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Legislative table recommends to the plenary to file the Code for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents

The text of the file report will go to the Presidency of the National Assembly for its inclusion in the agenda.

With four votes in favor, one against and three abstentions, the Commission for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents recommended to the plenary session of the National Assembly to file the draft Organic Code for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (Copinna), to incorporate in a new text the rulings issued by the Constitutional Court related to childhood and adolescence.

Once the plenary session of the Assembly accepts the file, according to the president of the legislative table, Pierina Correa (UNES), a new proposal will have to be worked on that includes the work carried out by the occasional commission since 2018 and what was contributed by the current one from last July, when he learned about the subject.

But, according to the text of the resolution proposed by the legislator Esther Cuesta (UNES) and approved on January 21, the plenary session of the National Assembly could order the continuity of the treatment of the draft code by the permanent specialized commission, in compliance of the judgment 028-15-IN/21 of November 24, 2021 of the Constitutional Court.

Around the issue of childhood and adolescents, the Constitutional Court issued in 2021 three sentences related to the decriminalization of abortion for rape of girls and adolescents; the shared possession of children and adolescents, and the consent of sexual relations between adolescents. As ordered by the Court, these texts must be incorporated into national legislation by the National Assembly.

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

file motion

The motion approved by the table that deals with issues of childhood and adolescence indicates that the report has been read, detailing step by step the work carried out by this commission regarding the contributions and content of the report for the second debate of the Organic Code of Protection. Comprehensive Children and Adolescents, observations received by assembly members and civil society in general, details of general commissions and technical groups, as well as the importance and obligation of including the rulings of the Constitutional Court in the bill and accepting the legal criteria issued by the legal coordination of the National Assembly.

The file report of the project of the Organic Code for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents is approved in accordance with the provisions of article 61 of the Organic Law of the Legislative Function, adding the following:

Notwithstanding that the plenary session of the National Assembly orders the continuity of the treatment of the project Organic Code for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents by the permanent specialized commission of Comprehensive Protection for Children and Adolescents, in compliance with ruling 028-15-IN/21 of November 24, 2021 of the Constitutional Court.

The legislator Cuesta, when arguing the motion, pointed out that the law of the Legislative Function does not allow a new extension to present the report for the second debate of the Code, therefore, the law cannot be breached; but at the same time there are rulings of the Constitutional Court, and one in particular, 028, where the Court specifically orders the National Assembly and the Ombudsman to take the time to count on the active participation of social organizations so that the Ombudsman in a coordinated manner with the different state agencies, within a maximum period of 90 days, present a report that considers the parameters to grant custody of children and adolescents in accordance with the criteria developed in the sentence.

In addition, the Constitutional Court orders the National Assembly to continue the debate on the project of the Organic Code for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents within a maximum period of twelve months, counted from the report presented by the Ombudsman’s Office, following the procedures.

Cuesta indicated that the Assembly cannot ignore the provisions of the Constitutional Court; In that sense, although it is true that the commission did an extensive job on the Code, to make the laws it is necessary to listen to the organizations, fathers, mothers and children.

During the debate, legislators Amada Ortiz (formerly of ID) and Vanessa Freire (formerly of UNES) raised motions to prevent the file. Assemblyman Jorge Abbedrabo (PSC) also spoke out against the file, but his positions did not have the support of the legislative table.

The report approved by the committee will be reported to the president of the Assembly, Guadalupe Llori, so that she can include it on the agenda for debate in plenary.(I)

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