The proposal for sexual crimes against minors do not prescribe was approved on Sunday, February 4, 2018, with more than 73% of the vote. Now it is pending to start it. How to do it? In the recitals signed on October 2, President Lenin Moreno said that if this question was approved, “the constitutional amendment should be made first” and a new text should be introduced in Article 46 of the Constitution.
That text will be as follows: “the actions and penalties for crimes against sexual and reproductive integrity whose victims are girls, boys and adolescents will be imprescriptible”. The recitals also state the following: “it would correspond to the Assembly (…) to carry out an amendment to the Penal Code, so that the content is included in articles 16 and 75”.
Currently, these articles cite at least 10 illegal acts that do not prescribe, but there is no statute of limitations on crimes against children. Assemblywoman Maria Lourdes Cuesta, who is part of the legislative committee that investigates abuses of minors, assured that regardless of whether the legal bodies are reformed on this matter, the decision taken at the polls comes into effect immediately when the results are sent to the Official register.
“Once it is published does not need additional discussion, no other procedure is necessary,” he said. “This must be accompanied by public policies, a strong hand of justice, timely inquiry and agility.” Data reported by the Office of the Prosecutor indicate that between 2015 and September 2017 at the national level there were 4 854 complaints related to sexual crimes against children and adolescents.
In those three years, there were only 714 complaints in the educational field that reached the country’s tax offices. The idea of the authorities is to stop these events.
The Minister of Education, Fander Falconi, said that violence must be confronted as a society. “I think this is a matter of social justice and therefore there must be a policy of zero tolerance, of not enduring impunity as a society.” Then he said: “Who should protect the rights guarantee system? To children and adolescents. Therefore, all types of public action undertaken must be aimed at protecting them. ”
The abuse of children in Ecuador has also been analyzed in the Committee against Torture of the United Nations (UN). On November 28, 2016, the entity showed its “dismay at the persistence of cases of abuse and sexual violence to students in schools.”
That is why he urged the Ecuadorian State to continue “adopting necessary measures to prevent and eliminate these cases.” The Committee also called on the State to look after the victims and accompany them in trials until they receive comprehensive reparation.”
When raising this issue in the consultation, the Government cited the norms that protect minors, such as the Geneva Declaration, the San José Pact, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Constitution. And he said that the State will provide “special protection” to people in a double vulnerability condition. ” In addition, it was indicated that the guarantee of care and special protection of minors “must be constitutionally established, thus becoming a fundamental obligation of the State, since the recognition and realization of the superior interest of this group leads to the State adopting the actions and processes for integral development “.
For constitutionalist Ismael Quintana, the content will come into force “as soon as the National Electoral Council, on the one hand, proclaims the results. After that happens, it will be published in the official registry. In the case of this question, no further proceedings are necessary.”
Relatives of sexually abused children say that the prescription of these crimes only “generated a benefit for the aggressor.” “(With the approval) after a while there will be many people who can even break the silence, as we did.
The rights of children and adolescents will be guaranteed, “said Amparo Molina, representative of those affected in a school in Quito. Faced with the attacks that occurred in the classrooms, on February 13 of last year a proposal came to the Assembly, to reform the rule and it was suggested that the criminal action against children under 18 prescribe in 40 years.
But now, the changes will enter the Constitution in effect since 2008. “In this specific case we not only approved to modify the Magna Carta in Article 46. In addition, as annexes, we approved amendments to two articles of the Organic Comprehensive Criminal Code (COIP) where the legal modification of the case is already established, to adapt that to the constitutional amendment, “Quintana points out. (I)