Thirty years have passed since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Ecuador. In them, three clearly differentiated moments of legislative reform can be identified. The first promulgated the Juvenile Code, Law 170, of July 16, 1992, without substantive changes regarding the legal and social consideration of childhood and adolescence; in a second moment, the Childhood and Adolescence Code -CONA-, Law 100, of January 3, 2003, was issued, which details, according to the specialty of the legal doctrine of integral protection, in a wide catalog, the common human rights and specific to childhood and adolescence and delves into the principle of effectiveness of the norm, for which it clearly identifies the guarantors and sets the standards of their performance in rights that must be exercised, promoted,comply and ensure.
A third is characterized by the partial reforms from 2009 to 2015.
In the same period, the serious violation of the right to sexual integrity of boys, girls and adolescents in Ecuador, their naturalization and impunity, are socially and politically recognized as structural problems contrary to human dignity. In 2017, the Plenary of the National Assembly created the Occasional Commission AMMPETRA, with the purpose of investigating cases of sexual abuse of children and adolescents in schools and colleges in the country. In 2018, the Commission recommends to the National Assembly the comprehensive reform of the Childhood and Adolescence Code, in which it must include a chapter on prevention, care, and comprehensive reparation for all forms of violence against children and adolescents.
The AAMPETRA case revealed the widespread persistence of these harmful practices, the little or no capacity of the public apparatus to respond to the rights of the victims, and little or no cultural change. In particular, the Occasional Commission on Childhood and Adolescence issues, which is processing the reform, has been warned that a strategic objective and regulatory innovation is the identification of harmful practices and violence that affect adolescent girls and women, which do not were included in the 2003 CONA.
In general, harmful practices are often associated with serious forms of violence or are themselves a form of violence against women and girls. The most common in Ecuador are trafficking and sexual exploitation of adolescent girls and women, child and adolescent pregnancy or labor exploitation and the vulnerability that domestic work under dependency implies. There are two reform priorities:
The prevention and eradication of punishment, and all forms of violence against girls, boys and adolescents, with special attention to sexual violence, labor exploitation, pregnancy, early unions and harmful practices such as incest.
The assurance of technical-legal devices for the action of the State as a whole, from the reinforced due diligence, when a girl or an adolescent is a victim of violence and guarantee the access to specialized justice to the victims of crimes, their integral protection, restitution of rights and reparation.
One of the multi-offensive results that contain relevant criminal behaviors, as well as naturalized narratives from discrimination, is the one whose intention and result is the pregnancy of girls and adolescents. The chain of discrimination and exclusions is reproduced in families, society, aid institutions and the provision of social and health services, severely limiting the possibilities of a life with equal rights and opportunities for them. The State must declare its unavoidable and priority commitment to the prevention and eradication of violence and pregnancy of girls and adolescents and integrate technical-legal mechanisms to achieve this. (OR)