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Three sentences of the Court will lead to the filing of the Code for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents

The decriminalization of abortion for rape of girls and adolescents constituted a critical knot of Copinna that has been discussed since 2018.

The three rulings of the Constitutional Court (CC) related to abortion for rape, child custody and consent to sexual relations between adolescents complicate the process of the Organic Code of Comprehensive Protection for Girls, Boys and Adolescents (Copinna), which it is discussed in the National Assembly for more than three years.

The resolution by the judges of the Court, during 2021, will lead the Legislative Commission for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents to recommend, to the plenary session of Parliament, the filing of the project due to the fact that the deadline for presenting the report of the Code Organic expires next January 31 and the proposals for the new reforms on what was observed by the Constitutional Court are not ready.

The legislative table on childhood and adolescence issues expects to meet this January 21, starting at 08:00, to hear and decide on the file report of the project in view of the need to incorporate the decisions adopted by the Constitutional Court in Judgments 028-15-IN/21, 13-18-CN/21 and 34-19-IN/21.

The Copinna has been discussed in the legislature since October 2018, when the Parliament formed an occasional commission to deal with issues and regulations on children and adolescents, which included the recommendation of the occasional commission Aampetra, that it is urgent to carry out a comprehensive reform. on the protection of children and adolescents.

Legislator Pierina Correa (UNES), president of the Legislative Board for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents, describes the pilgrimage that this Code has had, which she inherited from the previous legislative period, which once the current period was installed granted six months to the table for the presentation of the report for the second debate and that during that time two rulings of the Court on issues of childhood and adolescence were presented.

Six more months for the new Organic Code for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents

Nor has the legislature managed to define the regulations regarding the ruling of the Constitutional Court of April 2021, on the law that guarantees the voluntary interruption of pregnancy of girls and adolescents in case of rape, since the text for the second debate only on Tuesday 25 January will be discussed in plenary.

Abortion for rape will enter the debate in search of the 70 votes for its approval

Assemblywoman Correa asked the presidency of the Assembly for a postponement to present the report, but it was denied on the grounds that it should be resolved by the plenary session, other options were consulted, which includes filing, and the mechanism is for the legislative table to prepare a report that recommends the file to the plenary session of the Assembly. That report will be voted on January 21.

Content and sentences

The Copinna contains 651 articles distributed in four books: Principles, rights and guarantees; Rights of girls, boys and adolescents in their family relationships; comprehensive protection of children and adolescents; and, System of criminal responsibility of adolescents and specialized justice.

In the draft report allusion is made to the three sentences of the Constitutional Court and that are related to the Code, but due to lack of legislative definitions they cannot be included in the final text.

The first refers to the Court’s ruling of April 2021, which imposed a deadline for the National Assembly to process a law that guarantees the voluntary interruption of pregnancy due to rape for girls, adolescents and women in the event of rape. What should be included in the Copinna is what corresponds to the age range of girls and adolescents. This topic constituted a critical knot in the Code under construction.

The second sentence is related to the unconstitutionality determined by the Court on November 24, 2021, on maternal preference in cases of possession and custody of sons and daughters; therefore, it ordered the Assembly to approve a reform within a period of twelve months that must be submitted by the Ombudsman’s Office. That report has not yet been presented by the Ombudsman.

The third sentence issued by the Court on December 15, 2021 recognizes that adolescents from the age of 14 have the capacity to consent to a sexual relationship between adolescents.

In a sentence, the CC resolves that people over the age of 14 have the capacity to consent to a sexual relationship between adolescents

Correa explained that the table will recommend that the current document being discussed be archived and that in two months, after joint work with the Ombudsman’s Office and the Judicial Council on the two sentences issued by the Constitutional Court, a new document that will include the texts related to the opinion of the Court.

The basis of the new project will be those 651 articles that make up the Copinna draft, therefore the work done will not be lost, but when it is entered as a new law, the deadlines and legislative procedures provided for in the regulations on the first and second debates start.

Correa clarified that the Copinna file does not leave children and adolescents unprotected, because the Code for Children and Adolescents is in force, and although it is not updated, it is applicable to defend the rights of this group of people. (I)

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