Sexual Violence against Minors in Latin America

12-10-2016

Sexual violence against minors is a major problem in Latin America. Children are mostly at risk in their own homes, while adolescents are at risk in their homes but also in the wider community (for instance, schools or boyfriends). However, data is very limited due to silence around the issue. Latin America is highly patriarchal, is riven by inequalities within and between social groups, and has weak judicial institutions; these are all factors that impact on gender based violence. However, governments in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Paraguay are starting to see children as individuals with rights, rather than minors under the sole authority of fathers, and are designing laws and agencies to protect those rights. Civil society in the meantime is increasingly mobilising against violence against women, including violence against girls, two forms of violence that go hand in hand, at a time when the problem is increasingly recognised and acted upon globally. This report outlines possibilities for the EU to support these recent developments and initiatives to end violence against minors via the establishment of national action plans, in collaboration with national, regional and global partners.

Sexual violence against minors is a major problem in Latin America. Children are mostly at risk in their own homes, while adolescents are at risk in their homes but also in the wider community (for instance, schools or boyfriends). However, data is very limited due to silence around the issue. Latin America is highly patriarchal, is riven by inequalities within and between social groups, and has weak judicial institutions; these are all factors that impact on gender based violence. However, governments in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Paraguay are starting to see children as individuals with rights, rather than minors under the sole authority of fathers, and are designing laws and agencies to protect those rights. Civil society in the meantime is increasingly mobilising against violence against women, including violence against girls, two forms of violence that go hand in hand, at a time when the problem is increasingly recognised and acted upon globally. This report outlines possibilities for the EU to support these recent developments and initiatives to end violence against minors via the establishment of national action plans, in collaboration with national, regional and global partners.