priority of relief and protection, as may be necessary to ensure the effectiveness of its ruling, the guarantee of rights in litigation or the safeguarding of the rights of girls, boys or girls, where there is a serious and imminent threat on them and sufficient evidence to believe it. 

 
Article 223 .- Invalidity of Trial Proceedings 

The violation of the right to speak and be heard by the child or adolescent will result in the invalidity of the enacted ruling and all that is its immediate consequence, unless it is expressly consented or no damage occurs. 

 

That right will be considered infringed when, unjustifiably, the child is not permitted to exercise the right to a hearing, when her/his opinion is not considered on the resolutions adopted or when they are obligated to testify about any of those involved.

Article 224 .- Non-applicability of the Stay of Proceedings 

In matters concerning the protection of the rights of children and adolescents, the application for the stay of proceeding or ex parte shall not apply, as is set down in the procedural family law. 

 

 

Title IV 


General Process Protection 

Chapter One 

 

 

Article 225 .- Special Rule 

To handle the overall process of protecting the provisions of the family process apply, with the changes that this Title establishes. 

 

Article 226 .- Affairs Subject to the Overall Protection 

The general process of protection will serve to satisfy the strict legal interests of individuals legitimized in the following cases: 
a) Where the Protection Boards initially refuse to rule on threats or violations of individual rights of children or adolescents, using the application for review provided in this present law; 
b) Where the Protection Boards have dismissed the complaints presented, exhausting the application for appellate review provided in this present law; 

c) Where the Protection Boards are responsible for the threats or violations of such rights; 
d) Where the adoption of foster or institutional care becomes necessary, after evaluation and requests made by the Protection Boards; 
e) When seeking the review of an administrative decision affecting the right to reunification with a relative of the child or adolescent and 
f) In promoting protective action. 

 
Article 227 .- Protective Action 

The protective action aims to achieve legal protection of collective or diffuse interests of childhood and adolescence, through the imposition of a particular provision or to conduct official authority or individual responsibility for its violation. 
According to the nature of the situation at issue, the judicial mandate may relate to a deed or omission, the provision of a service or failure in conduct by the defendant. 

 

It will not be for the exercise of protective action to review the PNPNA or local policies of the matter, or acts relating to the preparation, approval or modification of these.

 

Besides the persons named in the article that refers to the active legitimization of this present Law, CONNA, the Local Committees, and legitimate associations that have as their aim or purpose the protection of diffuse and collective interests related with childhood and adolescence may initiate protective action.

 

Article 228 .- Burden of Proof 

It is for each party to prove the facts alleged, however, depending on the specifics of the case and on grounds of custom, expertise or other reasons, the burden of proof may correspond to the party that is better able to provide the sources of evidence to determine where facts are disputed. 

 
Article 229 .- Case 

In upholding the sentence, depending on the circumstances of the case, the judge shall: 
a) Order to stop the threat or infringement of the rights and the restoration of it; 
b) Require the offender to refrain from repeating their behavior; 
c) Order that the family group or any of its members attend orientation programs and social support or family doctors, if applicable; 
d) Order the necessary measures to ensure the effective exercise of the right threatened or infringed; 
e) Engage the corresponding offices of the state institutions or care entities that must meet or have met the measures taken to restore threatened or violated rights.

f) Impose the penalties provided in Title VI of Book II of this Act according to the gravity the case; 
g) Set the amount of compensation for damages for the child or adolescent, payable by the offender, which shall include the compensation for psychological harm and material damage caused, according to evidence proving such effects and, 
h) In case of  collective or diffuse interests, the judge will determine specifically the extent of the failure and reasonable time for full implementation.

 

 

 

Title V 


Abbreviated Process 

Chapter I 
Actions Prior to the Hearing 

 

Article 230 .- Affairs Subject to Abbreviated Process 

Abbreviated process will be promoted in the following cases: 
a) The review on behalf of the administrative measures of protection imposed by the Protection Boards; 
b) Compliance with the measures ordered by the Protection Boards, when the recipients refuse to obey; 
c) The authorization of the intervention, hospitalization or administration of medical treatment for child or adolescent when his parents, representatives or guardians are absent or oppose the measure, and, 
d) Authorization for the departure of the child or adolescent, when the mother, father or whoever could exercise their legal representation is absent or unreasonably refuses to give such authorization. 

 

Article 231 .- Initial Examination 

The judge shall decide the admissibility of the complaint or application, as appropriate, within twenty-four hours of presentation. 
In the case of authorization for intervention, hospitalization or administration of medical treatment for a child or adolescent the court must pronounce the corresponding resolution in a term not exceed two hours. 

 

Article 232 .- Rectification of Defects 

If the demand or request suffers from formal rectifiable defects, the judge shall proceed informally to address them. 

 
Article 233 .- Appointing of the Hearing 

In the order of admission of the application the judge will mark the day and time that the hearing be held, which shall not be later than twenty-four hours, counting from its designation. 
The hearing will be by invitation only; the judge must summon the parties by any means. 
The summons shall state that the hearing shall not be suspended should the defendant fail to appear and that the parties have to submit all the evidence they intend to assert. 

 

Article 234 .- Dispute of the Claim 

The defendant shall answer the complaint during the hearing.  Exceptions of any kind must be filed with the dispute and resolved immediately. 

 
Article 235 .- Examination Activity 

All evidence must be provided during the conduct of the hearing. 
Article 236.-Entering of the Parties 

If the plaintiff summoned fails to appear or they invoke a circumstance causing the suspension of the hearing, the judge will end the process without further delay, unless the defendant alleges in the act, a legitimate interest in the continuation. 
There shall be no completion of the process due to failures of the parties in cases of intervention, hospitalization or administration of medical treatment for a child or adolescent. 

 

 

Chapter II 


Single Hearing 

 

Article 237 .- Hearing 

The hearing will be held at the place and date set according to the same rules established development of the single hearing in the administrative procedure established by this Law, the modifications mentioned below. 
The facts set may not be renovated or expanded. 

During the hearing, the competent authority may order that would be helpful, the practice of measures, such as inspections, visits and other deemed necessary to clarify the cases subject to summary proceedings may be suspended only once, for the term of twenty-four hours after which should be continued with the development of it. 

 
Article 238 .- Evidence 

Subsequently the parties in turn provide evidence to establish the facts about which there is disagreement, provided that they are relevant and useful leads. 
The parties must solicit evidence to be used in the hearing that require subpoenas or special request measures at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.
The admissibility of evidence and the relevance and usefulness of the questions formulated by parties shall be decided by the judge and if the person does not agree with the decision in the hearing, he/she will recorde in the minutes the question or the evidence requested and the merits of his/her denial and protest, in order to challenge the ruling.

 

A witness who has to testify will be questioned first by the party who presented him/her and then may be cross-examined by the other party. The judge will moderate the interrogation and prevent misleading answers or irrelevant questions, ensuring that the parties do not exert undue pressure or offend the dignity of the witness. 
The judge may give the parties, witnesses or experts questions she/he considers necessary to clarify the facts, but with the limitations that imposes a duty of impartiality. In the other aspects of the evidence she/he will apply the rules of procedural family law. 

 
Article 239 .- Closing Arguments 

Carrying the evidence, the parties will make their closing arguments orally; at the conclusion of which, the judge may ask them to extend their explanations on the issues under discussion, within thirty minutes

 

 

Article 240 .- Case 

Following the discussion and arguments the judge will issue immediately the sentence, which shall be read to the participants present in the hearing room. 
Exceptionally, when the complexity of the matter is necessary to defer the drafting of the sentence the judge will explain the ruling and provide a summary way, the fundamentals that led to his/her decision. In this case, she/he must provide a written order accordingly within five working days. 
Appeals may be legally provided against the sentence pronounced.

 

 

Title VI 


General Provisions 

Chapter One 

 

 

Article 241 .- Resources 
In judicial proceedings covered by this Act may be brought in the resources provided by the Family Procedural Law, except, the appeal against the sentences imposed. 

 

Article 242 .- Legal Proceedings 

When the judge becomes aware during the process of family a possible threat or breach to the rights of a child or teenager, she/he will adopt the relevant measures at the earliest appropriate action, without prejudice to enacting emergency foster care when circumstances so warrant. 

 

Article 243 .- Prohibition of Immunity 

In the matter of childhood and adolescence no person shall enjoy special privileges by reason of his office. 

 

Article 244 .- Duration of the Processes 
In the first instance dealt with processes based on this Law shall have a maximum twenty working days from the date of acceptance of application, the appeal is definitively resolved within a maximum of fifteen working days of admission to the respective resource. 

 

Article 245 – Exemption of Costs, Damages and Fines 

In the processes envisaged by this Law shall not be imposed on the child or teenager who succumbs to his claim, no condemnation for costs, damages, this exception shall not extend to legal representatives or agents acting in a manifestly frivolous or dilate the process. 
Nor shall the fine be imposed provided for in article 111 of the Family Procedural Law should he/she not attend the preliminary hearing. 

 
Article 246 .- The Registry Fee Exemption 

When the effects of the judicial process to be processed under this Act, the judge or the Chamber require registration or annotation information of demand in preventive public records, the institution competent shall not charge any fee for the service concerned. 

 
Article 247 .- Registration of Hearings 

The court may order the recording of the hearings held pursuant to this Act by media, where there are material resources for this purpose and provided that there are safeguards the right to self-image of children and adolescents. 
The audiovisual record, whatever the storage medium, is inserted in the court dossier, including a report stating the date, place, time, judicial authority before which was held process that corresponds and the names of the parties, lawyers, experts, witnesses and interpreters who intervened. 

The parties may apply at their own expense for a copy of the supports that had been recorded in the hearing.

 

 

 

 

Title VII 


Final Provisions, Transitional, Repeal and Effective 

Chapter One 

 

 

Article 248 .- Review of the Situation of Children and Adolescents in Detention 

At the time of entry into force of this Act, children and adolescents who are institutionalized in public or private detention centers, shall pass before a competent judge who, assisted by ISNA, will review the legal status of those to whom the law applies, in order to apply mainly judicial protection measures that are appropriate.

 

The judge who issued the measure should continue hearing about it, and should favor the integration of the girl boy and adolescent to his/her nuclear family, and when this is not possible, to a foster placement. 
In any case, the trial judge may take appropriate administrative measures in the best interests of the boy, girl and adolescent. 

 
Article 249 .- Late Registration Program 

The Corporation of Municipalities of the Republic of El Salvador, in coordination with local governments, shall execute a technical assistance program for municipalities, within five years following the entry into force of this Act, to proceed with the registration of births of children that have occurred in their territories, provided that the child is not over twelve years of age at the moment of registration. 
This program should allow for the mobilization of units of the Family Status Registry of each municipality, to be directed to the colonies, districts, cantons and villages in the territorial constituencies, in order to provide the parent or, in the absence of both, whoever exercises legal representation of the respective child, late birth registration. 
Procedures and tests required are those covered by articles 16 and 28 of Law Transient State Registry of the Family and Marital Property Regimes. 
Entries to be made under that program will be free, and will not cause fines. 
In addition to the procedures and tests indicated, this program should include measures and mechanisms to avoid fraudulent, improper or wrong registrations. 

 

Article 250 .- Initial Implementation of the CONNA

While not applicable until the election of the members representing civil society organizations to the Board of Directors of CONNA, under the rules that it must approve, the Executive Body in the Education sector will encourage local NGOs to democratically and temporarily appoint honest people to occupy these posts.  The members representing the civil society so appointed shall hold office for a year, counted from the moment that the group is complete. 
At the first meeting of the Board, it shall appoint an Executive Director and issue guidelines relevant to the implementation of the National Protection System.  CONNA, in the first year of validity of the Act, shall coordinate the necessary actions to: 
a) Support the establishment of the Departmental Committees on the Rights of Children and Adolescents, Protection Boards and Department of Children and Adolescents, and, 
b) Support to ISNA in the process of restructuring and adapting its organization and operation the provisions of this Law. 

 
Article 251 .- ISNA Adequacy under this Law 

For installation of the first Board of Directors of the ISNA, the heads of the institutions identified in Article 183, on the effective date of this Act, shall immediately appoint its delegates to the Board. 
While not applicable to the election of the representative directors of the society to the Directive Board of ISNA under the relevant provisions, the executive in the field of education will encourage local NGOs to temporarily appoint honest people to hold such posts. 

 

The members representing the society, so names, shall remain in function one year from the date on which the Board itself is complete. 
Upon its installation, the Board will boost the process of restructuring and upgrading of the ISNA organization and operation along the provisions of this Law, which must be completed after the first year of implementation thereof. These actions include the compliance of the economic resources, staff regulations, recruitment and assets. 
The programs implemented by the ISNA will continue to be offered under the rules of this Law. 

 

Article 252 .- Pending Administrative Procedures and Contracts in Force 

Administrative procedures already initiated before ISNA upon entry into force of this Law, will continue processing until terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Law of the Salvadoran Institute of Integral Development of Children and Adolescents, to be repealed by this Ordinance.
Contracts and agreements signed prior to the entry into force of this Law and other obligations shall be maintained until the end of the period stipulated in each of them except if the parties decide to terminate early in accordance with the clauses in them.

 
The staff appointed by the Wages Law, or who work under contract arrangements, will continue training the staff of ISNA. 

 

Article 253 .- Care Entities Accredited by ISNA 

Nongovernmental organizations and institutions for the protection and care that were accredited by ISNA before the effective date of these provisions shall be subject to scheme of this Law.  To ensure recognition of those agencies and entities, and to ensure continuity of the programs implemented, ISNA should do a review of the status of the institutions which it accredited, communicating the results of its analysis and asking them to conform to this Act. 

Nongovernmental organizations and the protection and care institutions accredited by ISNA have a period of up to six months from the effective date of this Act, to re-accredit themselves and tailor their actions and programs according to content thereof. 
ISNA will cancel the authorization granted, when non-governmental agencies and institutions for the protection and care do not match their performance and service delivery to the provisions of this Act.  In every case, girls, children and adolescents, and their archives, shall pass to the competent judge who shall order the implementation of judicial and administrative measures as appropriate. 

 

Article 254 .- Judicial Education and Training 

The National Judicial Council, through the Judicial Training School, shall ensure continuous training and education on the rights of children and adolescents of all operators  of the justice system for the implementation of this Act, to ensure awareness and to update knowledge on the subject. 

 

Article 255 .- Strengthening and Establishment of Courts 

The Supreme Court of Justice, in coordination with the National Judicial Council, will make the studies necessary to identify areas that need strengthening or establishment of courts in the matter. 

 
Article 256 .- Property of Ministry of Law 

CONNA will comply with the property that currently belongs to the Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents, and consequently by the Ministry of Law shall transfer such assets to the estate of CONNA, for which, the presentation of these provisions for registration of transfers in official newspaper advertisements shall be sufficient.

 

CONNA must provide, on loan to the Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents, the buildings that are necessary for the performance of their duties and responsibilities. 

 

Article 257 .- Initial Contribution of Installation 

For installation of the National System, the state will provide an initial fund to be administered by CONNA, which will contain provisions for the following purposes: 
a) The installation of CONNA and its entire organizational structure; 
b) Financial support for the installation of the local committees; 
c) Financial support for the installation of the Boards for the Protection of Children and Adolescents; and, 
d) Integration of the Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents to the National System. 

 

Article 258 .- Repeal
The following provisions will be repealed: 
a) Provisions contained in the Fifth Book of the Family Code, Title One, Chapter I, Principles Rectors, Fundamental Rights and Duties of the Child; 
b) Contained in the Fifth Book of the Family Code, Title One, Chapter II, Minor Protection; 
c) Article 114, paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 °, Labor Code; 
d) Law of the Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents, issued by Legislative Decree No. 482, dated 11 March 1993, published in the Official Journal No. 63, Volume No. 318, 31 of that same year and, 
d) Any other provisions that contradict or conflict with this Act.

 
Article 259 .- Regulations 

The President of the Republic shall pass regulations to facilitate and ensure the implementation of this Law.  The National Council for Childhood and Adolescence and the Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents, shall issue regulations whose execution corresponds with them. 

 
Article 260 .- Term 

This Decree shall enter into force one year after its publication in the Official Journal. 
GIVEN IN THE BLUE ROOM OF THE LEGISLATIVE PALACE, San Salvador, on the twentieth day of the month of March, two thousand nine. 

ORELLANA RUBEN MENDOZA, 
PRESIDENT.

ARGUETA Rolando Alvarenga, 
VICE-PRESIDENT.

 
ROBERTO DURAN FRANCISCO Lorenzana, 
VICE-PRESIDENT. 

 

José Rafael Machuca Zelaya, 
VICE. 
Rodolfo Antonio Parker Soto, 
VICE-PRESIDENT.

LUIS ALBERTO VALDES ENRIQUE SOTO, 
SECRETARY. 

Orlando Quintero MANUEL AGUILAR, 
SECRETARY. 

Almendariz JOSE ANTONIO RIVAS 
SECRETARY. 

JOSÉ ROBERTO d’Aubuisson MUNGUÍA, 
SECRETARY. 

BEATRIZ ZOILA SOLÍS JAW, 
SECRETARY. 

HOUSE CHAIR: San Salvador, on the fifteenth day of April two thousand and nine. 

PUBLISHED, 

ELIAS ANTONIO SACA GONZÁLEZ, 
President of the Republic. 

DARLYN XIOMARA MEZA,
Minister of Education. 

Legislative Decree No. 839, dated 26 March 2009, published in the Official Journal No. 68, Volume 383, dated 16 April 2009.