United Nations


Convention on the Rights of the Child

Distr.: General

2 November 2017


Original: Spanish

English and Spanish only

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Seventy-seventh session

15 January–2 February 2018

Item 4 of the provisional agenda

Consideration of reports of States parties

List of issues in relation to the combined fifth and sixthperiodic reports of Guatemala


Replies of Guatemala to the list of issues * , **

[Date received: 16 October 2017]


1.This report replies to the list of issues (CRC/C/GTM/Q/5-6) in relation to the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Guatemala, and describes progress in implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the period from 2015 to 2017.

2.In preparing this report, the Presidential Commission for Coordinating Executive Policy in the Field of Human Rights adopted a participatory approach, engaging with various State institutions at working meetings to share the recommendations made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in respect of the latest report submitted by Guatemala (CRC/C/GTM/5-6).

II.Replies to the list of issues

Part I

Results of the Public Policy for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents and the Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents

3.The Ministry of the Interior, through the Office of the Third Deputy Minister for the Prevention of Violence and Crime, participates in and chairs the National Commission on Children and Adolescents. As the Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents expired in 2015, a resolution was adopted affirming the continuing validity of the Public Policy for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents, which will be reformulated and renewed with a broader scope that addresses the current situation of children and adolescents and guarantees the comprehensive protection of their rights. The resolution also provides for the preparation of a new plan of action for 2016-2023 in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Planning. The public policy is expected to have been updated by the end of 2017.

4.People, and therefore children, are central to the Guatemalan K’atun National Development Plan 2032; the policy for the comprehensive protection of children will therefore be designed in accordance with that plan. The principle of continuity will be applied to service provision so as to guarantee that care is not only comprehensive, but also age-appropriate and mindful of the life cycle.

Reparation measures for children and adolescents

5.Guatemala does not have a reparation programme for children and adolescents. However, the Secretariat on Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Human Trafficking is working to establish a programme for the restoration of the rights of children and adolescents who are victims of violence, exploitation or human trafficking. Further information will be provided on this during the dialogue with the Committee’s experts.

Bill on the prohibition of corporal punishment

6.In 2016, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala submitted initiative No. 5184 providing for the adoption of the Act on the Use of Corporal Punishment and Other Cruel Forms of Punishment as a Correctional or Disciplinary measure for Children and Adolescents. The Act will apply in the home and in all public and private institutions and will establish “physical punishment or other forms of cruel punishment” as an offence under the Criminal Code. It is currently under review by the Congressional Commission on Human Rights, which will issue an opinion on it.

Results of the workshops organized by the National Adoption Council, referred to in paragraph 195 (ii) of the State party’s report

7.Firstly, sociological and psychological interviews were conducted to get to know the conflicted mother’s background, with specific regard to her family, partner and pregnancy. This initial contact with mothers troubled by the prospect of motherhood allowed the professionals from the workshop’s multidisciplinary team to create a trusting environment in which to discuss the various problems that the mother might be facing and review all possible options. A safe space for mothers and their babies-to-be was created. Conflicted expectant mothers were provided with psychosocial guidance on the proper procedures for either accepting motherhood or safely and legally putting their babies up for adoption.

Measures undertaken by the State following the incident at the Virgen de la Asunción shelter

8.As at 8 March 2017, a total of 600 children and adolescents who had been living in the shelter when the incident occurred had been identified, of whom 340 were male and 260 were female — information which has been confirmed by the Social Welfare Secretariat, the Solicitor General’s Office and the National Adoption Council (annex 1). Rehousing in public and private centres then began: as at 14 July 2017, shelter had been provided for 124 children and adolescents in public centres and for 133 in private centres. A further 238 had been reunited with their families or otherwise rehoused (annex II).

9.The Social Welfare Secretariat has six new residences under the new transitional residential family care model, which provides for shelter for children and adolescents from the Virgen de la Asunción shelter who have not been reunited with their biological or extended families or provided for by any other judicial decision.

10.Care is provided for children and adults between the ages of 6 and 37 who have minor to moderate disabilities in the Álida España de Arana special education centre by a multidisciplinary team of nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, educators, childminders, cooks and nutrition specialists.

11.Deinstitutionalization: This is achieved through programmes for children and adolescents living in shelters and is based on inter-institutional agreements that facilitate the comprehensive care of children and adolescents through alternatives to residential care, such as:

(a)Family reunification: This consists in reintroducing children and adolescents into an appropriate family environment once that environment has been identified, subject to court approval;

(b)Temporary foster families: This option consists in temporarily placing children and adolescents between the ages of 7 and 18 with a family — preferably one from their community — until the end of the legal process to identify an appropriate family environment;

(c)Professional foster families: This option consists in placing children and adolescents with specific needs linked to disability, permanent illness or unstable behaviour and groups of siblings or children aged 7 years and older with families who specialize in their care. In such cases, the family is provided with an adequate subsidy to meet the needs of the children in their care.

12.Care for adolescents who survived the incident of 8 March 2017: The Social Welfare Secretariat, through the Programme for the Care and Specialized Guidance of Non-Institutionalized Children and Adolescents and Their Families, is providing psychosocial assistance to two adolescent girls who survived the incident and to their families. It is important to note that the girls have been reunited with their biological families. One of them is six months pregnant. The Solicitor General’s Office and the National Adoption Council are providing support within their remits.

13.Recruitment: The Social Welfare Secretariat began recruiting workers to join its multidisciplinary team and provide specialized care on 8 March 2017, in view of the need to improve the care of the children and adolescents that it shelters.

14.Census of the children and adolescents in the Virgen de la Asunción shelter: Pursuant to a decision of the Juvenile Court of First Instance in Guatemala City, the National Adoption Council was required to conduct a census of the children and adolescents living in the Virgen de la Asunción shelter, complete with their birth certificates, photographs and fingerprints and indicating any groups of siblings and the particular problems facing each individual. The Council conducted the census in three steps:

(a)Data verification: Working groups organized by the National Adoption Council began work on 29 March 2017 and discussed information provided by the Solicitor General’s Office and the Social Welfare Secretariat, within the framework of their remits;

(b)Document verification techniques: Documents from the Social Welfare Secretariat’s files on the children and adolescents from the shelter were scanned and saved in digital form;

(c)Systematic organization of information: This is currently under way using an information technology tool used to conduct the census, as it is necessary to verify, supplement and validate the information collected by the Social Welfare Secretariat.

15.The Ministry of Education has provided records of the school registration codes of the children and adolescents from the shelter, as well as brief information on the last school grade that they achieved, so that information on their education can be included in the census.

16.The administrative closure of the Virgen de la Asunción shelter was set in motion in July. The Government will provide information on the steps taken to close it definitively.

17.The Solicitor General’s Office is monitoring the cases of 191 children (60 girls and 131 boys) who have been reintegrated into a family environment. This is being carried out on the basis of the Family Reintegration Project established in October 2016, which specifies that all children and adolescents returned to a family environment must be covered by a protection plan ensuring the restoration of any rights violated or at risk of violation.

Community services that are accessible to children and adolescents with disabilities

18.Guatemala has two care programmes:

(a)Special Education Schools Programme

Special education schools are State institutions that provide preschool and primary schooling to pupils with special needs associated with disability, using methods specifically designed for persons with physical, sensory (audio or visual), intellectual or multiple disabilities. Existing curricula are adapted to the pupils’ needs and are based on the basic national curriculum. Adapted curricula for adults are currently in development.

(b)Inclusive Schools Programme

The concepts of the inclusive school and remedial classes have been redefined as two forms of inclusive schooling and reimagined as regular State institutions offering preschool, primary and secondary (lower and upper) education that provide services to pupils with special educational needs, with or without disabilities, including gifted children, across all levels and grades in both urban and rural areas.

Inclusive Schools Programme with peripatetic educational advisers

Some educational centres have peripatetic educational advisers who assist and advise teachers, communities and parents with regard to pedagogical alternatives to ensure pupils’ diversity is taken on board and that care is provided for pupils with special educational needs, whether or not they have disabilities, across all levels of education.

Inclusive Schools Programme with special needs teachers

This programme meets the special educational needs of persons with or without disabilities at the preschool and primary levels. The underlying notion is that every child and adolescent can learn in a regular classroom. The programme values diversity and encourages inclusive education free from discrimination or segregation.

The Ministry of Education assisted a total of 63,215 pupils with disabilities across all levels of education in both special and regular schools from 2015 to 2017. Of these pupils, 21,456 attended school in 2015. That number fell to 13,579 in 2016 and increased to 21,939 in 2017 (annex III).

(c)Scholarship programme for pupils with disabilities in State schools

This programme aims to provide financial assistance to economically vulnerable pupils with visual, hearing, intellectual or multiple disabilities, pervasive development disorders, achondroplasia, skeletal dysplasia or other hereditary disabilities relating to size and weight. The scholarships are calculated on the basis of family income, the cost of the basic food basket and the number of family members registered in State education centres in the formal sector at the early learning, preschool, primary and lower and upper secondary levels or in any type of programme in the informal or non-formal sector.

19.According to the Ministry of Education, 12,814 scholarships, worth 13,164,000 quetzales, were awarded to pupils with disabilities in the 2015–2017 school years. The highest number of scholarships was awarded in the 2017 school year, with 4,307 scholarships awarded to 1,981 girls and 2,326 boys (annex IV).

20.The Section for Workers with Disabilities, of the Ministry of Labour, aims to “promote the labour rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities in the business sector among employers and workers and improve those persons’ knowledge of their rights and responsibilities”. The Ministry of Labour is currently implementing the Inclusive Employment Programme, which aims to improve the employment prospects of persons with disabilities by coordinating the services of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Economy in order to establish partnerships with the private sector and identify job opportunities. The programme is one of the State’s commitments under the National Policy on Decent Employment 2017–2032: Sustained, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth.

21.The Section for Workers with Disabilities does not provide assistance to children, given that they are not of working age. However, it does provide assistance and services to adolescents, helping them through inclusive employment programmes such as the one described above. Currently, the Section is working with groups of young people from all over the country, giving classes on how to write curriculum vitae and holding workshops on self-esteem and how to approach job interviews. Young people are also taught about recruitment, selection processes and the current labour market, and technical training is organized to suit each student, including courses in baking, handicrafts, hotel reception work, fruit and vegetable packaging, beauty parlour work and gardening.

22.Programmes tailored to the requirements and recruitment processes of individual institutions were organized from 2015 to 2017 and technical training and courses in interpersonal skills were introduced in 2016 and 2017. In that period, 39 persons with disabilities (most of them under the age of 18) registered and received assistance.

K’atun National Development Plan 2032

23.One of the strategies for overcoming poverty in families in rural areas is the “Urban and Rural Guatemala” programme, a land management model for the coordination of public action and sustainability in rural areas and cities that takes account of sociocultural, economic, political and environmental factors.

Paragraph 192 of the State party’s report

24.A total of 1,322,531 children and adolescents benefited from the “My Secure Bond” programme between 2015 and 2017. A total of 3,217,379 children and adolescents have now benefited from the programme, of whom 1,319,630 are girls, 1,213,865 are boys and 608,897 are adolescents. A total of 780,203,550 quetzales have been allocated to the programme so far (annex V).

25.The data from 2017 vary significantly due to the fact that the regular operations of the “My Secure Bond” programme had to be postponed while the first semester of the year was spent carrying out census-related activities. The evaluation of joint responsibilities and the resulting payment of conditional cash transfers are being carried out as and when families are registered, classified and recertified as living in poverty or extreme poverty, with a view to getting the regular operations back on track: The results began to be seen at the beginning of the second semester of this year.

Higher scholarship social programme

This programme is for young people between the ages of 16 and 28 who have completed upper secondary education, live in poverty and find it difficult to continue in higher education. The scholarship is delivered through conditional cash transfer.

“My Secure Scholarship” secondary education social programme

This programme is for adolescents and young people between the ages of 11 and 24 who are limited in their ability to continue their studies by virtue of their living in poor or extremely poor rural or urban areas. They are awarded conditional cash transfers to support them in their studies in public and private education centres endorsed by the Ministry of Education, comprising a maximum yearly sum of 2,500 quetzales distributed in three instalments. Between 2015 and 2017, a total of 15,165 beneficiaries received scholarships; most of the recipients (14,961) were between the ages of 13 and 18 (annex VI).

“Young Protagonists” programme

This programme focuses on and promotes the participation of young people and adolescents in situations of vulnerability or social risk due to poverty, through an informal voluntary educational programme offered on weekends in schools run by the Ministry of Education.

26.The programme has been rolled out in 15 departments (Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, Sololá, Totonicapán, Quetzaltenango, Suchitepéquez, Retalhuleu, Huehuetenango, Quiché, Alta Verapaz, Petén, Chiquimula and Jalapa). Between 2015 and 2017, 80,366 young people (33,243 girls and 43,624 boys) took part in the programme in 109 schools. All were under the age of 18 (annex VII).

“My Secure Shopping Bag” programme

This programme provides conditional cash transfers of 250 quetzales for foodstuffs. The transfers are paid regularly through a banking arrangement that allows recipients to access a range of products that form part of the basic food basket.

27.Individual recipients or representatives of families are given a debit card, allowing them to use their conditional cash transfer in shops approved by the Ministry of Social Development to buy products that suit their dietary habits from among those featured on a list of approved foodstuffs. In 2017, 7,524 persons in nine municipalities benefited from the programme (annex VIII).

Measures to prevent school dropout in rural and indigenous areas

(a)Sociolinguistic and cultural profiling

This consists in profiling schools in Mayan, Garifuna, Xinca and Ladino communities and identifying their sociolinguistic, linguistic and cultural characteristics, as well as the material and human resources available to each community for schooling. Through profiling, the school and its community context can be categorized (annex IX).

(b)Technical pedagogical assistance

This involves the provision of mediation, assistance and pedagogical guidance for bilingual and monolingual educators. It aims to foster autonomy and leadership with a view to improving teaching practices. The assistance is tailored to fit Maya, Garifuna and Xinka communities, and can also be offered in Spanish to suit the educational needs of children and adolescents (annex X).

(c)Implementation of the regional plan on the communities’ curriculum

The plan takes into account the specificities of the multilingual and multicultural State, as recognized in the Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous People and other international and national instruments. The plan responds to the need to improve the Guatemalan peoples’ capacity for critical and creative learning in the realms of science, technology, art and spirituality and thus give rise to a comprehensive and universal base of common knowledge in the language of each community. The progress made in 2016 and 2017 is as follows:

In 2016, the Directorate-General for Intercultural Bilingual Education presented the communities’ curriculum to the directors of State schools, the technical staff of regional training programmes and other technical staff in the 25 departmental directorates for education.

In 2017, municipal committees were formed in each department to organize the training required to master the communities’ curriculum, in conjunction with the Directorate-General and the Office of the Deputy Minister for Intercultural Bilingual Education. Training was organized in certain priority municipalities, as well as in those municipalities benefiting from international cooperation initiatives, and included primary-school learning games featured in the curriculum.

A diploma in the curriculum is envisaged for 2018.

(d)Production of educational materials

Educational support tools that facilitate, support and enrich development and the teaching/learning process were produced.

28.Intercultural, bilingual educational materials were produced in an attempt to create meaningful learning experiences for pupils. The materials were introduced by an interdisciplinary team using context-specific activities and methods. The aim was to support the learning process by giving pupils the educational tools and resources they need to develop skills in their own culture and language (annex XI).

(e)Care for vulnerable groups

From 2015 to 2017, the Girls Education Department of the Subdirectorate for the Education of Vulnerable Groups implemented a number of strategies to help girls, including:

Working to prevent violence against girls and early pregnancy in girls under the age of 14

From 2015 to 2017, participating in the “Prevention through Education” technical committee, pursuant to Ministerial Order No. 1120-2014

In 2015, participating in a series of video conferences and meetings with 200 professionals from the departmental directorates for education to identify ways to ensure that educational equality is taken into account in the decision-making processes of future annual work plans

In 2015, improving the Ministry of Education and departmental directorate’s technical and administrative staff’s knowledge of comprehensive sex education and the prevention of violence by organizing training in teaching methods with 32 experts from the Directorate-General for Intercultural Bilingual Education and 15 experts from the general directorates using a text on sexuality from the Mayan perspective entitled “We are all Ajmaq”, as well as organizing training on methods and techniques for addressing comprehensive sex education in the Mayan worldview

In 2016, providing training for 1,400 parents on the importance of school attendance and the social development of girls in the national educational system and comprehensive sex education

In 2017, organizing a workshop on human rights, comprehensive sex education and the prevention of violence for 296 pupils, educators and directors from the rural mixed State schools Sepur Zarco, Pombaac, San Marcos I, El Estor Izabal and La Esperanza. The total number of participants was 368.

Agreements to enhance the quality of education services

Academic programme for the development of teaching staff (PADEP)

In 2009 an agreement was signed between the Training College for Secondary School Teachers at the University of San Carlos and the Ministry of Education for the professional development of teachers in the 011 employment category at preschool and primary level, entitled “PADEP/D”.

29.The fifth cohort to attend the development programme for intercultural bilingual preschool and primary schoolteachers at technical university level started the course in 2015 and graduated in 2016.

30.The sixth cohort started the course in 2017 and will graduate in 2018. The University of San Carlos awards the following academic qualifications:

•Teaching degree in bilingual intercultural preschool education

•Teaching degree in bilingual intercultural primary education

31.The preparatory process for the first cohort to study for the intercultural degree with a focus on bilingual education for primary schoolteachers has started. The following cohorts will graduate in 2019 (annex XII):

First cohort: in 45 municipalities falling within the extreme poverty category in 9 priority departments (Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chiquimula, Huehuetenango, El Petén, Sololá, San Marcos, Totonicapán and El Quiché)

Second cohort: in 60 municipalities in 9 departments (Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chiquimula, Huehuetenango, El Petén, Sololá, San Marcos, Totonicapán and El Quiché)

Third cohort: in 11 departments (Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chiquimula, Huehuetenango, El Petén, Sololá, San Marcos, Totonicapán, El Quiché, Sacatepéquez and Izabal)

Fourth cohort: in 11 departments (El Progreso, Escuintla, Santa Rosa, Suchitepéquez, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, El Quiché, Zacapa, El Petén, Jutiapa and Jalapa)

Fifth cohort: in the closing stages in the departments where it began in 2009 (Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chiquimula, Huehuetenango, Petén, Sololá, San Marcos, Totonicapán and El Quiché)

Sixth cohort: still ongoing in the departments of Alta Verapaz, Chimaltenango, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, El Petén, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Sololá, Suchitepéquez, Totonicapán and El Quiché

Initial teacher training: This is a new training course for bilingual intercultural primary education teachers at technical university level. It was started in 2015 with the signing of an agreement for each cohort between the University of San Carlos and the Ministry of Education, with 19 universities currently providing intercultural bilingual education.

Scholarships for initial teacher training students: Training lasts for three years. The first cohort had 964 students, the second 669 and the third 489, making a total of 2,122 students training to become intercultural bilingual teachers at primary level.

Paragraph 245 of the State party’s report

32.Article 71 of the Constitution of Guatemala establishes that the State has an obligation to provide education. Article 1 of Government Order No. 226-2008 of the Ministry of Education states that public education is free of charge; hence admission, enrolment and attendance at official preschool, primary and secondary schools are not subject to, contingent upon or associated with any payment, whether obligatory or voluntary.

33.Free enrolment is one of the measures taken to prevent school dropout in rural areas. The legal framework for this measure is provided by Government Order No. 226 of 12 September 2008 and its corresponding regulations, Ministerial Order No. 73 of 13 January 2011 and Ministerial Order No. 1492-2008 of 12 September 2008 on the institutional revolving fund for free schooling.

34.There are no enrolment fees for regular secondary schools or experimental secondary schools offering vocational guidance under the Programme for the Expansion and Improvement of Secondary and Distance Education (annex XIII).

Eliminating discrimination and preventing the labour exploitation of children and adolescents from indigenous communities

35.In 2017, as part of the strategy of the Secretariat on Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Human Trafficking to prevent the worst forms of child labour in the municipality of Nahualá, Sololá, children and adolescents who were travelling from Nahualá to sell flags for the Guatemalan national holidays were rescued in an operation involving the National Civil Police, the Solicitor General’s Office and the judiciary.

36.A number of activities were carried out with children at the United States school in Zone 5 of Guatemala City, where 300 copies of the law on sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking adapted for children were handed out and a brief explanation was given in order to raise awareness.

37.In 2017, a photography competition entitled “Photography as a means of raising awareness of the fight against the worst forms of child labour” was launched, with the aim of involving various sectors of the population in the prevention of child labour and its worst forms. More than 100 photographs were received. The 13 most representative photographs were then chosen and received awards, funded by civil society donations, from the Vice-President at the National Palace of Culture.

38.The Indigenous Peoples Section of the Ministry of Labour implements and oversees compliance with labour and social security rights. In this regard, strategic action has been taken to narrow social inequality gaps and eradicate discrimination against children and adolescents from indigenous communities.

39.In 2015, the multidisciplinary team of the Indigenous Peoples Section:

Made 30 visits to companies to inspect the working conditions of indigenous people

Organized training on the International Labour Organization (ILO) Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) for 5,010 workers and employers

Organized 22 events for workers, employers, civil society and governmental and non-governmental institutions and organizations on the labour rights of indigenous peoples and employment discrimination

40.The ages of the men and women who attended these training events during the first four months of the year varied, with 29 per cent aged between 14 and 17; 29 per cent between 18 and 21; 27 per cent between 22 and 41; 10 per cent between 42 and 59; and 3 per cent over 60 (annex XIV).

41.In 2016, a team from the Indigenous Peoples Section travelled to various parts of the country with the aim of raising awareness among children and adolescents of a range of issues and minimizing instances of discrimination. The target population is described in annex XV.

42.Of all those involved in awareness-raising campaigns in 2016, 45 per cent were male, while 55 per cent were female. Some 61 per cent were children up to the age of 17 (30 per cent boys and 31 per cent girls); 18 per cent were aged between 18 and 35 (4 per cent men and 14 per cent women); 10 per cent were aged between 36 and 45 (5 per cent men and 5 per cent women); 5 per cent were aged between 46 and 51 (2 per cent men and 3 per cent women); and 7 per cent were aged 52 or over (4 per cent men and 3 per cent women) (annex XVI).

43.The Adolescent Workers Protection Unit of the Ministry of Labour has been tasked with laying the foundations for the strategic programme and acting as the liaison between the various public policies and actions regarding the comprehensive protection of children and adolescents, within the framework of strategies to tackle poverty and to prevent and eradicate the worst forms of child labour. Along these lines, the Protection Unit:

Informs male and female adolescents of their labour rights and obligations

Provides training to the education sector, students at educational institutions, employers and the population in general on the labour rights and obligations of adolescents and the problem of child labour in Guatemala

At the inter-agency level, coordinates work on the issue of child labour, especially with the agencies comprising the National Commission for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour

44.The Adolescent Workers Protection Unit plans and carries out activities aimed at reinforcing and institutionalizing the following tools, which are under development:

The internal operating procedures of the National Commission: These were validated by the National Commission’s various institutions in the course of two workshops that took place on 30 August and 8 September 2016. The 18 institutions that constitute the National Commission took part in both workshops. The aim of the workshops was to “define how the National Commission, its executive secretariat and the departmental committees for the prevention and elimination of child labour are organized and the way in which they operate”.

The inter-agency protocol for the handling and referral of cases involving adolescent workers: This guidance outlines the action to be taken by public services whose remit is to provide protection for adolescent workers.

45.In terms of measures to prevent the use of indigenous child labour, the Adolescent Workers Protection Unit has undertaken a study of the departmental committees’ approach to the prevention and elimination of child labour in indigenous communities, with the objective of gauging the social and cultural representation of child labour in indigenous communities in five departments of Guatemala, and drafting a guide to the areas of action and the functioning of the departmental committees.

46.The Ministry of Labour has produced figures on the numbers of adolescents who have been informed about their labour rights and the minimum age for admission to employment: in 2015, 751 adolescents (329 girls and 442 boys) were so informed; in 2016, 849 (249 girls and 600 boys); and in the first half of 2017, 70 (12 girls and 56 boys).

47.In 2015, the National Commission for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour joined the global “Red Card to Child Labour” campaign, devising awareness-raising initiatives in 11 departments around the country which reached more than 10,000 students.

48.National events were held in 2016 and 2017 in which the President and Vice-President of the Republic took part alongside ministers and deputy ministers from the National Commission, representatives of the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations, civil society and various institutions, as well as 500 children and adolescents. The topics covered included the elimination of child labour in production chains and the “When I grow up, I want to be ...” campaign, encouraging children to pursue their goals and continue their studies.

49.Also in 2017, four workshops were held involving 140 school superintendents from several departmental education directorates (Guatemala North, South, East and West) on the prevention and elimination of child labour.

50.The Inspectorate-General for Labour, from the Ministry of Labour, conducted targeted regional inspections in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as part of efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in Guatemala. The procedure for dealing with child and adolescent workers was applied in cases where the worst forms of child labour were found. This procedure can be found in Government Order No. 250-2006, the regulation implementing the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182).

51.Under the inter-agency coordination protocol for the detection and referral of cases of trafficking in persons, reports are forwarded to the Secretariat on Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Human Trafficking for it to take the appropriate action in accordance with criminal law. In 2016 and 2017, 34 cases of suspected trafficking in persons for the purposes of labour exploitation were reported (annex XVII).

52.In 2015, 6,686 visits were conducted by the child labour inspectorate in various sectors, including: agriculture — specifically the cultivation, harvesting, transport and processing of sugar cane and export of the sugar; African palm oil production; hotels and restaurants; and the production and distribution of firecrackers and fireworks. The places believed to have the worst forms of child labour were also inspected (annex XVIII).

53.In the course of 2016, five operational inspection plans were carried out (child labour in the Department of Guatemala, the worst forms of child labour and firework factories) (annex XIX).

54.Thus far in 2017, Labour Code amendments concerning the punitive powers of the labour inspectorate have been formalized by Decree No. 7-2017, and information sessions have been held with labour inspectors at the national level on topics including the single procedural protocol for the labour inspectorate system.

55.The Adolescent Workers Protection Unit, with the support of Fundación Telefónica, has drafted a basic guide to strategic action on child labour with the aim of strengthening the 18 departmental committees for the prevention and elimination of child labour.

56.In the department of Chiquimula, awareness-raising and recreational activities were organized after children and adolescents had been taken out of work at rubbish dumps located in the village of Paso del Credo.

Consultation mechanisms to guarantee the right of children and adolescents to be heard in the context of the exploitation of natural resources

57.The Ministry of Labour reports that the law does not provide for a specific consultation mechanism for children in this context.

58.Bearing in mind the difficulties facing the country in the absence of institutional mechanisms to implement the basic rights set out in ILO Convention No. 169, including the right to consultation, a national dialogue was launched to produce a guide to the basic rules for consultations with indigenous peoples, involving representatives of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

Measures to prevent the migration of unaccompanied children and adolescents

59.The Social Welfare Secretariat is responsible for unaccompanied children from other countries and has a training centre called “Quédate” in Santa María Visitación, Sololá. The centre offers academic and technical courses for children and adolescents who have returned or who might migrate. The idea is to equip them with the skills they need to find a job or to work on their own account, within the law, in their communities of origin.

60.The First Lady’s Social Work Secretariat provides backup for families to ensure they do not migrate irregularly again, providing follow-up at the community level and including them in its programmes.

61.The National Protocol for the Reception and Care of Migrant Children and Adolescents is designed to establish a structure for the institutional arrangements provided for by law, and to offer a welcome and comprehensive care for children in need of protection upon their arrival in Guatemala.

Measures to ensure psychosocial support services and access to education for returnee children and adolescents

62.The Ministry of Education, through its Directorate-General for Non-Formal Education, is responsible for providing an education to children and young people over school age, though in a different way from the formal school subsystem. It provides technical and vocational training to those who for various reasons have no access to the regular education system.

63.Individuals are entitled to receive technical and vocational education and training, and so four non-formal education programmes are offered: the adult distance-learning programme; the “education for families” development programme, which covers lower secondary education; the secondary education modular programme, which covers lower and upper secondary education; and the municipal centres for training and human development programme, which provides free technical and vocational training courses, with a focus on entrepreneurship and personal development.

64.Within the framework of the Strategic Education Plan 2016-2020 and the Migration Code, the Directorate-General for Non-Formal Education has taken action to curb migration and take care of child returnees. There are now two educational radio stations: Radio Momostenango, in Totonicapán, and Radio Quezada, in Jutiapa, both of which in 2016 broadcast public information spots on the prevention of child and youth migration. Radio Momostenango broadcast eight spots and 17 programmes on the topic, while Radio Quezada broadcast three spots on trafficking in persons. In February 2017, Radio Quezada reported that it had broadcast 18 items on avoidance of the risks of migration on its Pentagrama Juvenil programme, as well as three public information spots during its programmes on the subject (annex XX):

Inter-agency network on migration: This coordinates the work of various government bodies and civil society organizations providing assistance to the Guatemalan returnee population.

Guide to the accreditation and certification of occupational skills of the returnee population: This proposes a road map for the whole process.

Agreement between Fundación Fe y Alegría and the Ministry of Education: The agreement covers the use of workplaces, raw material, machinery and equipment for the evaluation and accreditation of job skills by occupational group.

Agreement with Fundación Avina: Under this agreement, Avina will transfer the database on the returnee population that it maintains with the air force and the Association of Guatemalan Returnees. It will alsosupport cross-sectoral coordination to validate the list of occupational groups for the purpose of standardizing accreditation and certification work. In addition, it will cooperate on the “GuateteIncluye” project to help returnees, working alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Migration Directorate, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the municipalities of Villa Nueva and Mixco, the Technical Institute for Training and Productivity, the International Organization for Migration, and the civil society organizations TeConecta and GenisisEmpresarial.

Information and Registration System for Non-Formal Education: this will provide an accountability tool for the registration, monitoring and certification of students in non-formal education programmes.

65.To ensure that children and adolescents have access to education, the education ministry’s Directorate-General for Intercultural Bilingual Education runs the Primary Education for Overage Students Programme, which demonstrates the flexibility of intercultural bilingual education when delivered on an intensive course that provides educational opportunities and allows students to acquire a significant amount of knowledge in just two school years. Students over school age can move up two or three grades in one school year, and have modules and workbooks covering the various parts of the curriculum that respond to their needs.

66.The “Secondary Education in Guatemala” project is run by the Ministry of Education with funding from the World Bank. It includes a basic education component, with the emphasis on implementing an intensive education programme, which would take into account: (a) efficiency at the primary level; (b) continuity at the secondary level; (c) verification of the overage index; (d) minimizing the chances of falling behind; (f) the absenteeism and dropout rates.

67.In 2017, the Education for Vulnerable Populations Subdirectorate, through its department for displaced persons and migrants, will be offering training for teachers and delegates under the Primary Education for Overage Students Programme in the departments of San Marcos and Huehuetenango.

Strategies to prevent the recruitment of children and adolescents by illegal groups

68.The Ministry of the Interior, through the Office of the Deputy Minister for the Prevention of Violence and Crime, is implementing the following programmes:

Safe Schools Programme: The Community Prevention of Violence Unit implemented this programme in educational facilities for children and adolescents with the aim of ensuring that primary and secondary schools in the public sector are safe spaces, free of violence and addiction, and conducive to the educational process (annex XXII).

Pirámide leisure centres: These provide comprehensive facilities for vulnerable young people aged 13 to 18 who are not employed and not in education. The centres are coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Education, the Technical Institute for Training and Productivity, and the municipalities of Villa Nueva and Villa Canales.

Adult distance-learning programme/intensive primary course: This is aimed at 21 adolescents and young people from the municipalities of Villa Nueva and Villa Canales who are over school age and have not had access to education, giving them the opportunity to pursue and complete their primary education.

Flexible secondary education modular programme: This is offered to 84 adolescents and young people from the municipalities of Villa Nueva and Villa Canales who are over school age and have not had access to education, giving them the opportunity to pursue and complete their secondary education (annex XXIII).

Technical and vocational training programme: 105 scholarships for such training will be available in 2017, with the support of the Office of the Deputy Minister for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The aim is to provide basic guidance to prepare young people from the municipalities of Villa Nueva and Villa Canales for a certain occupation or job. Technical training accounts for between 150 and 180 hours of teaching time (annex XXIV).

69.The Youth Organization and Participation Section gives priority to taking care of and following up with young people by organizing youth associations to promote a culture of peace and non-violence in their communities. The associations give them an opportunity to build communities that value democracy, inclusiveness, gender equality, cultural relevance and peaceful coexistence: they promote art, culture and sport, as these offer young people the chance to address, transform and rectify the problems and violence that affect them. The strategy has been to organize workshops on “saying no to gangs” for young people who are members of the youth associations, in order to make them aware of the causes and consequences of joining a gang and to enable them to pass on to others what they learn about the subject (annex XXV).

Measures to reintegrate children and adolescents

70.The prison aftercare unit of the Ministry of the Interior is implementing the following two projects for dealing with children and adolescents in especially vulnerable situations with the aim of preventing them from rejoining criminal groups, as well as consolidating and strengthening their psychological and social care:

A follow-up project to strengthen the family reintegration programme

A project to provide psychosocial support and education for children and adolescents sheltered in the Tesoros de Gracia home in Canalitos, Zone 24

Proposals for juvenile justice

71.The Inter-Agency Agreement on Strengthening Juvenile Criminal Justice in Guatemala aims to strengthen the juvenile criminal justice system by establishing a technical committee involving representatives of the Office of the Deputy Minister for the Prevention of Violence and Crime (Ministry of the Interior), the judiciary, the public prosecution service, the Public Criminal Defence Institute, the Social Welfare Secretariat and the Office of the Human Rights Advocate.

72.The technical committee has developed an inter-agency strategic plan for the juvenile criminal justice system of Guatemala, dividing it into four main areas, namely:

Inter-agency coordination


Care and socialization of the adolescent

State-society interaction

73.In August 2017 a national conference on juvenile criminal justice was held which was notable for its focus on the idea of a tertiary prevention programme aimed at improving the situation of adolescents in conflict with the law, improving access to alternatives to imprisonment, improving the living conditions and socialization of adolescents who had been punished and improving access to socio-educational reintegration programmes and productive activities. A “process for the construction of a model of comprehensive care for adolescents deprived of liberty in Guatemala” was presented at the same meeting. The process looked at six areas: policy, specialization, infrastructure, psychosocial care and family reintegration, monitoring and transparency, and avoidance of stigmatization.

Recruitment to the armed forces

74.With regard to the recruitment of young people under the age of 18 by the armed forces, there has been no change in the law mentioned in the State party’s report.

75.The Civic Service Act stipulates that citizens aged between 18 and 24 years of age must perform civic service in one of its forms — either social service or military service.

76.Government Order No. 102-2012, regulating the performance of military service, provides that military service is to be performed by Guatemalans aged between 18 and 24 years in the standing forces or military reserve, provided that they meet the requirements in terms of age, gender, physical condition and intellectual development.

Measures adopted in relation to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

77.The Secretariat on Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Human Trafficking conducts a number of prevention campaigns, including:

The Corazón Azul campaign: The aim of this is to inform, sensitize and educate the general public about the various forms of human trafficking, including forced labour, labour exploitation and begging.

“ Watch out for grooming online ”: This campaign aims to inform children and young people about the risks posed by information and communication technologies when they are used for the purpose of exploitation and human trafficking.

“ Say no to the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in travel and tourism ”: This campaign is designed to raise awareness and prevent such exploitation, taking into account that the majority of tourist sites are located in areas with a majority indigenous population.

National information, awareness-raising and training programme on sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking: In promoting the social inclusion of the most vulnerable populations and indigenous communities during the period 2015–2017, and in view of the fact that Guatemala is a multicultural and multilingual country, the Government has supported and encouraged dialogue. This programme aims to foster social inclusion by respecting the identity of peoples, giving information, acting to prevent these offences and promoting a culture of reporting them.

Translation of the Act on Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Human Trafficking: This project was designed to raise public awareness of sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking by giving them information in their mother tongue, thus promoting the culture of reporting such offences. It has been translated into 17 Mayan languages.

Departmental networks against sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking: In a bid to prevent and curtail the exploitation of children in different municipalities and departments, 23 such networks have been created or reactivated.

We-Protect Global Alliance: The Secretariat on Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Human Trafficking urged the Government of Guatemala to sign up to this campaign for the prevention of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. It also initiated the process of establishing an intersectoral body for consultation on, and the management and formulation of, initiatives and for promoting consensus, plans, actions and policies for the prevention, comprehensive care and punishment of child sexual abuse and exploitation using information and communication technologies, in accordance with national legislation and international law.

Inter-agency cooperation:The National Committee for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism coordinated action in this area, including the drafting of a code of conductto create strategic alliances and the engagement ofcompanies and individuals involved in the tourism sector, with the aim of preventing such exploitation from taking place byensuring that staff are trained, taking internal measures and applying the inter-agency rapid response protocolto cases of sexual exploitationof children and adolescents in the fields of travel and tourism.

Action within the Inter-Agency Commission against Human Trafficking: During the period 2015–2017, training sessions for public servants were organized to build uptheir knowledge of human trafficking so that they can detect and forestall it; training sessions have also been organized for other sectors of the population, such as students, indigenous women and community-based organizations in different departments of the country.

The immediate response team: This provides a prompt, comprehensive and effective response for victims of human trafficking and ensures that the necessary administrative and judicial measures are taken to meet their immediate needs. In addition, the Inter-Agency Commission against Human Trafficking coordinatessecond-tier outpatient care for victimsidentified by the institutions that make up the Commission.

Part II

New bills or laws and their implementing regulations

78.The bill to amend the law on sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking is being prepared and is designed to bring domestic legislation into line with international standards and current realities, taking into account the need to protect children and adolescents. It proposes the establishment of the following offences:

Grooming of children or adolescents for sexual purposes using any electronic means

Offeringsexual services involving children and adolescents usingelectronic means

Identity fraud

79.Bill No. 5285 to amend the Act on the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents would establish a national system for comprehensive child protection as well as institutions, programmes, policies and procedures that set standards for service delivery and the implementation of special child protection measures.

Recently introduced policies and programmes

Inspectorate General for Labour protocol on the detection and referral of human trafficking cases

Protocol on inter-agencyaction for an immediate response in cases of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in the fields of travel and tourism

Inter-agency protocol on care and referralof adolescent workers

Rules of procedure ofthe National Commission for the Elimination of Child Labour

Inter-agency protocol on coordination of protection and assistance to trafficking victims

Inter-agency protocol on the repatriation of trafficking victims

Guide to the identification of trafficking victims

Manual on trafficking victims, which is being distributed toinstitutions responsible for identifying and dealing with possible victims

80.In 2017 the Ministry of Labour presented a road map for 2016–2020 to make Guatemala free of the worst forms of child labour, setting out the expected goals and results of a participatory multisectoral exercise involving the National Commission for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour and the departmental committees for the prevention and elimination of child labour, and clearly identifying the remit of those institutions.

81.The Ministry of the Interior established a unit on gender, multiculturalism, youth and children. The unit has an office for children and adolescents whose primary objective is to provide technical assistance and coordinate the inclusion of the rights of children and adolescents in the plans, programmes and projects devised by units in the Ministry; to ensure compliance with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the provisions of the Act on the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents; and to provide follow-up on the implementation of policies relating to children and adolescents, as required.

82.One of the unit’s main achievements has been to establish the Committee on Children and Adolescents at the Ministry of the Interior. The Committee seeks to harmonize and follow up on actions to help children and adolescents within the Ministry and its various units.

Part III

Budget allocated for children and adolescents over the pastthree years

83.Please find attached in annex XXVI the budget allocations for the care of children and adolescents for the fiscal years 2015–2017, broken down by institution, with a description of the work and the total amount due.

Number of child victims of abuse and violence

84.The judiciary has provided statistics on the child victims of abuse and violence, reporting a total of 24,432 in 2015, 39,282 in 2016 and 28,698 up to August 2017. It has also provided statistics on the number of measures taken in these cases: 4,481 in 2015, 8,300 in 2016 and 6,570 up to August 2017. Most of these measures were placements in the child’s extended family (annex XXVII).

Investigations and convictions for sexual abuse

85.The judiciary has provided statistics from the courts for children, adolescents and young people in conflict with the law throughout the country, showing that 44,724 complaints of child and adolescent abuse were filed and resolved (annex XXVIII).

Number of children detained by thepolice anddealt with under the justice system

86.The judiciary has also provided data on children and adolescents who have been arrested and dealt with under the juvenile justice system. The figures show that a total of 8,616 such cases were decided by the children’s courts from February 2015 to July 2017 (annex XXIX).

Number of child and adolescent drug users

87.The number of child and adolescent drug users registered between January 2015 and August 2017 by the National Observatory on Drugs, on the basis of figures provided by the outpatient treatment centre of the Directorate for Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (part of the Executive Secretariat of the Committee against Drug Addiction and Drug Trafficking), was 657 (475 male and 182 female) (annex XXX).

Children and adolescents living in care institutions

88.In accordance with its obligation to submit periodic reports and data on children living in private institutions, the National Adoption Council reports that there were 3,721 children and adolescents in care in 2015, 4,048 in 2016 and 4,093 up to August 2017.

89.The 2017 figures also include children in the care of public institutions. Of the total, the National Adoption Council registration unit reports that 188 children are in the adaptation phase (annex XXXI).

Children adopted from within Guatemala and intercountry adoptions

90.The National Adoption Council does not process intercountry adoptions as there is a moratorium on them while efforts are being made to strengthen the national protection system and adoption process. However, it has, exceptionally, processed some international adoption cases that have resulted in an administrative adoption procedure. These are so-called “transition” cases, initiated prior to the entry into force of the Adoption Act, and were settled in accordance with the decisions of the board of the National Adoption Council (CNA-015-2011-CD and CNA-CD-017-2013). At the time of writing, only three cases are pending, as they are still being processed by the judiciary. To deal with these cases, a closed list of pending cases was drawn up (annex XXXII).

Children and adolescents with disabilities in the education system

91.The Ministry of Education has a programme of scholarships for students with disabilities. Scholarship students attend a special school or an inclusive school, with either a peripatetic educational adviser or a special needs teacher. The records show that a total of 4,125 scholarships were awarded in 2015, 4,302 in 2016 and 4,592 in 2017. Children and adolescents are also dealt with in the section on workers with disabilities (annex XXXIII).

School enrolment and completion rates as percentages of each relevant age group in preschool education centres and in primary and secondary schools

92.As for enrolment between 2015 and 2017, a total of 1,706,631 pupils were enrolled in preschool, 7,025,287 in primary school, 2,432,993 in lower secondary school, 1,217,396 in upper secondary school, and 77,982 in adult primary education (annex XXXIV).

93.According to the Ministry of Education, in 2015–2016, a total of 347,132 students dropped out at all the above-mentioned educational levels; the highest number was recorded at the children’s primary level (156,222), followed by lower secondary (104,334), upper secondary (45,485), preschool (45,485) and adult primary (10,373) (annex XXXV).

Number of students in each type of school (State schools, State-subsidized private schools, private schools)

94.For the school years 2015–2017, cooperative schools reported a total of 534,751 students enrolled; municipal schools, 54,283; State schools, 8,906,502; and private schools, 2,938,249 (annex XXXVI).

Number and percentage of dropouts and grade repetitions, specifying the underlying reasons, if known

95.The school dropout rate fell by 0.3 per cent between 2015 and 2016: according to the Ministry of Education, the national dropout rate was 4.5 per cent in 2015 and 4.2 per cent in 2016. In both years, the figures show a higher dropout rate in urban areas (annex XXXVII).

96.Dropout rates for the 2015–2016 school year: Nationwide, a total of 347,132 students dropped out of school: 14,100 from cooperative schools; 22,025 from municipal schools; 114,500 from State schools; and 87,320 from private schools. According to the Ministry of Education, the largest number of dropouts were at children’s primary level (156,222 children), followed by those at lower secondary level (104,334); upper secondary (45,485), preschool (30,718) and adult primary (10,373) (annex XXXVIII).

97.Repetition rates for the school years 2015–2016: According to the Ministry of Education, the total number of repeat students was 458,892, the majority of them (334,523) from urban areas, with 124,369 from rural areas. In the same period, the schools with the highest number of repeat students were State schools (with a total of 392,938), followed by private schools (53,704), cooperative schools (11,074) and municipal schools (478) (annex XXXIX).

Children engaged in child labour (please provide information broken down by type of work, including hazardous work)

98.According to the National Employment and Income Survey (ENEI), there was a decrease of 1.1 per cent from ENEI 1-2015 to ENEI 2-2016, with the highest percentage reported in rural areas in both surveys. In the same period, most of the child workers (roughly 70 per cent) were boys (annex XLI). According to ENEI 1-2015, some 55 per cent of the child workers were indigenous children, although other surveys report that the majority were non-indigenous (54.5 per cent according to ENEI 2-2015, and 52.9 per cent according to ENEI 1-2016).

99.The National Employment and Income Survey does not keep separate figures for hazardous work. However, the figures are disaggregated by type of work. In the three above-mentioned surveys, the most common type of work performed by children is in agriculture (over 58 per cent), followed by trade (over 22 per cent) and manufacturing (over 9 per cent) (for percentages and disaggregated figures, see annex XLII).

Family reunion

100.The Labour Mobility Department of the Ministry of Labour has received the following information from the Social Welfare Secretariat: from January 2015 to May 2017, 4,611 girls and 15,342 boys were classed as unaccompanied minors.