Source: Ministry of the Interior (murder statistics).
Prepared by the Attorney General’s Office
118. To address cases of femicide, the Attorney General’s Office uses the Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women (femicide), drawn up by UN-Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
119. Since 2014, the Attorney General’s Office has been managing the integrated system of prosecutorial actions, which allows for greater control of institutional management.
I.Replies to paragraph 9
120. The Human Mobility Act and its implementing regulations were adopted in 2017 to foster technical, political and operational inter-agency coordination in the prevention, investigation and punishment of the crime and in the comprehensive protection of victims of trafficking and smuggling. Under the Act, the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling and for Victim Protection was established, in addition to the regulations governing its operation. The Committee has a protocol for operationalizing assistance and protection for victims or alleged victims of trafficking in persons. One of its main tasks was to update, design and implement the new anti-trafficking policy.
121. Work on the new action plan to combat trafficking in persons for 2019–2030 began in April 2018 and input was received from the International Organization for Migration. It promotes the implementation of specific operational measures for enhanced coordination between the different institutions on prevention, the promotion of rights, comprehensive protection for victims and investigation and prosecution. It also incorporates a gender-sensitive approach into its activities by recognizing that “women are at the heart of public action as subjects of rights and special protection so as to implement effective measures aimed at changing social practices such as violence and at seeking comprehensive reparation”.
122. Ecuador has implemented a system for registering trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling in order to generate filtered data on the victims and to follow up on each case, including the victim protection entity.
123. In 2018, the national human mobility plan was adopted, in conjunction with the following four policies: promoting universal citizenship and free international movement; creating conditions that foster safe and orderly migration; better protecting migrants’ rights; and defending the diversity, integration and coexistence of migrants.
124. Work was also done on the Strategic Plan for Integrated Border Security – Northern Border (2018) which contains measures to strengthen the defence, care and protection of trafficking victims in the border area with Colombia.
125. The Ministry of the Interior established the Directorate for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling, with a Specialized Anti-Trafficking Unit, which became the National Unit for the Investigation of Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling in 2019. A new National Directorate to Combat Violence against Women, Family, Children, Adolescents and Trafficking in Persons was also created.
126. The National Directorate to Combat Violence against Women, Family, Children, Adolescents and Trafficking in Persons expanded its staff from 32 to 49 police officers and set up the National Specialized Unit for the Investigation of Transnational Organized Crime to investigate trafficking cases.
127. In 2019, a human trafficking and migrant smuggling tracking system was launched. This digital tool monitors implementation of the action plan to combat trafficking in persons 2019–2030, stores data in order to track the completion of planned activities and has a data repository available for download.
128. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Equality in Human Mobility, in the sub-committee on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, drew up special instructions on authorizing children and adolescents to leave the country as a crime prevention measure.
129. On 18 January 2018, the Ministry of the Interior signed an agreement with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to activate the Amber Alert, known as “Alerta Emilia” in Ecuador. Ecuador is a member of the Global Missing Children’s Network. When a child or adolescent goes missing, their picture and information are immediately sent to mobile devices and mass media via the alert system in order to locate the victim as quickly as possible.
130. The system is operational and there is a protocol for the “Alerta Emilia” programme. This is a national mechanism for coordinating between the main institutions of the judiciary and the security sector, including the Ministry of the Interior, the Council of the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s Office, the Public Defender Service and the National Police, to guide implementation of the programme.
131. Implementation of the Alert has resulted in the standardization of technical criteria for the preparation of standardized posters; the creation of a photo dissemination strategy; a checklist/risk assessment in cases of missing children, the consolidation of a single missing persons database by the Attorney-General’s Office and the Ministry of the Interior-National Police; the creation of a website and a mobile application; and the development of guidelines and protocols for inter-agency coordination.
132. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility and the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), developed a procedure for the care of children, adolescents and their families in a migration context in Ecuador in order to: ensure that all unaccompanied children and adolescents are able to enter the country; conduct, without distinction, an assessment and determination of the best interests of the child; and identify and implement immediate and sustainable measures to protect and guarantee the pertinent rights in each case.
133. In the context of the migration of Venezuelan nationals, a plan to address the unusual migratory flows of Venezuelan citizens was formulated in 2018. In 2019, by Presidential Decree, immigration amnesty was granted to Venezuelan citizens who had not violated Ecuadorian laws.
134. With regard to measures to prevent trafficking in persons, several campaigns have been run, such as the “#Aquí Estoy” (#Here I am) campaign, which was launched on 11 April 2019 by the Inter-Agency Committee to circulate warnings through all State information channels regarding fraudulent job offers, and a toll-free helpline has been set up. In addition, the “Prevent Risky Migration” campaign was run and a virtual course on trafficking in persons was organized, in which 31,537 people participated.
135. In 2016, the Council of the Judiciary organized a virtual course on extreme forms of violence: femicide and trafficking in persons. A total of 3,208 judges, prosecutors and public defenders participated.
136. The Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion has two dedicated shelters for victims of trafficking for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation, in Machala and Quito. It also funds a home for trafficked girls and adolescents (Quito), which is run by the Alas de Colibrí Foundation. In July 2018, the municipality of Quito and the Attorney-General’s Office opened the Arupo shelter for adolescent women trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and their children (0 to 3 years). The shelter can accommodate up to 19 adolescents aged from 12 years to 17 years and 11 months. The victim and witness protection system provides them with psychological support, social work assistance and other services to help them rebuild their lives.
137. The Directorate for the Assistance and Protection of Ecuadorians Living Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility handled seven cases of trafficking of Ecuadorian women and girls in 2018 and four cases in 2019.
138. Article 104 of the Human Mobility Act provides that: “The Vice-Ministry of Human Mobility, at the request of the Ministry of the Interior, shall grant, on an exceptional basis, temporary residence visas to foreign victims of trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, pursuant to the Human Mobility Act and these regulations”. Secondary legislation has been under development since 2019 on the granting of temporary visas to victims of trafficking in persons on an exceptional basis. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility is preparing a set of instructions to be applied by the Inter-Agency Committee concerning applications for temporary residence visas on the grounds of being a victim of trafficking, and a protocol on the granting of temporary residence visas to victims of trafficking in persons on an exceptional basis.
139. In 2014, the Ministry of Public Health issued regulations on the supervision of establishments in which sex work is carried out. These set out guidelines and directives for their operation and grant the National Agency for Health Regulation, Control and Surveillance powers to verify compliance with this standard.
140. In 2017, the Ministry of Public Health published a handbook on the provision of comprehensive health-care services for persons performing sex work, which recognizes the prevailing social conditions of sex work and identifies approaches that will ensure dignified care of and prevent discrimination against sex workers.
141. The protocol for inter-agency action on the comprehensive assistance and protection of victims of trafficking in persons and the protocol for inter-agency action on migrant smuggling include a model for the care of women, children and adolescent victims of trafficking and smuggling. The aim is to achieve a coordinated response in the comprehensive assistance and protection of this group and the restoration of their rights.
J.Replies to paragraph 10
142. The reform of the Quota Act in 2000 established a mandatory quota for women’s participation in all candidacies elected by popular vote of 30 per cent for principal candidacies and 30 per cent for alternate candidacies, with the exception of the presidential ticket. The same body of law establishes that the quota shall increase by 5 per cent in each electoral cycle until parity is achieved, with consideration also given to ethnic and cultural participation.
143. A comparison between the results of the candidacies in 2014 and 2019 shows an increase of 0.8 per cent. In 2014, women accounted for 42.1 per cent of candidates, while men made up 57.9 per cent. In 2019, those rates were 42.9 per cent for women versus 57.1 per cent for men.
144. The Office of the Ombudsperson, in conjunction with women’s organizations, launched a process in 2019 to uphold the principle of parity in the country’s deputy mayor’s offices as a guarantee of the right to material equality.
145. As at March 2020, the Office of the Ombudsperson had filed 89 protection actions, of which 27 had been won and two were waiting to be heard. Twenty-three female deputy mayors had been appointed as a result of protection actions filed by the Office of the Ombudsperson.
146. In 2019, the electoral authority, the National Electoral Council, supported by UN-Women, conducted two studies that provided evidence in support of legislative reform and regulatory and institutional changes concerning gender equality: “Status of democratic parity in Ecuador” and “Study: political violence against women in Ecuador”.
147. The reform of the Democracy Code entered into force in February 2020. It reflects progress in the area of gender, including the incorporation of measures to ensure adherence to the law and the constitutional principle of parity.
148. These measures will be implemented gradually, until women make up 50 per cent of the names at the top of the lists, 15 per cent or more of those at the top of the lists per political organization at the national level, and at least 30 per cent of those at the top of the lists registered by the political organization for multi-person and single-person elections. When registering multi-person and single-person candidacies, women must make up 50 per cent of the top of the lists. This instrument recognizes and punishes gender-based political violence, which is defined in article 280 of the Democracy Code.
149. The National Council for Gender Equality works with the National Electoral Council and the Democracy Institute to carry out activities that guarantee women and LGBTI persons the right to political participation pursuant to the principle of equality and non-discrimination. A process was launched in 2018 to raise awareness of political participation and gender equality among rural women from indigenous communities in four provinces of the country.
K.Replies to paragraphs 11, 12, 13 and 14
Sexual offences in the education system
150. The Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code defines and establishes penalties for offences against sexual and reproductive integrity. The commission of such offences against children and adolescents is an aggravating circumstance. The Code also punishes the crimes of statutory rape, distribution of child pornography and the sale of sexual services.
151. In 2017, the Ministry of Education, the Council of the Judiciary and the Attorney-General’s Office enacted protocols and guidelines for handling situations of violence identified or arising within the education system, to guide the work of the student counselling departments and the educational community in dealing with cases of violence. The protocols apply to the offences and minor offences of negligence, physical violence, psychological violence and sexual violence and must be implemented by all educational institutions, at all levels and in all modalities.
152. The Ministry of Education updated the protocol in January 2020, and that same year issued a handbook for district dispute settlement boards and officials handling cases of sexual violence in the education system, to enable the boards to ensure the best interests of the child and avoid revictimization during administrative processes. The user’s manual for the sexual violence registration system was also approved for mandatory registration of cases of sexual violence in the education sector at all levels.
153. The “Educating in the Family” programme has trained 317,799 families in the prevention of bullying and school violence, 1,463,955 families in the prevention of sexual violence and 253,393 families in sex education and relationships.
154. The Ministry of Education trained 1,105,440 students, 96,863 teachers, 11,717 authorities, 708,786 families and/or legal representatives of educational institutions on the protocol for handling cases of violence identified or arising within the education system.
155. In 2018, the National Council for Gender Equality issued technical guidelines on preventing and combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual diversity and gender identity in the national education system.
156. In 2017, an inter-agency agreement was signed between the Ministry of Education, the Attorney-General’s Office, the Secretariat for Human Rights and the Council of the Judiciary on ensuring violence-free educational spaces. Committees on access to justice were established to settle critical issues affecting the resolution of cases in the education system.
157. The judicial branch assigned top priority to the pre-trial investigation and prosecution of crimes committed at any time against children and adolescents that violate their sexual and reproductive integrity. Between 2014 and 2019, 9,743 cases of sexual violence were reported. In every case, a plan to provide support and restore rights was devised.
158. Between 2018 and 2019, 1,013 judges completed a training course on children and adolescent victims of crimes that violate their sexual and reproductive integrity.
Human rights education in schools
159. Through Executive Decree No. 460 of 19 July 2018, it was decided to amend the general regulations relating to the Comprehensive Organic Act to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women. The decree also provided for the updating of curricula at all levels of education and of textbooks and teaching guides to include equality between men and women based on the principle of non-discrimination. This document makes gender equality in all political, economic and social spheres a requirement.
160. From the 2018/19 academic year onwards, all education systems have included a curriculum hour for classroom work on comprehensive human development, with the aim of preventing violence and sexual abuse.
161. The Ministry of Education approved a handbook for facilitating a participatory approach to the prevention of gender-based and sexual violence to strengthen and expand knowledge of the issue of sexual violence, provide education on rights and encourage the public to share appropriate knowledge on sexual rights. As of 2019, 31,750 students in the second and third years of their high school diploma and 1,412 teachers had been trained.
162. In 2018, Ecuador issued an intersectoral policy on preventing pregnancy in girls and adolescents (2018–2025) to help reduce the incidence of pregnancy in this age group by upholding their sexual and reproductive rights and their right to personal integrity and a life free of violence.
163. In 2017 the National Council for Gender Equality conducted qualitative research on pregnancy in adolescent women with disabilities, its link to gender-based violence and care challenges. In 2019, it undertook a study entitled “Bodies that matter. Case study on gender-based violence against girls, adolescents and women with disabilities”.
164. The Technical Secretariat of the Lifetime Plan is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the Lifetime Plan, a flagship intersectoral public policy supported by the national development plan for 2017–2021. The Plan includes “Misión Mujer”, the second component of which is “Preventing pregnancy in girls and adolescents”.
165. In the context of “Misión Mujer”, the Ministry of Public Health has undertaken to ensure the effective implementation of comprehensive sex education programmes, respecting the gradual autonomy of girls and boys and the informed decisions of adolescents and young people about their sexuality and taking a participatory, intercultural, gender-based and human rights-based approach.
166. Regarding sex education, the Ministry of Public Health reported in 2019 that comprehensive and youth-friendly services for adolescents were strengthened; adolescent clubs were revived, in coordination with local health committees; change was fostered in sociocultural patterns that normalize gender-based violence, adolescent pregnancy and early unions; and tools were updated for promoting sexual and reproductive health and a life free of violence.
167. In 2017, the Ministry of Education issued a protocol for handling pregnancy, motherhood and fatherhood among students in the education system and in 2019 it issued a methodological guide on preventing pregnancy in girls and adolescents.
168. The first pregnancy prevention days for girls and adolescents were held in October 2018, in which more than 3,000 adolescents participated.
169. In 2018, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion developed a methodology for positive development in adolescence, which has been adapted for use by technical teams working to prevent and provide care during pregnancy for girls and adolescents who are pregnant or mothers and victims of violence.
170. As part of the intersectoral policy for the prevention of pregnancy in girls and adolescents, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion carried out awareness-raising and training activities on violence prevention. The participants consisted of 237,175 women and 45,359 men, 5,596 girls and 4,803 boys under 16 years of age and 17,895 girls and 766 boys aged 16 years.
Education quality and access for girls from disadvantaged groups
171. Pursuant to the Intercultural Education Act, amended in 2017, an intercultural approach must be mainstreamed in the national education plan, as well as in the curriculum, school textbooks and the standards and indicators of educational quality and evaluation processes.
172. There are 6,795 mainstream and 10 special rural educational institutions in Ecuador. As of 2019, a total of 513,648 girls and adolescent girls were reported to be enrolled in rural educational establishments.
173. The National Directorate of Intercultural Bilingual Education ensures intercultural mainstreaming through good-quality education programmes that are culturally, linguistically and environmentally relevant and thus able to meet the educational needs of peoples and nationalities.
174. In 2018, the Office of the President of the Republic decreed the establishment of the Secretariat for the Intercultural Bilingual Education System, an entity responsible for coordinating, managing, monitoring and evaluating public policies on intercultural bilingual education, to ensure that communities, peoples and nationalities are able to exercise their rights, according to the principles of interculturality and plurinationality; and provides the educational community with curricular and teaching materials to facilitate pedagogical activities in intercultural bilingual community education centres.
175. Ecuador has devised an intercultural bilingual education system model to develop the cognitive, psychomotor and emotional skills and abilities of students of peoples and nationalities in intercultural bilingual educational institutions. It has also formulated pedagogical guidelines to enhance implementation of the model (2019).
176. Through Ministerial Decision No. 295-13, the Ministry of Education issued regulations concerning the care of students with special educational needs in mainstream education establishments or in special education institutions.
177. Thanks to the work of the 140 district inclusion support units, 1,318 persons with disabilities were integrated into the national education system in 2017.
178. There are 108 special education institutions in Ecuador for students with visual, hearing, physical or intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and multiple disabilities. In addition, 7,101 inclusive mainstream institutions nationwide are making curricular adjustments and implementing inclusive methodologies in the education of persons with disabilities.
179. In 2018, 250 teachers were trained in inclusive education and sustainable development strategies. These teachers will themselves become trainers and will pass on their training to a further 5,000 teachers in inclusive mainstream schools.
180. The Ministry of Education developed a national model for the management and care of students with disability-related special educational needs in special education institutions. On that basis, two types of services were established: inclusive or special educational institutions that provide education services to students with disability-related special educational needs; and inclusive or special classrooms within mainstream educational institutions.
181. Thanks to the bilingual bicultural education model for hard-of-hearing persons, procedures have been set out concerning pedagogy, institutional planning, evaluation and promotion for hard-of-hearing students with educational needs.
182. In 2016, a national model for hospital and home-based educational management and support was developed, with the aim of providing educational support so that children and adolescents can catch up on their academic work after long hospital stays. The model has expanded in hospitals, shelters and treatment centres in the comprehensive public health network and complementary network as a public policy that recognizes students in situations of greater vulnerability.
183. As of 2018, 60 hospitals, five centres specializing in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction, one shelter and one psychiatric institute were implementing the hospital and home-based educational support programme.
L.Replies to paragraph 15
Access to formal employment
184.The 2018–2021 National Equality Agenda for Women and LGBTI Persons, in core aspect No. 2 on the sustainability of life, includes the redistribution of care work, since domestic and care responsibilities are shouldered almost exclusively by women, which limits the exercise of their economic rights.
185.Article 18 of the Organic Act on Labour Justice and Recognition of Work in the Home, issued on 9 October 2017, establishes penalties for dismissal due to discrimination: “In the event of dismissal due to discrimination because of a worker’s status as an older person or their sexual orientation, among other cases of discrimination, the worker shall be entitled to additional compensation amounting to one year’s salary, but shall not be entitled to reinstatement”.
186.Since 2017, the National Council for Gender Equality has been supporting a process led by the Ministry of Labour, with advice from the United Nations Development Programme, to create a seal of gender equality in the workplace. This is a recognition awarded by the Seal Committee (comprising public and private entities) to companies or organizations that make a voluntary commitment to excellence in achieving gender equality.
187.Ecuador has implemented voluntary affiliation to the social security system, which is open to self-employed workers (including those in the informal sector) and to Ecuadorians living abroad. They contribute 20.5 per cent of the contribution base or salary they receive.
188.Resolution No. 516 of the Board of Directors of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute sets out the regulation of voluntary contributors in the country and abroad and establishes members’ entitlements, such as old age and disability pensions, widows’ and dependents’ pensions, funeral assistance, health care within Ecuador, health coverage for children under the age of 18, health coverage for spouses upon payment of an additional 3.41 per cent, and mortgage loans. The basis for each member’s contribution shall correspond to the monthly value that the member establishes in their application, which may not be less than the unified basic salary set by the Ministry of Labour (see table 7).
189.As of December 2019, 234,868 unpaid household workers were affiliated with the social security system of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute, which represents an average annual growth rate of 30.5 per cent since 2015. Furthermore, as of December 2019, 786,466 women in the private sector were affiliated, reflecting average annual growth of -0.1 per cent, while the growth rate among affiliated women in the public sector was 1.6 per cent, or 333,167 women.
190.According to data from the National Survey of Employment, Unemployment and Underemployment, the overall participation rate of women during the period 2011–2017 ranged from 47.8 per cent to 55.6 per cent, while the equivalent figures for men were 78.3 per cent and 80.6 per cent, respectively.
191.The level of education plays a greater role in labour market entry for women. In 2015, 26.4 per cent of women in the employed economically active population had completed higher education, compared with 18.3 per cent of men. This trend may be observed in urban areas, where the rate among women is 33.6 per cent compared with 24.8 per cent among men. Similarly, in rural areas, 6.67 per cent of men and 10.01 per cent of women have completed higher education.
192.In order to promote employment among the younger population, including women, the Organic Act on the Promotion of Youth Employment, Exceptional Regulation of the Working Day, Severance Pay and Unemployment Insurance was published in March 2016. Under this Act, changes were made to labour laws to promote employment among young women and men, primarily in the private sector (including payment of stipends, affiliation to the social security system and youth employment contracts).
193.The Ministry of Labour is also executing two projects. “Mi primer empleo” (my first job) aims to give young university students the opportunity to complete pre‑professional internships in public or private entities. During 2018 and 2019, most of the interns were women.
194.The second project is called “Empleo joven” (youth employment). It was launched on 25 October 2018 with the aim of encouraging the private sector to create new vacancies by offering incentives. As at 22 January 2020, 3,788 young men and 2,106 young women aged between 18 and 26 years had been employed through the project.
195.The Ecuadorian Professional Training Service was established by the Ecuadorian State in 1966. Since 2015, the participation of women has been higher than that of men (see table 8).
196.On 18 December 2013, the Government of Ecuador ratified the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) of the International Labour Organization (ILO), with the aim of improving the living and working conditions of domestic workers. It was the eleventh ILO member State and the fifth Latin American State to do so.
197.In November 2018, the Ecuadorian State established the Inter-Agency Round Table to Support the Rights of Paid Domestic Workers, with the participation of the National Union of Domestic and Related Workers, the National Union of Paid Domestic Workers, the Ecuadorian Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations, Simón Bolívar Andean University, CARE Ecuador – Equal Value, Equal Rights Programme, UN-Women, the Ministry of Labour and the National Council for Gender Equality, the entity that coordinates the Round Table.
Monitoring and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace
198.On 9 October 2017, the Organic Act Amending the Organic Act on Public Service and the Labour Code to Prevent Workplace Harassment was enacted.
199.The activities of the Inter-Agency Round Table to Support the Rights of Paid Domestic Workers included promotion of the signing by the Ecuadorian State of the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) and ILO Recommendation No. 260.
200.In addition, in March 2019, the Inter-Agency Round Table prepared guidelines for the support of paid domestic workers in cases of workplace violence and harassment, which set out the steps for gaining access to justice and indicated the entities, protection measures and other resources available to address situations of violence.
201.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, with the support of UN‑Women, issued a domestic protocol for preventing, combating and eliminating all forms of workplace harassment of a sexual nature on 6 August 2019 through Ministerial Decision No. 106.
202.The Technical Secretariat of the Lifetime Plan and the German Agency for International Cooperation provide certification of violence-free spaces. As at June 2020, 42,598 civil servants (46.22 per cent of whom were women and 53.78 per cent of whom were men) from 54 institutions in the central public sector had successfully completed the online certification course. As at 15 June 2020, 1,195 women and 915 men working in the decentralized autonomous governments had been certified.
M.Replies to paragraph 16
Clinical practice guidelines for therapeutic abortion
203.The Ministry of Public Health provides timely, comprehensive and good-quality care to women undergoing a therapeutic abortion or seeking an abortion because they were raped and have a mental disability. To that end, the Clinical Practice Guide for Therapeutic Abortion (2015) was issued in order to provide care, diagnose, evaluate and offer timely treatment of therapeutic abortion, thus contributing to a reduction in maternal morbidity and mortality in Ecuador and improving health care for women in these situations. From January to July 2020, services relating to 74 cases of sexual violence and 13 pregnancies that ended in abortion were provided.
204.The grounds for a therapeutic abortion under Ecuadorian law are set forth in the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code (article 150).
205.On 4 August 2017, through Memorandum No. MSP-2017-0790-M, the Minister for Public Health reminded medical personnel of their obligation to provide timely care to women who arrive with abortions in progress or suffering the consequences of abortions already performed. From January to December 2019, 25,327 health-care services were provided. From January to July 2020, 7,777 services were provided.
206.The same document also refers to violence against women and to the role of health-care personnel in these cases, stating that “they have an obligation to report when the patient is a victim of crime and requires protection to prevent a recurrence, for example, in cases of violence and sexual violence”. Lastly, the document emphasizes the importance of safeguarding patient confidentiality.
Confidentiality in sexual and reproductive health and rights services
207.In 2014, the Ministry of Public Health issued regulations for the management of confidential information in the national health system. Article 27 thereof states that: “Only personnel in the health-care chain who need to know the user’s identifying data may have access to it; in short, personnel carrying out activities that by their nature involve the management of such information.” In 2019, 80 health-care professionals received training on the Clinical Practice Guide for Therapeutic Abortion and on professional confidentiality.
208.The Ministry of Public Health provides effective care, including an appropriate referral process from lower levels for treatment for complications arising from abortion, in compliance with current regulations and with the human rights framework. In 2018, 800 professionals received awareness-raising training and in 2019, 21,285 health-care professionals were trained on human rights.
Decriminalization of abortion
209.In 2019, the Justice Commission of the National Assembly issued a report that took a favourable view of decriminalizing abortion in four circumstances, namely, when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incestuous rape or non-consensual insemination or when the embryo or fetus has an acquired congenital pathology. It did not garner enough votes in the Plenary of the National Assembly. From January to June 2020, services were provided to 7,636 pregnant girls aged 10 to 14 years and 142,781 pregnant adolescents.
Incest as a cause of child pregnancy
210.While the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code does not consider incest to be a crime, it criminalizes rape, for which the maximum penalty is linked to certain aggravating circumstances, including the following: “the attacker is a guardian, legal representative or someone close to the family or in the victim’s environment, a minister, an education or health-care professional, or anyone with a duty of care towards the victim”.
211.In 2019, following the amendments to the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code, incestuous rape was criminalized in article 171.1: “Any person who rapes a relative from an older, younger or the same generation, who is related by blood to the fourth degree or by marriage to the second degree, shall be punished with the maximum custodial sentence provided for in the previous article. If the victim dies, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a term of 22 to 26 years.” For the period from January to June 2020, 1,724 cases were recorded of services provided to girls under 14 years of age who were victims of sexual violence in the automated daily record of consultations and outpatient care and the care registration platform of the Ministry of Public Health. Whether those consultations were related to incest was, however, not specified.
Access to contraceptive methods and sexual and reproductive health information
212.In 2017, Ecuador formulated its national sexual and reproductive health plan for 2017–2021. It also has the Ecuador 2018–2025 intersectoral policy for the prevention of pregnancy in girls and adolescents, whose primary objective is to help adolescents gain universal access to information and education, including comprehensive sex education and sexual and reproductive health services, thus enabling them to make free, responsible and healthy decisions about sexuality and reproduction.
Figures for women’s access to contraceptive methods and preventive consultations, disaggregated by age
10 to 14 years
15 to 19 years
20 to 29 years
30 years and over
Source: Ministry of Public Health statistics.
Prepared by the Ministry of Public Health.
213.For the period from January to June 2020, a total of 21 preventive family planning consultations on emergency oral contraception were recorded. The Ministry of Public Health has also set up a confidential toll-free helpline (171, option 2), which provides advice to the general public, including to adolescents. From January to July 2020, a total of 4,780 calls were received. Of that total, 39 were made by children aged 10 to 14 years and 595 were made by adolescents aged 15 to 19 years.
214.In 2012, the National Assembly began to draft a health code, which continues to be debated by lawmakers.
215.The Ministry of Public Health has issued a handbook on the comprehensive care model for the national community and intercultural family health system, in which it recognizes that health determinants can protect or harm individual and collective health and that behavioural, environmental, biological and social determinants also exist.
Culturally appropriate birth
216.The Ministry of Public Health has been implementing respectful, free-positioned and culturally appropriate childbirth care since 2008, based on the Technical Guide for Culturally Appropriate Care in Childbirth (see table 9).
217.The Guide to Technical Specifications for Labour and Recovery Units was updated and renamed the Instructions on Technical Specifications for Delivery Care. This provides mandatory regulation of all first- and second-level Ministry of Public Health facilities that perform deliveries. The aim is to adapt delivery services to the needs of the population, taking into account customs and cultural traditions, through technical and regulatory instruments that ensure the process is appropriate.
218.The Ministry of Public Health has certified ancestral midwives associated with the national health system. A total of 1,434 midwives are associated with the Ministry of Public Health, of whom 957 are recognized by their community and 95 have been certified in accordance with the handbook on cooperation between ancestral midwives and the national health system.
N.Replies to paragraph 17
219.In 2019, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion granted 31,310 human development loans to women, amounting to a value of $32,252,710. Of the women receiving these loans, 49 per cent were mestizo women, 19 per cent were indigenous women and 11 per cent were Montubio women. In addition, 68.8 per cent were engaged in agricultural work and 55.6 per cent were aged between 30 and 45 years. Furthermore, 36,978 women gained access to training through the Economic Inclusion Schools in order to initiate or strengthen their productive entrepreneurship.
220.In 2019, the Bank of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute ran two campaigns to boost lending to women: “Para ti Mujer” (for you, women) and “Gracias Mamá” (thank you, Mom).
221.According to data from the Bank, the number of unsecured loans granted to women increased by 4 per cent between 2010 and 2019. They were used to pay off debt, pay health-care and education costs and, in many cases, to purchase household goods. These loans are mostly granted to women between the ages of 40 and 60, followed by women between the ages of 60 and 80 (see table 10).
222.The National Institute of Grassroots Economy and Solidarity aims to foster and promote the living conditions of persons and organizations subject to the Organic Act on the Grassroots Economy and Solidarity, which contains gender components.
223.In 2019, 480 women received solidarity loans through the grassroots economy and solidarity system. Through a project to strengthen rural actors in the grassroots economy and solidarity, 800 organization partners were trained in 2019 on organizational, financial and technical development, of whom 40 per cent were women.
224.BanEcuador promotes inclusion, partnerships and a better quality of life among micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, primarily in agribusiness, trade and services in rural and urban low-income sectors and disadvantaged groups, by offering socially oriented financial services. Between May 2016 and January 2020, $1,189,363,271.21 was disbursed nationally for women’s entrepreneurship.
225.According to the Central Bank of Ecuador, whose responsibilities include supervising the national monetary system and registering loans and their beneficiaries, 6.8 million customers were registered in the national financial system in 2018, of whom 16.1 per cent (1,094,189) were women. This represents an increase of 250,919 women over 2017.
O.Replies to paragraph 18
226.The Ministry of Agriculture has handed over rural land in 12 provinces, which has benefited 1,810 women of African descent, mestizo women, Montubio women and indigenous women between the ages of 18 and 65 who belong to different social organizations.
227.In March 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture formulated a national agricultural strategy for rural women, which is a tool for empowering rural women in family farming. The strategy was developed through a participatory process aimed at identifying the gaps and barriers affecting women in the agricultural sector, which can be addressed through differentiated policies and measures, and at approving a common agenda, with the support of the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and UN-Women.
P.Replies to paragraph 19
228.The Ecuadorian Constitution provides for three types of consultation: (a) pre‑legislative consultation, which involves consulting indigenous peoples and nationalities in cases where legislative work may affect the rights of this segment of the population (article 57, paragraph 17); (b) prior consultation, with regard to administrative acts of the State pursuant to the exploration or exploitation of natural resources (article 57, paragraph 7); and (c) environmental consultation that is unrelated to peoples or nationalities. (article 298).
229.On 20 February 2019, the Office of the Ombudsperson issued Decision No. 021-DPE-DD-2019, which establishes and regulates a system for monitoring due process in cases involving free, prior, informed, good faith and environmental consultation.
230.In November 2018, an inter-agency cooperation agreement was signed between the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, the Homes for All Public Corporation and Petroamazonas EP on the construction of single-family homes for rural communities in the province of Orellana. Petroamazonas EP, through its community relations programme, has also implemented projects to improve educational, recreational and sanitation infrastructure.
231.The Ministry of the Environment, through the environmental and social reparations programme, implements mechanisms, instruments and strategies for the comprehensive reparation of public losses of natural heritage and living conditions, in order to uphold the individual and collective right to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, as established by the Environment Code and its regulations.
Q.Replies to paragraph 20
232.Under article 9 of the Constitution of Ecuador, “foreign nationals on Ecuadorian territory shall have the same rights and duties as Ecuadorians...”. The Ecuadorian State therefore guarantees them the full exercise of their rights.
233.Ecuador has ratified the eight main human rights instruments and all international instruments that protect migrants’ rights. One of the priorities of the national development plan for 2017–2021, the “Lifetime Plan”, is the gender-sensitive protection and promotion of migrants’ rights in Ecuador and abroad. Since the entry into force of the Organic Act to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women in 2018, significant action has been taken to assist women who are victims of violence and in need of psychosocial and legal support.
234.On 6 February 2017, the Human Mobility Act and its implementing regulations entered into force. This normative framework comprehensively upholds the constitutional principles on the rights and obligations relating to the recognition, care and protection of migrants. By means of Ministerial Decision No. 907 of 16 February 2018, the Ministry of the Interior established a time frame within which foreign nationals in an irregular migratory situation on Ecuadorian territory could regularize their status without having to pay fines for migratory offences. This gave foreign women migrants the chance to obtain a temporary or permanent residence visa in Ecuador and access to higher education, work and other opportunities.
235.On 25 July 2019, the Office of the President of the Republic issued Executive Decree No. 826, by which it established a protocol for processing and issuing temporary residence visas for humanitarian reasons for children and adolescents of Venezuelan nationality during the regularization of Venezuelan citizens. Ecuador has also eliminated the requirement for a criminal record certificate to be provided for children and adolescents entering Ecuador.
236.According to the report issued by the migration system for the registration of Venezuelan citizens of the Ministry of the Interior, as at 11 August 2020, 75.4 per cent of the Venezuelan citizens entering Ecuador were in the 18 to 55 age group (economically active population), 18.6 per cent were in the 0 to 17 age group and 5 per cent were over 56 years of age. Furthermore, 50.9 per cent were women and 49.1 per cent were men. Measures focusing on women migrants are detailed below.
Prevention of discrimination
237.Ecuador is committed to measures that prevent all types of discrimination, including xenophobia, as a means of ensuring social inclusion. Campaigns have been run on an annual basis since 2016 and 86,093 people have been trained on preventing discrimination and xenophobia in the national education system. These campaigns are directed at students, parents and teachers. This year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also implementing a project to prevent and raise awareness of all forms of discrimination (known as “Un solo rumbo” (a single direction), whose goal is to promote respect for, inclusion of and the rights of foreign nationals in Ecuador.
Social services provided by the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion
238.From January 2019 to 31 July 2020, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion provided 119,418 services in border and host cities. Priority has been given to unaccompanied children and adolescents, including support in youth-friendly spaces, support in rest tents, humanitarian assistance, support for settled families, support under the protocol for the special protection of children and adolescents in human mobility contexts, all at an annual reference cost of $1,336,610. In addition, through Interministerial Decision No. 0000006 of 18 March 2020, a procedure was established for the regularization of foreign nationals who are parents of Ecuadorian children or adolescents and who did not register their entry through official migration checkpoints.
239.During 2019, 509,258 services were provided to Venezuelan citizens at an annual reference cost of $45,267,290.81. During the pandemic, there have been 935 confirmed cases of foreign nationals with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), 521 of whom were Venezuelan nationals (55.7 per cent). All were treated in the public health system (cut-off date 26 September 2020).
240.During the 2019/20 educational cycle, a total of 69,241 students of foreign nationality entered the Ecuadorian public education system, 50,097 of whom were Venezuelan (72 per cent). The annual reference cost of this service is $37,121,493.55.
Trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling
241.To combat these transnational crimes, the national Government has established the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling and for Victim Protection, and has devised a plan of action to combat trafficking in persons in Ecuador for 2019–2030. The plan contains a clear assessment of the country’s current situation and a strategic framework for analysing the problem. It proposes lines of action at different levels. It should be noted that 3 per cent of the total number of rescued victims (579 since 2017) are of Venezuelan nationality.
Forums with civil society
242.The Ecuadorian State has implemented measures such as national round tables on migration (national, intersectoral and zonal), which serve as a mechanism for dialogue to identify needs, raise awareness of public policies and coordinate action. This has been implemented since 2018 and the participants include State institutions of the executive branch, decentralized autonomous governments, academia, civil society and international organizations. The round tables are currently held on a bimonthly basis.
243.In the current context caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecuador is making greater efforts to manage new financial resources that can be channelled to expand services for migrant women and is prioritizing gender-sensitive care programmes for migrant women and girls and adolescent migrants to ensure their inclusion and reduce their vulnerability. Consequently, some donors such as Canada, France and the United States of America, and non-governmental organizations such as CARE International, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and other members of the Response for Venezuelans platform, have provided grants and loans for projects of this kind.
244.In order to strengthen the technical litigation skills of public defenders, the Public Defender Service signed a cooperation agreement with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the provision of technical support on migration processes and the defence of human rights. It issued the first instructions on handling cases concerning migrants subject to a deportation hearing, a document that sets out the steps to be taken in the migration and asylum cases handled by the Public Defender Service. The aim is to standardize the work of public defenders in deportation proceedings and establish minimum budgets for that purpose.
245.In Quito and Guayaquil, a specialist public defender has been offering free legal services to migrants since 2016; in the provinces, such services are provided by public defenders who are competent in several areas.
246.In February 2017, pursuant to the second transitional provision of the Human Mobility Act, the Public Defender Service issued instructions on services for migrants and persons in need of international protection in the determination of refugee status and the regularization of immigration status. These instructions set out the legal assistance that the Service provides to migrants who are applying for visas or seeking asylum in Ecuador.
247.The Public Defender Service offers free legal advice and representation in cases involving asylum, statelessness, denial of entry, deportation and the regularization of immigration status.
248.In June 2020, an instrument was signed with representatives of UNHCR, UN‑Women, UNICEF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia to extend for a period of six months a project on strengthening institutional capacities to protect children, adolescents and young people affected by violence and armed conflict in the Colombia-Ecuador cross-border area. It has been implemented since January 2019 using resources from the Peacebuilding Fund, with a focus on gender, human rights and migration. The National Agenda for Equality in Human Mobility 2017–2021 includes public policy measures aimed at providing migrants with access to emergency health-care services.
249.Furthermore, Ecuador continued to implement a project to prevent risky migration in Ecuadorian adolescents (phase 2) in 2019, which has reached 30,000 people nationally. The aim of the project is to raise awareness among adolescents in the ninth and tenth years of general basic education of the risks and forms of violence associated with undocumented migration in the cantons and parishes with the highest rates of risky migration.
250.Within its remit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility keeps the registry up to date, as well as a protocol on the determination of migration status. Through the “School for Families” programme, in 2019, nearly 6,500 families in the province of Carchi (on the northern border with Colombia) participated in the first training module entitled “The right to have rights”.
R.Replies to paragraph 21
251.In 2015, the National Assembly adopted the Civil Code Reform Act, article 3 of which provided for the amendment of article 83, establishing that “persons who have not reached the age of 18 may not marry”, thereby bringing the Ecuadorian State into line with the Committee’s observations on the abolition of child marriage in Ecuador.
Administration of marital property
252.Prior to 2015, the Civil Code provided that persons joined in marriage were not required to stipulate which of the two was to administer the marital property and “if not established in the marriage certificate, the husband shall be presumed to be the administrator”. The Civil Code Reform Act (2015) repeals article 102, paragraph 3, of the Civil Code and establishes as an essential requirement for the validity of the marriage “the free and spontaneous expression of consent of the spouses and the mandatory determination of who will administer the marital property”, thereby implementing the Committee’s recommendation to repeal the provision designating the husband as administrator of matrimonial assets.
S.Replies to paragraph 22
Administration of marital property
253.As indicated in the preceding paragraph, the “inventory of marital property” is included, as established in the Ecuadorian marital property regime.
254.Concerning child support payments, the judicial branch has implemented a single maintenance payments system. The Council of the Judiciary is responsible for ensuring the proper and timely collection and payment of child support payments.
T.Replies to paragraph 23
Violence against children and adolescents
255.Article 46, paragraph 4, of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador enshrines minors’ right to protection and care in relation to all types of violence, abuse, sexual exploitation or any other form of exploitation, or negligence leading to such situations.
256.In article 67 of the Organic Code for Children and Adolescents, abuse is defined as “any conduct that, whether by act or omission, causes or may cause harm to the physical, psychological or sexual integrity or health of a child or adolescent, by any person, including their parents, other relatives, educators and persons in charge of their care, whatever the means used for that purpose, its consequences and the time required for the victim to recover”.
257.In December 2017, during an official visit by members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to Ecuador and in accordance with the observations on the last report submitted by the Ecuador to the Committee, the Office of the Vice-President of the Republic proposed that a compact be drafted with children and adolescents at the national level, in order to raise public awareness of the human rights of children and adolescents; implement public policies consistent with human rights standards; consolidate progress, overcome existing gaps in the exercise of their rights and mitigate the impact of different forms of violence; call on political society and civil society to redefine the paradigm of childhood and adolescence to enable their full participation; provide unequivocal protection for the investment in childhood and adolescence; and prevent macroeconomic changes from affecting the validity of their rights.
258.Subsequently, in February 2018, Ecuador held a referendum and popular consultation, during which citizens were asked, among other issues, about the advisability of amending the Constitution to ensure that sexual crimes against children and adolescents would never be subject to a statute of limitations. Citizens voted in favour of this amendment (with 73.53 per cent of the valid votes).
259.As a means of raising awareness and providing training on good parenting practices, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion designed a positive parenting programme entitled “Growing up in families: positive parenting”, which aims to reach 433,059 families. With regard to the strategy for the prevention and eradication of child labour, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion devised and approved in 2019 a management model for preventing and eradicating child labour, which has a Technical Standard for Child Labour Eradication Services. In this context, 10,870 children and adolescents involved in child labour were assisted in Ecuador in 142 care units. For 2020, the plan is to assist 11,450 children and adolescents performing child labour.
U.Replies to paragraph 24
260.The Ministry of the Environment, with technical assistance from UN-Women, developed a methodology for mainstreaming gender throughout the preparation of the country’s first nationally determined contribution and its implementation plan. Gender-corrective targets were incorporated into the plan of action through two specific programmes:
•PROAmazonía: this programme seeks to improve the situation and position of women in the Ecuadorian Amazon in socioenvironmental processes to address climate change, through mitigation and adaptation programmes with approved methodologies for gender-sensitive action. PROAmazonía receives technical assistance from UN-Women Ecuador through the project “Gender mainstreaming in PROAmazonía”.
•FORECCSA: this programme aims to enhance the empowerment of women, girls and adolescents through adaptation measures that reduce women’s workload, facilitate their agricultural work, increase their income and widen their access to representation and decision-making forums. It was implemented with technical assistance from UN-Women.
261.The National Council for Gender Equality has helped train officials from the Ministry of the Environment on gender, and leads the gender and climate change round table in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment. The gender and climate change action plan and the construction of the georeferenced information system on gender and climate change are under way.
262.The National Technical Secretariat for Risk Management has conducted seven awareness-raising workshops for the actors of the nationalized risk management system; run the virtual course “Prevention of gender-based violence”, which raised awareness among 346 users; and published a training manual on gender-based violence.
263.In response to the Mandate of Amazonian Women, the Office of the Ombudsperson issued Decision No. 101-DPE-REV-EXP-2018 regarding the facts presented by the Amazonian Women Defenders of the Jungle on the Front Lines against Extractivism.
V.Replies to paragraph 25
264.The Central Bank of Ecuador, in coordination with the World Bank, is developing a national financial inclusion strategy to improve access to and use of good-quality financial services that foster public well-being, including that of women from different social groups.
265.The decentralized autonomous governments, supported by the Secretariat for Human Rights, have developed their own regulations for effective compliance with the Comprehensive Organic Act to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women.
266.In 2019, the decentralized autonomous government of Riobamba adopted Ordinance No. 07-2019, aimed at preventing and progressively eradicating discrimination and violence against women in the canton of Riobamba.
267.In November 2019, the decentralized autonomous government of the municipality of Cayambe adopted an ordinance to implement the cantonal system to prevent and eradicate violence against women, girls, adolescents, young people, adults and older persons, in all their diversity.
268.The decentralized autonomous government of the municipality of Archidona has trained the Cantonal Board for Rights Protection and the political units to grant immediate administrative protection measures to women victims of gender-based violence. To date, 264 measures have been granted to 44 women (November 2018 to January 2020).
269.In 2018, the decentralized autonomous government of the municipality of Ibarra adopted an ordinance for the prevention and eradication of violence against women and gender-based violence in the canton.
270.In January 2018, the decentralized autonomous government of the municipality of Manta launched a public policy agenda for the protection of the rights of priority groups for the period 2018–2023. In June 2018, an ordinance establishing the Cantonal Board for the Protection of Women’s Rights was adopted, which aims to create mechanisms that provide women victims of gender-based violence with comprehensive care.
271.In April 2019, the decentralized autonomous government of the municipality of Cuenca issued an ordinance for preventing and eradicating violence against women and for comprehensive victim support in Cuenca.