Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Combined second and third periodic reports submitted by El Salvador under article 35 of the Convention, due in 2018 * , **
[Date received: 7 May 2018]
1.The Republic of El Salvador recognizes the importance of the periodic reporting mechanism, especially the recommendations made by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at its sixteenth session (CRPD/C/1/Rev.1) in April 2016, which provide the basis for the submission, pursuant to article 35 (2) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, of the combined second and third periodic reports covering the period from September 2013 to December 2017.
2.The combined second and third reports are structured around the list of issues relating to the content of the Convention, namely: purpose and general obligations (arts. 1–4), specific rights (arts. 5–30) and specific obligations of the State party (arts. 31–33).
3.The National Council for Persons with Disabilities (CONAIPD) prepared the present report in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the participation of 29 State institutions. The report was then presented to organizations of persons with disabilities.
4.The Republic of El Salvador wishes to report that substantial progress has been made in implementing the Committee’s recommendations on the withdrawal of the its reservation to the Convention. This was achieved through the adoption of Legislative Decree No. 920 of 8 January 2015, published in Official Gazette No. 24, vol. 406, of 14 July 2015, and Legislative Decree No. 716, published in Official Gazette No. 129, vol. 404, of 14 July 2014, article 1 of which amended the Special Act on Protection of the Cultural Heritage of El Salvador by recognizing Salvadoran Sign Language as the natural and official language used by Salvadoran deaf persons and consequently the State’s obligation to ensure its teaching and preservation.
5.The National Policy and Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities were adopted in 2014 and the Directorate General of Statistics and Censuses conducted the first survey of persons with disabilities, including a breakdown of the different forms of disability, in 2015. Its findings are analysed in the present report.
A.Purpose and general obligations (arts. 1–4)
Please provide information on measures taken by the State party to bring its disability certification system into line with the principles of the Convention. Please provide information on the reforms undertaken in order to harmonize the Act on Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities with the human rights standards set forth in the Convention and to remove derogatory language from the national legislation, particularly that used to refer to persons with psychosocial and/or intellectual disabilities
6.Pursuant to article 43 of the Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Act, the institutions that certify disability have reviewed the situation and taken various measures. For instance, the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute reinstated its Disability Assessment Commission in late 2015 and assesses the children of active contributors and issues certificates to persons with disabilities with a view to their social and labour force inclusion, in keeping with the objectives of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Disability Action Plan 2014–2021.
7.In the period from June 2014 to June 2017, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security referred 893 persons with disabilities (546 men and 347 women) to the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute and the Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute for assessment and certification.
8.CONAIPD also taught three basic courses on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health to 75 professionals from different State institutions and to representatives of civil society organizations, with a view to standardizing the disability certification mechanism nationwide.
9.In 2016, the Fund for the Protection of Persons Wounded and Disabled as a Result of the Armed Conflict (FOPROLYD) submitted to the Office of the President of the Republic a proposed amendment to the Act on Benefits for Persons Wounded and Disabled as a Result of the Armed Conflict. The amendment, which is currently under consideration, includes changing the name of the Act to the Act on Benefits for Persons Disabled as a Result of the Armed Conflict. Between October 2013 and June 2017, the Fund issued a total of 2,013 certificates of disability (annex 1) entitling recipients to pension benefits and other programmes.
10.The opinions submitted by the Justice Sector Technical Unit through its inter-institutional management committee on updating the legislative reform agenda for the justice sector, as requested by the Legislative Assembly’s Legislative and Constitutional Committee, reflect significant progress in the proposed amendment of Salvadoran domestic legislation.
11.Workshops were held to analyse proposed legislative amendments affecting persons with disabilities as contained in legislative dossier No. 430-12-2015-1. The amendments involve inserting the definition of disability contained in article 1 of the Convention into the second paragraph of article 37 of the Constitution on work and social security and deleting the previous wording, which referred to persons with physical, mental or social impairments or disabilities. In its expert opinion, the inter-institutional management committee expressed its agreement with the changes.
12.Legislative dossier No. 1094-9-2016-1, containing a proposed amendment to article 367-A of the Criminal Code on people smuggling, was also analysed and the inter-institutional management committee proposed that the definition of disability contained in the Convention should be used in characterizing the commission of this crime against persons with disabilities as an aggravating circumstance.
13.The organizations of persons with disabilities serving on the standing panel of the Office of the Human Rights Advocate, assisted by CONAIPD, submitted a preliminary bill on the inclusion of persons with disabilities, aligned on the Convention, to the Legislative Assembly. The bill’s adoption would have the effect of repealing the current Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Act.
Please indicate whether, in its national legislation, the State recognizes and punishes discrimination on the basis of disability as defined in article 2 of the Convention. Please report on measures taken to ensure that public institutions and private organizations, including enterprises, are informed of and incorporate into their operations the principles and concepts described in articles 2 and 3 of the Convention
14.In 2009, El Salvador created the Secretariat for Social Inclusion to advise offices of the executive branch on social inclusion and non-discrimination, with the result that different institutions have amended their internal regulations to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities. Further information is provided under articles 5, 6 and 7 in the section of this report dealing with specific rights.
15.Action has been taken to ensure progressive compliance with the principles and concepts set out in articles 2 and 3 of the Convention. For instance, from late 2016 the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute (ISSS), in applying the new comprehensive health-care model, implemented a project for a life, family and health portal on its website (https://aps.iss.gob.sv). Further information is provided under article 21 in this report. Pursuant to article 21 (a) of the Convention and article 17 of the Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Act, the Skills Superintendency produced an information and education handbook in Braille entitled “Let’s learn about skills”. The handbook, which is simply written and easy to understand, was distributed to 15 public libraries and 16 cultural centres nationwide.
16.At the proposal of CONAIPD, related institutions and representatives of civil society, the Salvadoran Standards Organization is drafting technical standard NTS 35.105.01:15 on information technology, accessibility, communications and web content requirements, which from 2018 onwards will be publicized and used on the web pages of public institutions.
17.The vulnerable groups section of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security organized promotion and dissemination days with private companies on domestic legislation and international treaties for the protection of persons with disabilities, emphasizing workplace inclusion and reasonable accommodation. Further information is provided under article 27 in this report.
18.Under the Act for the Prevention of Workplace Risks and its implementing regulations, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security approves workplace construction plans, which must meet the requirements of the technical standard on accessibility, urban development, architecture, transport and communications with respect to passages, doors, staircases, toilets and workstations. Between 2012 and the present, the Ministry has considered and approved a total of 2,005 plans, thereby guaranteeing the accessibility of workplaces to persons with disabilities.
19.The Social Housing Fund has different mechanisms for facilitating access to its services, including a mobile call centre, “Tu Fondo Móvil” (Your Mobile Fund), which between June 2016 and May 2017 enabled young people, women, persons with disabilities and older persons to access its services. The mobile call centre has participated in 192 events, assisting 1,859 persons. Information about the services offered by the Social Housing Fund can also be accessed on its website, social media and mobile phones.
20.With regard to equal opportunities (article 3 (e) of the Convention), State institutions have promoted and increased the recruitment of persons with disabilities to administrative, technical and management positions. In terms of physical accessibility, infrastructure has been modified and adapted through, inter alia, the provision of disabled toilets, ramps and handrails.
Please describe the mechanisms that provide for transparent, effective and substantive consultation with and participation of persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, in the formulation of laws and public policies that concern them. Please indicate whether the State party has promoted the holding of consultations on legislative amendments needed in order to comply with the Convention. Please provide details on any such processes
21.The guidelines for the Government’s Five-Year Development Plan 2014–2019 establish a crosscutting approach to the implementation of public policy with lead agencies. For instance, CONAIPD has a National Policy and Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities, comprising programmes and projects that build on institutional expertise in the care of persons with disabilities. Nine technical commissions, whose members include organizations of persons with disabilities, monitor their implementation.
22.Other State institutions have taken similar action. For instance, in 2015 the Fund for the Protection of Persons Wounded and Disabled as a Result of the Armed Conflict (FORPROLYD) amended the Act on Benefits for Persons Wounded and Disabled as a Result of the Armed Conflict, a process involving 20 associations of persons disabled as a result of the armed conflict and the Office of the Human Rights Advocate. Public participation in the amendment of laws and instruction manuals, radio programmes, social networks, the FORPROLYD website and other aspects has also been encouraged.
23.The National Civil Police held internal consultations with the Police Association of Persons with Disabilities on the drafting of the police instruction manual and consulted blind and deaf persons on the communication barriers they face when lodging complaints.
24.The Ministry of Education held forums and workshops on the implementation of the inclusive education policy with organizations of and for persons with disabilities, school principals and teachers and university representatives and staff, among others, to evaluate and follow up processes for accommodating the needs of students with disabilities in the education system.
25.With a view to the formulation of specialized legal instruments, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has coordinated with social organizations such as the National Health Forum by setting up advisory committees for public consultations. It has other advisory mechanisms, such as its “right to health” units that provide guidance on national health facilities and receive warnings and complaints, a telephone hotline and information and response offices.
26.Pursuant to article 14 of the Child and Adolescent Protection Act, the National Council for Children and Adolescents adopted a participatory approach to designing the National Policy for Children and Adolescents in 2013. Out of a total of 7,341 participants, 21 were children and adolescents with disabilities.
27.In 2016, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security held a consultation on the design of a national decent jobs policy, involving public institutions, groups and organizations of persons with disabilities, women, trade unions, businesses, indigenous peoples, international agencies and organizations and 27 entities belonging to the national employment system, among others. The President of the Republic, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, introduced the national policy in October 2017.
28.As mandated in the Constitution, the Office of the Human Rights Advocate has a standing panel of persons with disabilities to ensure that their rights are guaranteed by the State.
29.Information about consultations on legislative amendments to bring domestic law into line with the Convention can be found in paragraphs 10, 11 and 12 of this report.
Please specify what percentage of the general budget is allocated to implementing national and municipal plans and programmes to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Please provide information, disaggregated by sex, age, rural/urban area and migration status, on the results achieved by the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities
30.The Ministry of Finance reports that in the period from 2014 to 2017, a General State Budget totalling US$ 248,783,663 was approved, later amended to US$ 250,797,895, and a total of US$ 251,129,788 was allocated. Under the heading of the Office of the President of the Republic, CONAIPD and the Padre Vito Guarato Association (subsidy for children with disabilities and abandoned children) and the Salvadoran Sports Institute received budget allocations. Under education, seven associations and foundations of persons with disabilities were allocated funding, while under labour and social security, funding was allocated to FOPROLYD and ISSS for outpatient care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, as detailed in annex 2.
31.At municipal level, the 262 municipalities in the country’s 14 departments were contacted by the Salvadoran Institute of Municipal Development, which sent them a questionnaire containing eight disability-related questions. The response rate was 67.18 per cent, with 176 municipalities responding.
32.According to the responses given by these 176 municipalities, they have a total of 19,790 public employees, of whom 392 are persons with disabilities (321 men and 71 women). With regard to the budget allocated to programmes and plans to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, 139 municipalities invest 0 to 1 per cent of their budget, 21 municipalities invest 2 to 10 per cent and 10 municipalities invest 21 to 40 per cent.
33.CONAIPD has not established a mechanism for recording disaggregated data on the outcomes of the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities. It does, however, have nine thematic commissions alongside the competent institutions to promote programmes and activities in the different human rights spheres, as provided for in the Plan of Action for implementing the National Policy.
B.Specific rights (arts. 5–30)
Equality and non-discrimination (art. 5)
Please report on the measures in place to prevent, combat and penalize discrimination on the basis of disability in both the public and private arenas. Please provide disaggregated data on the number of complaints and/or allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability that were received, the penalties imposed and the forms of redress, including compensation, that were granted. Please describe the way in which all forms of discrimination on the basis of disability, including the denial of reasonable accommodation as a form of discrimination, are recognized in the State party’s legislation
34.El Salvador has a series of laws on non-discrimination. Paragraphs 28 and 29 of its reply to the list of issues submitted in September 2013 mention the Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Act and its implementing regulations.
35.In the reporting period, the Government adopted a series of laws aimed at eliminating discrimination in difference spheres and ensuring the exercise of human rights:
•Act for the Prevention of Workplace Risks, applicable to public and private institutions, article 21 of which establishes that all workplaces, in particular, passages, doors, staircases, toilets and workstations, must be equipped for persons with disabilities, as stipulated in the technical standard on accessibility, urban development, architecture, transport and communications.
•Act on Equality, Fairness and the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, article 6 of which sets out guiding principles that include non-discrimination (art. 6 (3)).
•Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women, article 5 of which, on subjects of rights, prohibits all forms of discrimination, understood as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or arbitrary differentiation on the basis of sex, age, sexual identity, family situation, rural/urban origin, ethnicity, economic situation, nationality, religion or beliefs, physical, psychological or sensory impairment or any similar grounds, whether by the State, its agents or private individuals.
•National Policy for Persons with Disabilities 2014, which establishes non-discrimination as one of its guiding principles.
•Inclusive education policy, the progress of which in described under article 24.
•Salvadoran Technical Standard NTS 11.69.01:14 on accessibility of the physical environment, urban development and architecture, published by the Salvadoran Standards Organization.
•Police Career Act, amendment in Decree No. 60 of 2012, article 52 of which establishes that no disability suffered by a member of the police force as a result of acts occurring either on or off duty shall be considered grounds for termination of police employment.
•Labour Code. Principle of equality and prohibition of arbitrary discrimination in employment and occupation. Articles 12 and 123 – Principle of equality and prohibition of wage discrimination.
•Criminal Code. Employment discrimination. Article 246: A person who commits serious employment discrimination on the basis of sex, pregnancy, (…) race, social situation or physical condition (…) and does not restore the situation of equality before the law, after being formally required to do so or receiving an administrative penalty, and make reparation for the resulting economic injury shall be liable to a prison term of 6 months to 2 years.
36.In keeping with the promotion and safeguarding of the human rights of persons with disabilities, State institutions have provided training to public employees and specialist staff aimed at eradicating the use of pejorative language and discriminatory practices against persons with disabilities. For instance, the Office of the Counsel General of the Republic has provided training to managers, specialist staff and employees designed to prevent discrimination in the services they provide to users.
37.The National Council for Children and Adolescents taught a course to 55 protection board staff on the applicability of measures of protection to vulnerable children and adolescents, including those with disabilities.
38.The measures ordered by protection boards include the following:
•Order for the compulsory enrolment or retention of children and adolescents in public or private education centres
•Removal of physical obstacles that restrict mobility and access to education centres and other public places
•Creation of conditions enabling adolescents with disabilities to engage in workplace activities beneficial to their life plans
•Inclusion of persons with disabilities in rehabilitation programmes and encouragement of family support
•Routine medical checks aimed at prevention, early detection, referral and timely counter-referral
39.The Public Safety Inspectorate and the human rights unit of the National Civil Police report that between 2013 and 2017, they received 30 complaints nationwide, of which 16 have been closed, 10 are being investigated and 4 have been settled. Most complaints made by persons with disabilities are of mistreatment in police procedures.
Women with disabilities (art. 6)
Please indicate whether the State party’s legislation recognizes multiple and intersectional discrimination against women with disabilities. Please describe the achievements of the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women as they relate to women with disabilities. Please provide information on laws or public policies on the subject of gender equality that include women with disabilities. Please provide information on measures taken by the State party to ensure the participation of women with disabilities in municipal, regional and national decision-making instances
40.El Salvador has made considerable progress in legislation on the protection of women’s rights, with the adoption of various laws and regulations as described under article 5. There is also the National Equality and Fairness for Salvadoran Women Plan 2012–2014, adopted in November 2012, the 2016 National Equality Plan 2016–2020 and the National Policy for Women’s Access to a Violence-Free Life of October 2013, which provides for detection, prevention, care, protection, reparation and punishment of violence against women in order to protect their right to life, physical and psychological integrity and freedom and prevent discrimination on any grounds whatsoever.
41.In keeping with this set of laws, public policies and plans, relevant institutions have been established to enforce them. These include:
•A specialized technical commission set up in 2012 and comprising 20 institutions from the three branches of government, with the National Civil Police implementing the relevant actions.
•Some 87 institutional units providing specialized care for women in cases of violence against women, as mandated by the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women, with priority given to care in crisis situations.
•Specialized courts for a violence- and discrimination-free life for women, with the power to enforce the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women, the Act on Equality, Fairness and the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Domestic Violence Act and some criminal law provisions linked to the right to a life free from violence and discrimination.
•A shelter for women experiencing violence and a hostel for women victims of trafficking. As part of efforts to prevent violence against women and assist the recovery of survivors of violence, the Government has taken various actions that are described under article 16.
42.In the area of participation, decision-making and enforcement of rights, the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women reports that progress has been made in implementing municipal plans for the prevention of violence against women, assisted by advisory boards and social accounting boards.
43.Women’s and feminist organizations, advisory boards, women members of municipal governments and the Asociación de Mujeres Ciegas (Blind Women’s Association) took part in the consultations on the National Equality Plan and the National Policy for Women’s Access to a Violence-Free Life.
44.The Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women, in particular, has worked with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to ensure the signing of conventions and agreements that promote equality in electoral campaigns; a guide to equality and non-discrimination in electoral campaigns has also been produced for political parties.
45.The Political Parties Act, adopted in 2013, provides that at least 30 per cent of candidates put forward by political parties for election to the Legislative Assembly, the Central American Parliament and municipal councils must be women. It is noteworthy that two persons with disabilities (a man and a woman) were elected in the March 2018 elections for mayors and members of the Legislative Assembly.
46.Other bodies related to the application of the Special Comprehensive Act on a Violence-Free Life for Women, such as the Counsel General’s Office, have recorded an increase in the handling of cases of domestic violence, gender violence and sexual discrimination. The units providing specialized care for women have also assisted women with disabilities, but this assistance needs to be improved and expanded.
47.The National Civil Police has created 22 specialized units throughout the country for assisting women victims of violence. Staff members of these units have been trained in assisting women with disabilities and there are plans to open other units in the Nueva Concepción, Santa Rosa de Lima, Metapán and Ahuachapán police stations and the Central Investigations Division.
48.It is important to note that strategy line 3 of the National Civil Police equity and gender equality policy calls for guaranteeing a timely, effective, specialized and human rights-based response to acts of gender violence, especially when such acts are committed against women and vulnerable population groups.
Children with disabilities (art. 7)
Please provide information on laws, strategies and programmes to promote the social inclusion of children with disabilities in the community in all areas of life. Please attach data, disaggregated by age, sex, ethnicity, rural/urban area, on implementation of such actions, including the departmental and municipal budgets allocated to them. Please report on the measures taken to prevent the abandonment and institutionalization of children with disabilities, including measures to combat poverty and generate income. Please also report on measures to raise awareness about the rights of children with disabilities among families, professionals who work with such children and communities. Please provide information on the criteria currently applied in judicial proceedings in order to give effect to the principle of the best interests of the child in decisions affecting children with disabilities. In particular, please provide information on the application of article 31 of the Child and Adolescent Protection Act
49.In the area of protecting the rights of children and adolescents with disabilities, El Salvador has improved the coordination and execution of programmes guaranteeing their rights through the competent institutions. These institutions include the Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development, which, according to data from the children’s information system, placed 201 children, adolescents and adults with disabilities (115 males and 86 females) in care centres between October 2013 and June 2017. The care centres provide support for improving the family environment, comprehensive health care (prevention, treatment and rehabilitation), education and access to art, culture, recreation and sport.
50.Between 2013 and the present, US$ 6,589,277.05 have been invested in providing child and adolescent care in the different residential centres.
51.In the context of articles 170 and 178 of the Child and Adolescent Protection Act, the Institute coordinates and supervises the programmes of 15 private care centres for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities, with an investment of US$ 376, 371.28. Pursuant to article 180 (c) of the Act, it has invested US$ 36,772.00 in training programmes on children and adolescents with disabilities and US$ 121,660.00 on improving physical access to facilities and providing ramps, toilets and parking bays.
52.In June 2015, the National Council for Children and Adolescents adopted the National Plan of Action 2014–2017 of the National Policy for Children and Adolescents, which establishes results, indicators and outcomes for 2017 for children and adolescents with disabilities with respect to equal access to comprehensive child- and adolescent-friendly health services (see result 3 in annex 3). Result 22 provides for capacity-building of basic and secondary school teachers to equip them to deal with children and adolescents with cognitive, physical and sensory impairments and teacher training in Salvadoran Sign Language (see annex 3).
53.Of 100 centres on the public register of child and adolescent care centres, seven have programmes for the care of children and adolescents with disabilities (annex 4).
54.With technical assistance from the departmental teams of the National Council for Children and Adolescents, 20 municipalities have incorporated disability in their analysis and design of local policies. In 12 municipalities, constraints on the provision of public services, social infrastructure and specific programmes have been identified as impeding the exercise and enjoyment of human rights by children and adolescents with disabilities, while eight municipalities have lines of action in their municipal policies that involve carrying out specific censuses of children and adolescents with disabilities in order to identify needs in the following areas: promotion of rights, training of child and adolescent care workers, family integration and strengthening and allocation of resources for the comprehensive care of children and adolescents at local level.
55.With regard to rehabilitation, the Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute is implementing different programmes through the Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Rehabilitation Centre in San Salvador to ensure the social inclusion of persons with disabilities: psychosocial assistance, diagnosis and treatment in human communication, adaptive skills, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. The comprehensive rehabilitation centres in western and eastern El Salvador also provide different kinds of care and there are referral mechanisms for the inclusion of children and adolescents in school.
56.At the Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind in San Salvador, children’s rehabilitation programmes are being adapted to support their educational inclusion and the first cycle of basic education is available at the Centre.
57.With regard to health services, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has different technical guidelines for the comprehensive health care of premature babies weighing under 2000g at birth (2013) and guidelines for neonatal screening for congenital hypothyroidism (2015). Diagnosis and early treatment contribute to the early detection and prevention of further disabilities. Technical guidelines for children’s physiotherapy services are currently being drawn up within the comprehensive integrated health-services networks.
58.The Ministry of Education has the Educated El Salvador Plan for the right to a quality education, which is an instrument of social mobility for combating poverty and exclusion. However, the Ministry points to the need for adequate investment in adapting school infrastructure and connecting schools to basic public services, which are closely linked with learning processes and inclusion (National Board of Education, 2016, pp. 21 to 23) (annex 5).
59.The Plan indicates that, according to the Ministry’s 2014 school census, 85 per cent of students with some form of disability attend mainstream schools, while the remaining 15 per cent attend special schools. The major efforts being made to ensure inclusive schools are reflected in the challenges set in the Educated El Salvador Plan and in the strategic actions that have been taken:
•Violence-free schools and a focus on prevention
•Result 1. Actions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
•Accessible education services for persons with special education needs. Actions 62, 63, 64 and 65
•Infrastructure appropriate to a comprehensive quality education. Strategy line 1. Infrastructure investment. Actions 95
60.The National Council for Children and Adolescents does not as yet have any specific technical guidelines for persons with disabilities. It does, however, have a handbook defining threats to and violations of child and adolescent human rights. Produced in 2015, the handbook has sections on the appropriate treatment of children and adolescents with disabilities during administrative proceedings in order to guarantee that the measures ordered actually benefit them.
61.In coordination with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Social Investment Fund for Local Development has provided a health/education voucher as part of the comunidades solidarias rurales (rural solidarity communities) programme and an education voucher as part of the comunidades solidarias urbanas (urban solidarity communities) programme (annex 6).
Awareness-raising (art. 8)
Please provide information on strategies and information campaigns in the State party that are aimed at promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, including programmes in the public and private education systems. Please report on measures and campaigns to combat prejudices, stereotypes and practices that are offensive and injurious to persons with disabilities, including various forms of harassment, hate crimes and the use of discriminatory language, especially that used to refer to persons with psychosocial and/or intellectual disabilities
62.In 2015, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (CONAIPD), with the participation of government institutions and private enterprise, launched the “Share it, we all have the same rights” campaign to raise Salvadoran society’s awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities. It has also provided training to different State institutions, including public and private education centres and associations of and for persons with disabilities.
63.Other State institutions have taken action to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. The National Council for Children and Adolescents has organized campaigns for the promotion of rights and the prevention of domestic violence against children and adolescents that include a focus on disability, such as “Your rights, my commitment” and “Protection begins at home”. Two television spots have included interpretation in Salvadoran Sign Language.
64.From 2014 to 2017, the persons with disabilities section of the National Civil Police held 55 training days on the rights of persons with disabilities for public officials, police departments and police and administrative personnel. In 2017, it taught the first course for disability educators, certifying 79 instructors. It also launched the campaign “For a National Civil Police without gender violence against women”.
Accessibility (art. 9)
Please provide information on mechanisms to monitor compliance with accessibility standards and on the penalties imposed for non-compliance. Please indicate whether an action plan on accessibility has been formulated, in keeping with the States party’s obligations under the Convention. Please state how many public transport vehicles have been modified in order to ensure accessibility and whether there are accessible routes and adapted road signs and signals for persons with disabilities in urban and rural areas
65.The Office of the Deputy Minister for Transport has amended the Land Transport, Transit and Safety Act with respect to the regulation of public and private parking areas, parking offences and their punishment (arts. 51, 76 and 117). The Act as amended prohibits parking in pedestrian areas and in bays reserved for the exclusive use of persons with disabilities who drive or are driven in vehicles bearing the corresponding plate issued by the Office of the Deputy Minister for Transport. Non-compliance is classed as a serious offence punishable by a US$ 34.29 fine.
66.Article 75 of the 2014 Land Transport Regulations stipulates that vehicles operating collective public transport passenger services must, inter alia, be equipped with a lifting platform or folding ramp to facilitate boarding and allocate at least two spaces for wheelchair passengers. Unless they meet these requirements, they are not allowed to operate.
67.The CONAIPD Technical Commission on Accessibility monitors project execution and gives talks on accessibility.
68.The Ministry of Public Works, Housing, Transport and Urban Development is taking various steps to execute its national accessibility plan, including implementing phase I of the San Salvador integrated transport system with 208 new universally accessible vehicles. The Ministry hopes to add 290 high-tech vehicles in phase II:
(a)The Land Transport Directorate has authorized various exclusive transport service routes and buses that meet universal accessibility requirements in order to guarantee persons with disabilities more comfortable and accessible public transport. Buses have at least two seats for persons with disabilities;
(b)The exclusive urban/interurban/interdepartmental public transport service will operate on 64 routes;
(c)A total of 363 buses/minibuses have been authorized to operate on the exclusive public passenger transport service: 133 on the exclusive urban service, 12 on the interurban service and 218 on the interdepartmental service.
69.Pavements continue to be upgraded, with the installation of pedestrian accessibility mechanisms such as ramps, signs and signals, the removal of obstacles and the placement of tactile paving for blind persons. An accessible walkway was built in the San Salvador urban area as part of the project to upgrade the Avenida Jerusalén – Avenida Masferrer – Paseo General Escalón intersection, and the Avenida Jerusalén – Calle el Espino – Calle El Pedregal intersection in the San Salvador metropolitan area was upgraded by installing ramps and tactile tiling on a 1,019.09-metre section of pavement.
70.During the reporting period, most State institutions made accommodations to improve the physical accessibility of their central and departmental offices. Among other measures, the National Civil Police remodelled its central archive unit at a cost of US$ 315,118.80 and built and fitted out a central office in San Salvador at a cost of US$ 4,979,463.57. By December 2017, it hopes to complete the building and fitting out of a police department and a police station in La Paz, at a cost of US$ 662,054.64 and US$ 4,486,865.00 respectively.
71.The infrastructure and buildings of the judiciary’s various judicial and administrative offices, the four head offices of Ciudad Mujer and the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute, among others, were also upgraded, enabling them to provide a better service to users.
72.The National Council for Children and Adolescents adapted the infrastructure of its head office and some child and adolescent protection boards (annex 7). Among formatting adjustments, the webpage now allows users to change font size.
73.The Social Investment Fund for Local Development applies Salvadoran Technical Standard NTS 11.69.01:14 on accessibility of the physical environment, urban development and architecture in the execution of infrastructure projects. It has also included in the guide to the formulation of projects submitted to it for funding a section on designing for persons with disabilities in conformity with the technical standard on accessibility, urban development, architecture, transport and communications.
Right to life (art. 10)
Please provide information on measures introduced in order to protect the right to life of persons with disabilities. Please report on the situation of organ trafficking in the State party and on measures to prevent the arbitrary deprivation of life of persons with disabilities for the purposes of trafficking. Please provide statistical data on trafficking and victims in the State party
74.Among institutions responsible for protecting the right to life, the National Civil Police set up a people trafficking unit pursuant to the Special Act against Trafficking in Persons, which mandates the protection and care of trafficking victims, including persons with disabilities. Article 55 (a) of the Act states that the crime of trafficking in persons shall be punishable by a prison term of 16 to 20 years, during which time the convicted person shall be barred from exercising a profession, holding office or taking up public or private employment, if the victim is a child or adolescent, an older person or a person with disabilities. Article 56 imposes a prison term of 4 to 10 years on anyone who solicits, promises, pays or in any way rewards third persons for committing acts involving victims of human trafficking, using any of the methods envisaged in the Act. If the victim is a child or adolescent, an older person or a person with disabilities, the prison term is increased by a third of the maximum penalty.
75.The National Civil Police people trafficking unit, in coordination with the specialized unit of the Attorney General’s Office for crimes of people smuggling and trafficking, has planned, organized and carried out preventive operations in places where this crime is prevalent in order to trace and rescue persons, including persons with disabilities, who are trafficking victims. Three such operations, involving 22 locations, were carried out in 2017; no persons with disabilities were found among the victims.
76.With regard to organ trafficking, in 2015 the National Civil Police registered and opened files on two cases of people trafficking for alleged organ procurement. The investigation uncovered no evidence that this crime had been committed, however. Requests for information were sent to the San Salvador and Santa Tecla Institutes of Forensic Medicine, local police units and hospitals, but no cases were reported in which deceased persons showing signs of organ removal had been examined. During the investigation, the specialized unit of the Attorney General’s Office waived its jurisdiction on the grounds that the crime of people trafficking for organ procurement had not been committed. The case was therefore referred back to the Sonsonate prosecution service for investigation of the crime of deprivation of liberty. Records of cases opened between 2011 and 2014 were also checked, but none were found to involve this crime.
77.The National Civil Police provided statistics on the crime of people smuggling. There were a total of 722 cases in 2016, of which 416 involved men, 309 involved women and the remainder involved unspecified victims. Between January and October 2017, a total of 268 cases were recorded, in which 157 victims were men, 100 were women and 11 were unspecified.
78.The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare does not record complaints made by members of the public or civil society organizations about cases of organ trafficking. However, it has considered drafting rules for the creation of a national transplant centre to ensure the enforcement of organ transplant and donation regulations pursuant to article 128 (a) to (r) in section 19 of the Health Code.
Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies (art. 11)
Please report on recommended procedures and budgets formulated for the benefit of persons with disabilities in risk, emergency and disaster response systems. Please state whether, within the risk reduction system, there are coordination mechanisms that involve organizations of persons with disabilities. Please indicate whether shelters and assistive devices are available to persons with disabilities in risk and emergency situations. Please indicate what information on emergencies and disasters is available in accessible formats, including Salvadoran Sign Language
79.In 2015, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Coordination Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America, worked with the Ministry of the Interior, the Civil Protection Department and civil society to draft norms for the inclusion, protection and care of persons with disabilities in emergency and disaster situations.
80.These norms gave rise to the formulation of a route map. A strategic plan identifying targets and actions to be achieved by 2020 was also proposed, which established mechanisms for coordination and consultation to put forecasts of any risk, emergency or disaster situation on the agenda of institutions and organizations.
81.The holding of national workshops, in which government bodies and national and international humanitarian aid organizations also participated, boosted civil society participation.
82.For the time being, there is no separate budget for the care of persons with disabilities in disaster situations. Their participation in forums such as the civil protection system and community committees came about at their own initiative. In this connection, attention will have to be paid to shelters set up in schools and community centres that do not comply with physical accessibility requirements and do not have Salvadoran Sign Language interpreters.
Equal recognition before the law (art. 12)
Please provide information on measures taken to repeal laws in the State party on disqualification and “incapacity”. Please report on the human, technical or budgetary resources provided for the establishment of a system to support decision-making by persons with disabilities, in particular persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities. Please describe the role and geographical distribution of social actors, including the legal profession and community-based organizations and organizations of persons with disabilities, in this support system
83.In El Salvador, the interdiction system governed by the Civil Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure was repealed with the entry into force of articles 292 et seq of the Family Code. As a result, the rules contained in the Family Code refer to the “declaration of incapacity”. The Counsel General’s Office was actively involved in inter-institutional round tables held to study the legislative provisions governing legal incapacity, but no specific legislative outcomes were achieved that would lead to amendment of the current provisions, which consider as grounds for incapacity, for instance, the fact that a person’s deafness prevents him or her from being clearly understood and the fact that a person has a chronic, incurable mental illness.
84.With regard to the creation of a system to support decision-making by persons with disabilities, in the particular case of older persons whom the competent judicial authority (family court judge), upon assuming responsibility for their legal representation pursuant to article 224 of the Family Code, has declared as lacking legal capacity, the Counsel General’s Office appoints a social worker through the family protection unit to administer on its behalf the property of an older person who has been declared without legal capacity and has no family member responsible for his or her care. The social worker must report regularly on the administration of the person’s property, which, it should be noted, generally comes from the pensions that the person receives either in his or her own right or as a beneficiary.
85.The Counsel General’s Office keeps a general record of the legal assistance provided in cases of interdiction, i.e. cases of judicial declaration of incapacity, and of cases of sterilization of women with disabilities. In 2015 and 2016, two opinions were issued on such cases.
Access to justice (art. 13)
Please provide information on procedural adjustments that have been made, taking gender and age into account, in order to facilitate access to justice for persons with disabilities. Please specify the institutions, budgets and mechanisms used to provide free legal assistance and interpretation services in Salvadoran Sign Language during legal proceedings, as well as the information systems in place to facilitate accessibility to the justice system for all persons with disabilities. Please provide information on the role of the Office of the Human Rights Advocate in ensuring judicial protection for the rights of persons with disabilities and the human, technical and financial resources allocated for that purpose
86.The National Council for Persons with Disabilities, in coordination with the Supreme Court training unit, has provided training on the rights of persons with disabilities to judges, legal staff and psychologists. Training will continue to be provided to judges and to National Civil Police and Supreme Court employees and operational staff and there are plans to train instructors in all the country’s public institutions. One element of the support given to deaf people is the provision of Salvadoran Sign Language interpretation in different judicial proceedings and hearings.
87.The Supreme Court has implemented different measures within the judiciary to protect the rights of persons with disabilities:
•Drafting of a comprehensive judicial intervention plan for victims of crimes and human rights violations
•Inclusion in the judiciary’s annual operational plan of a component on technical and legal support in the care and protection of persons with disabilities
•Publication of Braille versions of various laws
•Purchase of wheelchairs for use by different user assistance centres
•Holding of different training and awareness-raising days for staff, officials, managers and human resources in general in the central and eastern areas of the country and teaching of a Salvadoran Sign Language course
88.In exercise of their rights, between 2014 and 2016 a number of persons with disabilities filed amparo remedies on the alleged violation of their human rights. The relevant dossiers were 8-2012 and 157-2012, 653-2014, 435-2015, 492-2015 and 623-2015 and judgments were handed down in each case. In response to appeals against judicial declarations of incapacity, 174 investigations were carried out nationwide in 2016 and 50 up to May 2017.
89.The Supreme Court has set up 11 user assistance centres nationwide, which follow a procedural manual and keep a computerized record of the legal or administrative assistance or services provided, including an indication of the type of disability.
90.The Office of the Human Rights Advocate supervises the actions of State authorities to ensure that they comply with national and international norms and public policies for persons with disabilities, handles complaints of alleged human rights violations, oversees the administration of justice in cases involving persons with disabilities and makes recommendations on guaranteeing the right to justice, particularly in the case of persons with intellectual and psychosocial impairments.
91.The Office of the Human Rights Advocate has a budget of US$ 9,441,564 for 2017, which is not enough for it to perform its mandate fully. In April 2017, the Ministry of Finance, with the Legislative Assembly’s approval, cut the Office’s budget by 6.09 per cent or US$ 575,646. In 2016, its budget was US$ 9,517,210. In response to recent action by the current Human Rights Advocate, US$ 500,000 was granted from the Special Trust Fund for Public Safety and Coexistence. It should be noted that the country’s financial situation has forced it to make adjustments to the budgets of public institutions.
Liberty and security of person (art. 14)
Please provide information on measures to repeal legislation, including the legal framework on mental health, the family and legal capacity, with the aim of abolishing the involuntary internment of persons on the basis of actual or perceived disability, particularly that of persons with psychosocial disabilities; measures to abolish the practice of detention on the basis of non-imputability in criminal proceedings (Code of Criminal Procedure, arts. 436 and 437); and measures to ensure accessibility and reasonable accommodation in prisons and detention centres, including police lock-ups
92.There are 25 institutions that operate residential care programmes. Some of these coordinate care provision with the public health system and a number of private centres. Two of these institutions operate residential centres for children and adolescents with physical disabilities (one private and one State-run) and a residential centre for children and adolescents with HIV.
93.Programmes involving alternative care are being adapted to bring them into line with the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
94.The special child and adolescent courts received complaints from parents or caregivers of children and adolescents with disabilities about situations in residential centres. These complaints were referred to the National Council for Children and Adolescents, which from 2012 to 2015 investigated 50 possible situations of threats or mistreatment in 16 private centres and 1 public centre. Personal and institutional responsibility was established, corrective administrative measures were taken and complaints or warnings were referred to competent bodies such as protection boards, special child and adolescent courts and the Attorney General’s Office for processing. No penalties were imposed because there was no evidence that an offence had been committed.
95.The Government faces challenges in this area, ranging from the need to create appropriate, effective mechanisms to ensure that institutionalized children and adolescents can voice their concerns or complaints about the treatment they receive, institutional conditions or the possibility of ending their institutionalization to the need to continue making adjustments and improvements in residential programmes so that children and adolescents can eventually be returned to their families and to develop legal tools permitting the supervision and oversight of institutions providing residential care.
96.The Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute has a committee made up of representatives of its nine care centres that is working on a standardized mechanism for public participation. A manual for the certification of persons with disabilities is also being drafted.
97.The Directorate General of Prisons has installed ramps in some prisons and, in 2017, phases II and III of Izalco prison were upgraded to make their facilities accessible. Temporary detention centres are also being built that offer better conditions for the mobility and development of persons with disabilities.
Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 15)
Please describe measures taken to prevent corporal punishment, isolation, excessive medication, the practice of electroconvulsive therapy and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons with disabilities. Please provide information on investigations carried out in internment centres in response to complaints of ill-treatment and describe training programmes for staff working in psychiatric hospitals and/or in residential institutions, including shelters
98.Under the Constitution, the Attorney General is responsible for the prosecution of crimes, starting with the investigation stage and followed, if there are grounds, by the institution of criminal proceedings. Article 336-A of the Criminal Code, on torture, defines perpetrators of that crime as any public official, public employee or agent of a public authority who, acting in an official capacity, subjects a person to torture, orders, instigates or induces another person to do so, acquiesces in torture or, being in a position to prevent it, fails to do so and imposes on them a prison term of 6 to 12 years.
99.State institutions involved in the provision of services are governed by internal regulations that prevent and punish acts that violate the human rights of service users. They have also acted to upgrade the skills of service providers.
100.For instance, the Secretariat for Social Inclusion launched a programme for ending the use of physical restraints, aimed at raising awareness and, where possible, ending the use of physical restraints and drugs on older persons, including persons with disabilities, both in care homes and residential facilities and in hospitals. In 2017, it began training the staff of five care homes, working with them to draw up care protocols designed to reduce the use of physical restraints.
101.The Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute has held training days on the Convention and on the Act on the Rights and Duties of Patients and Health Service Providers in its nine care centres. To date, there have been no investigations into ill-treatment at the Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind, the Locomotor Disabilities Centre or the Sara Zaldívar old people’s home, which provide inpatient and residential services.
102.The network of 30 national hospitals, including the National Psychiatric Hospital, have a “right to health” office that handles user complaints and responds within a reasonable period (15 days). The National Psychiatric Hospital has an annual programme of staff training on various topics related to humane treatment and builds technical skills to ensure a comprehensive approach to persons with mental disabilities.
103.The Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development (ISNA) has provided training on rights, safeguards and obligations to 469 individuals who provide care to children and adolescents with disabilities, in order to prevent ill-treatment, and on the psychosocial care of child and adolescent victims of sexual and gender violence. Workshops, classes and diploma courses have been held on the Child and Adolescent Protection Act and public policies have been developed for ensuring gender equality and equity, a culture of peace and social prevention of violence against children and adolescents.
104.ISNA has two centres that provide care for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities: the Adalberto Guirola children’s home and the Special Education Centre, both of which take a human rights, gender and inclusion approach to care provision, seek to strengthen and ensure a healthy family environment and provide comprehensive health care (prevention, treatment and rehabilitation), comprehensive education, access to art and culture, recreation and sports and assistance with preparing for life and active participation. These activities are coordinated at local and national level with institutions of the national protection system. Between January 2014 and June 2017, 186 staff members of 60 public, private and municipal institutions received training.
105.For now, the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute considers the use of physical restraint or control only in cases where this is necessary to prevent patients from doing physical harm to themselves or third parties. Pharmacological sedation is recommended for patients who become extremely agitated or violent and the use of electroconvulsive therapy is permitted only when recommended, overseen and supervised by a doctor and specialist staff and with the informed consent of both patient and family.
106.To prevent ill-treatment in the provision of services, medical, nursing and paramedical staff receive ongoing training in the care and treatment of patients with mental impairments. Where ill-treatment has been identified, it has been investigated to find a solution and internal regulations have been applied to the employees concerned.
Protection from exploitation, violence and abuse (art. 16)
Please describe steps taken to prevent and identify all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation of persons with disabilities, including information and awareness-raising campaigns for families and caregivers. Please provide statistical data on cases of violence against persons with disabilities, disaggregated by gender, age and form of violence. Please provide information on rehabilitation and assistance measures for persons with disabilities who have been subjected to violence, specifying which ones apply to women with disabilities. Please describe the mechanisms through which independent authorities monitor internment centres for persons with disabilities
107.With regard to steps taken to prevent and identify all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation of persons with disabilities, the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women has developed a number of guidelines and mechanisms for municipal monitoring of education centres, guidelines for the accreditation, monitoring and evaluation of the Institute’s units for the specialized care of women, guidelines for the accreditation and operation of residential homes and a protocol for the programme of specialized care for women victims of violence.
108.The Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development has upgraded the skills of 299 staff members who deal with children and adolescents. As reported under article 15, between January 2014 and June 2017 it provided training and awareness-raising to 186 staff members of 60 public, private and municipal institutions.
109.With a view to preventing and protecting against threats or harm resulting from exploitation, violence and abuse of children and adolescents and pursuant to the Child and Adolescent Protection Act, the National Council for Children and Adolescents promotes:
•The right to receive sexual and reproductive health information and education through the existence of and access to health and comprehensive sex education services and programmes, as a strategy for reducing the risks of sexual abuse (art. 32).
•Protection of the right to integrity of person (physical, psychological, cultural, moral, emotional and sexual) through public policies and programmes to prevent, address and eradicate abuse and physical and emotional neglect of children and adolescents (arts. 37 and 38).
•Protection of the right to honour, image, privacy and intimacy by prohibiting the dissemination, display or use of data, images or information that damage the honour or reputation of children and adolescents, including the publication of, inter alia, news reports and stories with the image or names of children and adolescents that directly or indirectly identify victims of ill-treatment or abuse (arts. 46 and 47).
•Protection against sexual abuse and exploitation through the creation of ongoing free programmes for their prevention and the provision of comprehensive care to abused children and adolescents (art. 55).
•Protection against other forms of economic exploitation through the elimination of any practice that harms the dignity and integrity of children and adolescents (art. 57).
110.As part of efforts to build the technical capacities of protection boards, between April and July 2015 the National Council for Children and Adolescents taught an 80-hour course on specialized methods and techniques for investigating threats to or violations of child and adolescent rights in order to strengthen administrative procedures and legal provisions in the Child and Adolescent Protection Act and other laws.
111.During the reporting period, the National Council for Children and Adolescents implemented a prevention plan with institutions that run residential care programmes. The plan publicized the prohibitions on the use of any kind of corporal punishment, as a strategy for preventing actions that mainly violate the rights of children and adolescents with some form of disability.
112.In 2015, the National Council for Children and Adolescents included in its complaints information system an option permitting the compilation of information on and the identification of cases reported to protection boards in which the rights of girls with disabilities have been threatened or violated. As a result of this change, the system records whether the alleged victim has a disability and, if so, the kind of disability: motor, sensory, intellectual or mental.
113.Residential centres run by the Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development, in coordination with the institutions that make up the national protection system at local and national level, provide care aimed at strengthening the areas of family, health, education, art, culture, recreation and sports, as well as preparation for life and active participation.
114.Progress has been made in the design and execution of municipal plans for the prevention of violence against women, involving all stakeholders, sectors and institutions in the municipality, with a view to coordinating action for the prevention of violence against women.
115.Between January 2013 and March 2017, the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women handled 232 cases in which women with disabilities had suffered different kinds of violence: psychological (130), physical (35), sexual (42), economic (17), property-related (7), femicide (1) and symbolic (0) (annex 8).
116.Between January and December 2015, protection boards operated by the National Council for Children and Adolescents received 15,499 complaints of alleged threats to or violations of rights, of which 54 cases concerned children and adolescents with disabilities. Of the 54 alleged victims, 38.89 per cent were boys, 24.07 per cent were girls, 18.52 were adolescent boys and 14.81 per cent were adolescent girls. In terms of disability, 35.19 per cent of victims had an intellectual impairment, 25.93 per cent a motor impairment, 22.22 per cent a sensory impairment and 16.67 per cent a mental impairment.
117.Between January and December 2016, protection boards received 13,011 complaints of alleged threats to or violations of rights, of which 13 concerned children and adolescents with disabilities. The main complaint was violation of the right to integrity of person (66.67 per cent), followed by violation of the right to a decent and adequate standard of living (16.67 per cent) (annex 9).
118.Between January and May 2017, protection boards received 12 complaints concerning children and adolescents with disabilities. Of the 12 alleged victims, 33.3 per cent were young boys, 25 per cent were girls and 33.3 per cent were adolescent boys. The main complaint was violation of the right to integrity of person (50 per cent). The different types of disability are detailed in annex 9.
119.The Ciudad Mujer programme provides access to specialized services such as care and prevention of gender violence, sexual and reproductive health, financial independence, land management and knowledge and care of children.
120.In 2016, the National Civil Police began developing a prevention and care programme for women working in the police force and their children and a protocol for assisting victims of sexual abuse, including women with disabilities.
121.In 2017, the National Civil Police held courses throughout the country to raise awareness and help identify and address potential discrimination and violence against persons with disabilities. There are no specific guidelines for recording cases in individual police stations, however.
122.At present, children and adolescents with disabilities are institutionalized in 8 centres administered by the Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development and 11 private centres. These 19 centres account for 60 per cent of the residential centres in operation in the country. Pursuant to article 129 of the Child and Adolescent Protection Act on the supervision of institutionalization in authorized centres, as of March 2016 a total of 964 children and adolescents were recorded as living in residential care centres, of whom 241 (25 per cent) had some kind of disability.
123.Between January and September 2015, the National Council for Children and Adolescents monitored 7 residential centres to assess the care given to 13 children and adolescents with disabilities and thereby guarantee respect for their rights. Inter-institutional measures to guarantee rights were taken in 10 cases.
Protecting the integrity of the person (art. 17)
Please provide information on cases of forced sterilization of women with disabilities and measures to prevent and penalize such practices. Please report on measures to ensure that the free and informed consent of persons with disabilities to medical and pharmaceutical treatments is sought and obtained
124.In its previous report submitted in 2013, the Salvadoran Government informed the Committee about the laws and internal procedures governing sterilization of women with disabilities and informed consent to medical and pharmaceutical treatments.
125.On that occasion, it reported that, at the request of hospitals, the Counsel General’s Office had issued an opinion on the medical treatment of persons with disabilities. The opinion states that persons with disabilities must decide on and consent to such treatments and that a psychosocial assessment must be conducted, taking into account the medical report on the person’s mental health or the expert opinion given by the Institute of Forensic Medicine.
126.In 2016, Ministry of Health hospitals and the Primero de Mayo mother and child hospital operated by the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute reported no cases of forced sterilization of persons with disabilities.
127.The technical guide to family planning care, produced in 2008 and updated in 2012, provides a regulatory framework on sexual and reproductive rights and the use of the different family planning methods, including surgical sterilization. There are also rules on comprehensive care for women and a Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute handbook of social work rules and procedures that establishes criteria with regard to free and informed consent.
128.All patients receiving hospital services, including women with disabilities, are informed of the implications of surgical sterilization and it is the patient who ultimately gives consent. Even after the form has been signed, the patient may decide at the last minute not to go ahead with the procedure.
129.To date, no penalties have been imposed because no cases of forced sterilization have been recorded. The different institutional regulations governing the conduct of health-care personnel, internal regulations and even the collective labour agreement for the health sector all establish administrative processes for punishing such cases, along with the right of patients to appeal to the relevant legal bodies.
Freedom of movement and nationality (art. 18)
Please describe the coverage of programmes aimed at increasing the proximity of services that issue identity documents, for the benefit of persons with disabilities, particularly in rural areas
130.The Department of Alien Affairs of the Directorate General for Migration and Alien Affairs has a protocol on providing users with personalized assistance at special counters, with accessible counters and wheelchairs.
131.To make passport services more accessible, eight new offices have opened nationwide. For cases where health or mobility problems prevent a person from going to an office in person, there is the home passport service, in which passport office staff go to the person’s place of residence or local hospital to obtain the person’s data and subsequently deliver the passport to a relative or guardian.
132.In August and September 2017, the Department of Migration Control organized campaigns to issue identity cards to 3,703 children and adolescents living in the area of Perquín municipality, in Morazán department, that borders the Republic of Honduras, thereby ensuring their freedom of movement.
133.Lastly, the Migration Movements and Restrictions Unit is working to make migration certification services available through online systems and a decentralized payment system for such services. Third-party payment may also be requested by providing an authenticated signature. In the case of migration restrictions, the Unit liaises with courts throughout the country to update proceedings in cases where restrictions have been imposed. Users are informed of this by telephone.
Living independently and being included in the community (art. 19)
Please report on strategies to promote the deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities and the involvement of organizations of persons with disabilities in such strategies. Please indicate whether there are any plans to promote the right to independent living and access to decent housing by persons with disabilities. Please explain what programmes and budgets have been established with a view to providing services for home and institutional care, including personal assistance
134.The Government is seeking to create conditions for independent living and self-care through the institutions that provide rehabilitation services. The Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute has eight specialized centres providing rehabilitation services for independent living and self-care and designed to ensure the social and workplace inclusion of persons with disabilities: blind persons, deaf persons and persons with physical, intellectual and mental impairments. They also provide skills maintenance and/or rehabilitation services for older persons with no family support.
135.The Occupational Rehabilitation Centre and the Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind teach vocational workshops to help persons with disabilities find a job and become financially independent.
136.In 2015, the Accelerating Core Competencies for Effective Wheelchair Service and Support (ACCESS) project executed by World Vision and UCP Wheels for Humanity taught staff working in technical aids workshops how to evaluate, prescribe, adjust and provide wheelchairs according to the international standards established by the World Health Organization. There is a currently a programme for the donation of wheelchairs and mobility aids, involving donation by appointment, mass donation campaigns and donation campaigns for persons with disabilities living in rural areas.
137.The Hearing and Language Centre has a hearing device donation programme. Over the past four years, it has managed a programme to provide hearing devices to persons with moderate to severe hearing loss, as detailed under article 20.
138.A programme for the early detection of deafness in children aged under 1 year has also been implemented, giving users the opportunity to achieve better results in their rehabilitation process. In 2017, with support from the Oído Center, the Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Barcelona-based GAES Solidaria Foundation, the Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute joined the programme by supplying 14 hearing aids to 8 users. It plans to supply a further 184 hearing aids in 2018.
139.The cochlear implant programme involves replacing certain damaged areas of the hearing system. In cooperation with the Barcelona-based García Ibáñez Otology Foundation and Valencia-based ECOSOL-Sord in Spain, the Central American University and the Hearing and Language Centre, 11 patients have received cochlear implants and cochlear implant equipment and surgical processes valued at US$ 300,000.00 have been donated.
140.The Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind provides an early childhood guidance and mobility programme using techniques that develop the spatial orientation skills of young children, helping them recognize and familiarize themselves with their environment and master temporal and spatial relations so that they are able to move about freely and safely both inside and outside the Centre.
141.In exercise of the competencies set out in articles 180 (d) and (e) and 174 (a) of the Child and Adolescent Protection Act, the Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development designed the Vivir en Familia care programme, which takes two forms: (a) family placement and foster families, which makes it possible to propose to the administrative or judicial authority that the method of protection for institutionalized children and adolescents be changed in order to guarantee their right to family life; and (b) the emergency and institutional care programme, which seeks to strengthen the ties between children and adolescents in care and their original families, thereby enabling the administrative or judicial authority to lift the measure of institutionalized protection and order the return of children and adolescents to their families.
142.To encourage independent living, since 2015 the Fund for the Protection of Persons Wounded and Disabled as a Result of the Armed Conflict has been implementing a plan to overcome the severe restrictions faced by disabled beneficiaries in order to ensure their equal, timely access to participation in society and inclusion in productive life. According to data provided by the Fund, between January and June 2017, 50 men and 3 women received assistance under the plan. In 2016, the plan assisted 102 men and 10 women, while 123 men and 12 women received assistance in 2015 (annex 10).
143.To promote access to decent housing for persons with disabilities, there is a housing credit facility that between October 2013 and June 2017 (annex 11) provided 583 loans to persons disabled as a result of the armed conflict to enable them to buy or improve their home.
144.Among the services available to its staff, the Social Housing Fund provides: transport to and from work for disabled employees; medical and hospital insurance for employees and their families and coverage of any prosthetics; and orthotics, orthopaedic shoes and other accessories. Decentralized services are also available, including personalized care and home care for persons who need it.
145.Between June 2016 and May 2017, the Social Housing Fund approved 185 loan applications from persons with disabilities, comprising 133 loans totalling US$ 1,449,033.91 for men and 52 loans totalling US$ 724,526.70 for women, amounting to a grand total of US$ 2,173,560.61.
Personal mobility (art. 20)
Please describe programmes aimed at promoting mobility and providing technical aids to persons with disabilities, including in rural areas
146.Through its orthopaedic unit, the Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute provides persons with disabilities with technical aids tailored to their individual needs in order to facilitate their mobility and family, school, workplace and social inclusion. With the support of international organizations and the assistance of cooperating agencies such as Joni and Friends and the World Vision ACCESS project, wheelchairs adapted to the needs of each user are being donated.
147.The manufacture of orthotics and prosthetics is being assisted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) MoveAbility Foundation, which donates materials, tools and equipment and provides basic and intermediate training in wheelchair adaptation and technological training in the use of polypropylene for manufacturing prosthetics.
148.The orthopaedics unit of the Centre for Locomotor Disabilities is responsible for prescribing technical aids, as needed, for persons with disabilities treated at the Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind (sticks, wheelchairs if required).
149.The Hearing and Language Centre has a hearing aids donation programme which is implemented periodically through external donor cooperation. On the hearing aid donation days held from 2013 to 2016, 471 hearing aids were adapted and donated to 241 users. In December 2016, a US$ 3,600.00 investment permitted the purchase of 8 hearing aids and 2 headsets for 6 of the Centre’s users.
150.The Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute has provided a total of 151 prosthetics and 500 accessories through its physical medicine and rehabilitation unit and, under an agreement with UCP Wheels for Humanity and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has equipped 86 persons with wheelchairs and trained 45 physiotherapists from 8 treatment centres throughout the country, thereby expanding coverage and care services.
151.In 2017, under an agreement signed with World Vision and the Starkey Foundation, the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute referred 350 patients for a hearing assessment through its physical medicine unit and provided 315 hearing aids specially adapted to the needs of each patient, helping to improve the living conditions of the families concerned.
152.The National Civil Police has provided similar care to all its staff with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Between 2013 and June 2017, 539 technical aids were provided to staff members with disabilities and 386 technical aids to staff family members.
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information (art. 21)
Please provide information on:
(a)The extent to which the Internet and the websites of public and private institutions providing public services are accessible to persons with disabilities in the State party;
(b)The number of Salvadoran Sign Language interpreters, the ratio of interpreters to the number of persons with disabilities requiring such services, and programmes to teach Salvadoran Sign Language to the general public;
(c)Measures taken to promote accessibility to information produced by media outlets
153.In 2015, the Government, through the Presidential Secretariat for Communications and the Directorate of Technology and Computer Innovation, began training information technologists in order to standardize executive branch websites. In line with international standards, portals have been upgraded and access to information, including for persons with disabilities, has improved.
154.The communications unit of the Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute is developing and operating the Institute’s website, which meets the standards for persons with disabilities established by Information Technology in a Global Society, including the following:
•Fonts can be enlarged or reduced
•It complies with colour contrast percentages
•Content is designed separately
•All menus use lists to facilitate navigation
•All articles are structured semantically
155.The Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute has a portal designed according to the standards set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and meeting the technical requirements for it to be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. This is intended to enhance access for all users, improve efficiency and response time and reduce the digital divide.
156.In 2016, the technical department of the Salvadoran Standards Organization, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, related institutions and representatives of persons with disabilities began to develop Salvadoran Technical Standard NTS 35.105.01 on information technology, accessibility, communications and web content requirements, which establishes web content accessibility requirements based on version 1.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
157.By the end of 2017, the Salvadoran Standards Organization hopes to begin the nationwide public consultation process with persons with disabilities and public and private institutions with a view to approving Technical Standard NTS 35.105.01.
158.The National Council for Persons with Disabilities has a register of Salvadoran Sign Language interpreters and various public and private institutions use interpreters in their activities. There is no official register of Salvadoran Sign Language or American Sign Language interpreters, however.
159.There are some 14 interpreters recognized by associations of deaf persons and 6 State institutions; at least 6 private institutions use interpreters when recruiting deaf persons.
160.At least 11 churches of different religious denominations use Salvadoran Sign Language and American Sign Language interpreters in their services. A number of institutions have increased Salvadoran Sign Language teaching, including the School of Health, the Pedagogical University of El Salvador, the University of El Salvador, the Salvadoran Association for the Deaf, the Manos Mágicas Foundation, Funda Sordo, the Presidential Training Department, the Secretariat for Social Inclusion and churches.
161.The Directorate General for Migration and Alien Affairs has provided Salvadoran Sign Language training to 18 members of its staff working throughout the country. There are plans to train a further 15 staff members in November and the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute (ISSS) reports that 5 Punto Seguro executives and 8 staff members from the General Hospital, the Medical Surgical Hospital, the Ilopango Medical Unit, the Primero de Mayo Unit, ISSS administrative offices and the ISSS call centre are receiving training.
162.The communications and user assistance unit of the Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute has set up various channels to guarantee that anyone with a disability can contact the Institute and obtain information:
•By calling the 127 secure telephone hotline
•On Facebook and Twitter, which handle an average of 140 direct messages per month with a response time of under 40 minutes and a response rate of 98 per cent
•Via the 113 television screens located in the waiting rooms of the most heavily used centres, which display education, prevention and information messages. Some 60 per cent of the material produced is subtitled to make it easier for persons with hearing difficulties to understand its content
163.To make its services accessible, in 2015 the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute transferred its information and enquiries office from the eighth to the first floor of its building and installed a ramp and a low table accessible to wheelchair users and persons of short stature. Its information officer also attended a Salvadoran Sign Language workshop.
164.Information published on the transparency portal (http://publica.gobiernoabierto. gob.sv/institutions/instituto-salvadoreno-del-seguro-social) can be accessed and downloaded using a smart phone and can also be accessed in enlarged format for ease of viewing (150 to 200 per cent larger than the original size) (http://api.gobiernoabierto. gob.sv/documents/192150/download).
165.The Directorate General for Migration and Alien Affairs provides users with information by email, pursuant to the Access to Public Information Act. In October 2016, the information technology and technological development unit and the communications and protocol unit launched a new web platform with universally accessible, user-friendly formats. Information is also provided via social media.
Respect for home and the family (art. 23)
Please describe measures taken to repeal legislation that restricts marriage by persons with disabilities and those taken to facilitate their exercise of the right to found a family. Please state what steps have been taken to protect the rights of persons with disabilities to have custody of and care for their children and to adopt a child
166.Article 14 (3) of the Salvadoran Family Code establishes as an absolute impediment to marriage the fact that a person is not in full possession of his or her mental faculties and cannot express consent in an unequivocal manner. Marriage is an act requiring full consent (Family Code, art. 12), but as long as there has been no declaration of incapacity, it is deemed valid (Family Code, art. 292). If there has been a declaration of incapacity, the person concerned may not act on his or her own behalf but must do so through an appointed guardian.
Education (art. 24)
Please describe strategies aimed at establishing an inclusive education system and ensuring that children and adolescents with disabilities have access to the general education system. Please describe measures designed specifically for persons with disabilities to support their participation in the general education system, including public and private university education
Please provide statistics on the percentage of schools with adapted physical infrastructure and accessible teaching materials, as well as on the number of children with disabilities enrolled in schools that provide regular elementary, secondary and university education and those in schools that provide special education
167.The Ministry of Education has developed programmes, projects, educational strategies and local support services in the education system enabling students to exercise the right to an education.
168.The educational strategy of ensuring teacher-supported inclusion through a rights-based supportive classroom approach was launched in 50 mainstream schools throughout the country to meet the needs of the large number of students, including students with disabilities, whose education has fallen behind. The strategy, which is implemented by teachers and backed by the education community, involves providing technical assistance to the teaching team and supporting students to ensure that they participate in the learning process and remain in the education system.
169.In 2014 and 2015, coverage was extended to 100 schools and it is hoped that by 2017 there will be 450 teachers providing support for student inclusion. The support strategy’s contribution to inclusion processes is being strengthened and enhanced. Its legal basis can be found in Ministerial Agreement No. 15-0458 containing guidelines for the implementation of the educational strategy of teacher-supported inclusion.
170.With regard to support services at the national level, there are 17 guidance and resource centres that support the education system by providing psychopedagogical assistance (assessment, guidance and support) to students at risk of exclusion in mainstream and special education schools in an attempt to remove barriers to access and learning (annex 12).
171.Guidance and resource centres comprise a multidisciplinary team: a coordinator, a psychologist, a teacher with training and experience in pedagogical assessment and a teacher with experience in speech and language development.
172.Between 2013 and 2016, guidance and resource centre specialists received specialized training and technical assistance and were provided with resources such as standardized psychopedagogical tests, educational support materials for their psychopedagogical activities, furniture and equipment.
Resource centres for the inclusion of students with visual impairments
173. Supported by the Spanish ONCE Foundation, the process of creating these centres as a pedagogical service providing reading aids for the blind began in 2016. The centres contribute to the teaching and learning process for visually impaired students by designing, producing and supplying various reading aids and audio, Braille, embossed and large-print materials and by providing guidance to teachers and family members. By 2017, 700 curriculum units in four subjects taught in primary and secondary education had been designed; CD recordings of 50 literary works have also been produced pursuant to the Marrakesh Treaty.
Special education schools
174.With the implementation of the inclusive education policy, special education schools have taken on a new role, providing specialized technical assistance to mainstream schools in each department (annex 13).
175.The education system has 30 special education schools meeting the needs of 2,465 preschool to basic education students with intellectual impairments and offering a cycle of pre-employment training and 5 schools serving the needs of 458 deaf students. In 2016, special education schools were provided with technological equipment (computers and televisions) to facilitate students’ learning process and participation. Teachers have been trained in Salvadoran Sign Language and in 2016 a school for blind students in San Salvador, with 66 enrolled students, was provided with Perkins machines and computers (annexes 14 and 15).
176.Since 2011, the Ministry of Education has signed agreements with and transferred funds to disability associations and foundations and higher education institutions, with which a work plan is being drawn up that includes technical training for teachers and students. Total annual investment has increased from US$ 653,000.00 to US$ 957,550.00 in 2016 (annex 16).
177.Teacher training for inclusion: teachers in special education and mainstream schools who teach students with disabilities have attended at least 16 training courses taught by national and international experts. These courses covered, inter alia:
•Educational provision for students with Down Syndrome
•Information and communication technology (ICT) literacy teaching
•Specialized training in the teaching of students with intellectual, sensory and motor impairments
•Braille, literacy and mathematics teaching
•Production of materials adapted for blind and partially sighted students
•Practical training in the teaching of deafblind students and students with multiple disabilities
•Use of the SARAR approach to raise awareness among teachers and parents
•Workshops on curriculum adaptation and other topics
•The first module of the national in-service teacher training plan promoted by the Ministry of Education, which covers inclusive education
•From 2013 to 2015, a national competition to identify the most inclusive pedagogical best practices was held with the participation of 100 schools nationwide
178.With regard to the provision of materials and technical aids for students and technological equipment for special education schools, the Ministry of Education has distributed 521 kits of bibliographic material adapted to students with visual impairments.
179.School kits consisting of a slate, a stylus, a ruler, an eraser, special markers, a speaking calculator for basic operations, a protractor, set squares, a compass, cardboard pages, bond paper pages and guide wires were distributed to 210 visually impaired (blind and partially sighted) preschool pupils and secondary school students throughout the country in 2016 and to 216 such students in 2017. A reading aids kit and technical aids (wheelchairs, crutches and walkers) were distributed to 151 mainstream schools under the full-time inclusive school programme and televisions and laptops were distributed to 5 schools that teach hard-of-hearing students.
180.Access to ICT: the “One Child, One Computer” programme has helped narrow the digital divide and promotes equal opportunities to access and use ICT and ICT training.
181.Between June 2014 and July 2017, a total of 39,128 computers were provided to State schools. In 2016 and 2017, priority was given to providing portable computers, Internet service and tablets to 11 special schools, 36 special education schools received funding to obtain Internet service locally, 27 schools received tablets and 2 schools were given funding to make electrical and safety adjustments.
182.The early childhood education and comprehensive development model is being implemented through two channels: institutionally, in 263 preschools and 4,274 sections in mainstream schools; and in families and communities, through community family circles led by an early childhood specialist, of which there are 251 nationwide.
183.The model is being implemented through both channels throughout the country, serving 22,432 children, of whom 11,287 are girls and 11,145 are boys. (Source: October 2016 enrolment report).
184.To upgrade the professional skills of staff of the Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development and other institutions of the national child and adolescent protection system, 52 staff members (24 social workers, 15 directors and 6 national and 8 regional specialist staff) received training and advanced training in disability law, neurolinguistic approaches to psychomotor skills, screening with a view to the referral of children with disabilities to the special protection system and eradication of stigmatization and discrimination against children with physical and psychosocial impairments.
185.Disability prevention workshops were also held for 500 child welfare centre teachers and 140 comprehensive development centre teachers in order to institutionalize early childhood disability prevention and promote early intervention.
186.Higher education policy began to be updated in 2017 and there are plans to include educational support for students with disabilities. The Ministry of Education has also introduced physical infrastructure accessibility standards for higher education institutions.
187.There is a register of students with disabilities attending higher education institutions. In 2014, there were 221 male and 181 female students with disabilities in higher education; by 2015, the numbers had increased to 485 male and 469 female students with disabilities. The figures for 2016 are still being processed.
188.With regard to the improvement of curriculum content, including in the area of inclusive education, envisaged in articles 11 and 12 (g) of the Higher Education Act and its implementing regulations, teacher training syllabuses were revised in 2016 in line with the inclusive education approach and a document was produced containing guidance on the implementation of inclusive development.
189.The National Literacy Programme is being implemented in 49 municipalities with high illiteracy rates. Beneficiaries include persons aged over 15 with intellectual, hearing and visual impairments and curricular adjustments can be made to teaching sessions to facilitate understanding and learning. From 2013 to 2017, 1,513 persons, of whom 494 had intellectual impairments, 880 had hearing impairments and 139 had visual impairments, received literacy training. Reading aid kits are issued to blind students.
190.The Ministry of Education has also updated and distributed at least 12 normative documents, such as handbooks, syllabuses, curriculums and forms, that incorporate an inclusive approach:
•Handbook of technical, administrative and curricular guidelines for the operation of special education schools
•Operating manual for guidance and resource centres
•Teacher training syllabuses and degree programme in special education
•Syllabuses for the training of basic education teachers
•The new educational infrastructure policy, which includes universal accessibility standards for new infrastructure projects, expansions or repairs
•Inclusion in form 2 of the school census of a classification for identifying students with disabilities in the education system
•Review and inclusion of access adjustments for students with sensory, intellectual and physical impairments taking the learning and aptitude test for deaf, blind and partially sighted secondary school students. A total of 540 students took the test between 2013 and 2016
Health (art. 25)
Please provide information on sexual and reproductive health programmes whose coverage includes women and girls with disabilities, and on the budget allocated to the adaptation of infrastructure and the procurement of accessible hospital equipment with universal design in urban and rural areas. Please describe the coverage of specialized community health teams at the municipal level and on the percentage of persons with disabilities who have access to such services. Please provide information on the access to health insurance of persons with disabilities
191.The Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy refers to article 26 of the Act on Equality, Fairness and the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which establishes that, pursuant to its obligations under the Constitution, the State recognizes sexual and reproductive health as fundamental rights in the area of comprehensive health care.
192.Sexual and reproductive health-care programmes include:
•High reproductive risk health visits
•Health visits prior to conception
•Early registration for basic and specialized prenatal care
•Childbirth attended by skilled personnel
•Access to modern contraception
•Counselling in all areas of sexual and reproductive health
193.Through Ciudad Mujer, the Secretariat for Social Inclusion implements a sexual and reproductive health-care module that helps reduce female and maternal mortality by providing specialized services. Sexual health is a state of physical, mental, psychological and social well-being in relation to sexuality and involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections or diseases, obtaining the necessary information to decide whether to initiate sexual intercourse and enjoying a safe sex life based on consent and therefore free from coercion, discrimination, violence, intimidation or threats.
Comprehensive integrated health-care networks
194.For the comprehensive provision of health services to individuals, families and communities, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has 5 regional networks, 17 basic integrated health-care systems in 14 departments and 68 municipal and intermunicipal health service micronetworks that identify and decide local priorities with input from civil society.
National network of health-care facilities
195.There are 818 health-care facilities throughout the country serving the entire population. These facilities operate at three levels of care:
First level health-care facilities:
•Community basic family health-care units (420)
•Community intermediate family health-care units (293)
•Community specialized family health-care units (39)
•Pregnancy shelters (21)
•International health offices (10)
•Comprehensive maternal and child health and nutrition centre (1)
•Comprehensive adolescent health-care centre (1)
•Employees’ clinic (1)
Second level health-care facilities:
•Emergency health-care centres (2)
•Basic hospitals (11)
•Departmental hospitals (14)
•Regional hospitals (2)
Third level health-care facilities:
•Regional referral hospitals (3)
196.The family record information system provides information on variables related to social determinants of the population’s health, such as persons with disabilities, sex, age and geographical area. In 2017, community family health-care teams updated the data on persons with disabilities in 67 municipalities, identifying a total of 13,177 persons with disabilities.
197.For a breakdown of infrastructure and equipment investment in the first level of health-care facilities and hospitals, see pages 71 to 73 of the 2016–2017 report: http://salud.gob.sv/download/informe-de-labores-2016-2017/#.
Work and employment (art. 27)
Please provide information on strategies to create employment and income-generating opportunities for persons with disabilities and in particular measures to ensure the inclusion of women with disabilities in the labour market. Please indicate whether labour laws require employers in the various economic sectors to provide reasonable accommodation. Please report on occupational and vocational training programmes for persons with disabilities, including in rural areas
198.In 2017, as part of the Government’s commitment to population groups experiencing the greatest levels of inequality, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security launched the National Decent Jobs Policy 2017–2030, setting out affirmative action for women, young people, the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex population, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and older persons, considering them to be subjects of rights requiring programmes that facilitate the full exercise of their rights, in this case the right to a decent job.
199.Expected result 5.2 deals with equal opportunity and treatment, as well as non-discrimination against other vulnerable social groups in the labour market. Priority action 5.2.1 on a national strategy for the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the labour market calls for the implementation of strategies to eliminate discriminatory barriers based on gender and against, among others, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex persons, persons with disabilities, older persons, persons with HIV/AIDS and indigenous peoples.
200.In the reporting period, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security promoted measures for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labour market by providing guidance to jobseekers to help them determine what area of work interests them, analysing their skills, abilities, attitudes and aptitudes in relation to the demands of the labour market and seeking to identify entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to create their own employment.
201.Employment exchanges in the country’s 14 departments manage employment and operate a job placement scheme. A total of 1,376 persons with disabilities (387 women and 989 men) were registered between June 2014 and June 2017. In all, 5,948 jobseekers (1,551 women and 4,397 men) are registered with the exchanges and 1,364 (403 women and 961 men) have found jobs.
202.Employment managers from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security visit public and private companies in an effort to make employment opportunities more accessible to jobseekers and to promote persons with disabilities for different jobs. Between June 2014 and June 2017, they made 3,101 promotional and follow-up visits, securing 1,339 job offers and 3,100 jobs.
203.Between 2014 and 2016, the Ministry’s section for vulnerable groups held 130 awareness-raising days for human resources management departments to familiarize them with the Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Act and the Convention and with aspects of companies’ recruitment and hiring processes. It also issued procedural instructions for recruitment and for coordination with other State bodies (annex 17).
204.The Ministry of Labour and Social Security organizes fairs for self-employed persons in which persons with disabilities offering diverse products are able to participate. There is a database of 200 entrepreneurs with disabilities. From June 2014 to June 2017, 573 fairs for self-employed persons were held.
205.The Job Placement Commission, in coordination with the Salvadoran Vocational Training Institute, is preparing a training guide for instructors on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in training courses. The guide’s publication is scheduled for April 2018 and should ensure training coverage in some rural areas of the country.
206.The Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development is another State body that is active in this area. It reports that of the 201 children, adolescents and adults with disabilities living in residential care centres, 66 are adults, of whom 27 have been placed in the education and employment systems and are participating in the preparation for life programme. This programme develops attitudes, aptitudes and competencies, meaning skills and knowledge, for tackling challenges and areas of opportunity effectively and efficiently. All trainees are enrolled in the education system, 3 per cent are working in the formal sector and 70 per cent are participating in vocational workshops in breadmaking and crafts.
207.The Occupational Rehabilitation Centre of the Salvadoran Comprehensive Rehabilitation Institute assists persons aged 16 to 60 who have mild forms of physical, sensory and intellectual impairment. It has 10 workshop instructors, a workshop supervisor, a psychologist, a social worker, an employment manager and – for two hours a week – a doctor who carries out assessments. Through its training, the Centre seeks to actively involve families in the occupational rehabilitation process, boost the professional and personal development of its technical team and update vocational training programmes to meet the demands of the labour market.
208.The employment manager supports persons with disabilities seeking to enter the labour market by, inter alia, placing them in jobs and monitoring their workplace performance.
209.The Centre provides vocational training to an average of 82 users a year, job placement services for 42 users, workplace monitoring for 50 users and assessments for 700 users. In all, it has assisted 13,084 persons with disabilities.
Adequate standard of living and social protection (art. 28)
Please report on the inclusion of all persons with disabilities in the social protection system and provide statistics, disaggregated by age, sex and urban/rural area, on social security coverage. Please provide information on the results of the poverty alleviation strategy for persons with disabilities, including persons with disabilities in migration contexts, those living in rural areas, those belonging to indigenous peoples and those who are Salvadorans of African descent
210.In its goal 5: speed up the transition to a fair and inclusive society, the Five-Year Development Plan takes up the challenge of strengthening the universal social protection system, which is based on recognition of the rights of all persons and involves the promotion of equality policies that avoid exclusion and encourage coexistence.
211.In this context, the Social Investment Fund for Local Development has created a social protection scheme that includes a rural universal basic pension and an urban basic pension, benefiting 1,761 persons with disabilities in rural areas and 471 persons with disabilities in urban areas (annex 18). A health and education voucher is also provided to children with disabilities in urban and rural areas (see annex 7).
212.The National Council for Persons with Disabilities, with the participation of civil society organizations, the Salvadoran Social Insurance Institute and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, has designed a form for the registration and assessment of functioning and disability, as part of a social programme that is intended to award a non-contributory pension to persons with disabilities, including children and their families. The programme is scheduled to begin in 30 municipalities and to add 30 municipalities a year until all 262 municipalities in the country are covered.
213.As part of the execution of component 5 of the comunidades solidarias (solidarity communities) programme, infrastructure projects providing accessible public spaces have been carried out in coordination with a number of municipalities.
214.Despite progress in the formulation of public policies and the execution of government projects and programmes to guarantee rights and create opportunities for participation and inclusion, the country still faces a generalized situation of poverty and social marginalization that affects persons with disabilities in particular.
215.In recognition of the country’s ethnic and cultural diversity, since 2014 the last Saturday in August has been celebrated each year as the Day of Salvadorans of African Descent. In the 2007 population and housing census conducted by the Directorate General of Statistics and Censuses, more than 7,000 Salvadorans identified themselves as being of African descent. Based on the amendment made to article 63 of the Constitution in 2014, municipal ordinances for the recognition and effective enjoyment of the rights of indigenous peoples have been issued in the municipalities of Nahuizalco, Izalco, Panchimalco and Cuisnahuat and other ordinances are being drafted in the municipalities of Cacaopera in Morazán department, Conchagua in La Unión and Santo Domingo in Sonsonate. At the initiative of indigenous leaders and nine State bodies belonging to the Mesa Multisectorial de Pueblos Indígenas (indigenous peoples multisectoral panel), the Secretariat for Culture has drawn up a National Policy for Indigenous Peoples, to be launched in late 2017.
Participation in public and political life (art. 29)
Please provide information on measures taken to repeal the provisions of the Electoral Code that restrict the political participation of persons with psychosocial and/or intellectual disabilities. Please provide information on the number of persons with disabilities who hold public office, including elective positions at the municipal, departmental and national levels. Please indicate what steps have been taken to promote the establishment and strengthening of organizations of persons with disabilities
216.The Electoral Code adopted by Legislative Decree No. 413 of 3 July 2013 does not contain any provisions that restrict the exercise of the right to vote for persons with disabilities. According to article 9 of the Code, the only voting requirements are that the voter must: (a) be a Salvadoran citizen; (b) be registered on the electoral roll; be in full enjoyment of civil and political rights; and (d) identify himself or herself by presenting his or her valid national identity card and be on the voters list compiled by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
217.Title VI of the Electoral Code regulates the eligibility requirements for candidates for elective office and the conditions for declaring candidates ineligible. Chapters II, III and IV standardize procedures for the selection of candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President of the Republic and membership of the Central American Parliament and the Legislative Assembly and do not in any way bar persons with disabilities from standing for elective office.
218.With regard to candidates with no party affiliation standing in legislative elections, Legislative Decree No. 555 of 16 December 2010 established eligibility requirements and ineligibility conditions for non-party candidates to membership of the Legislative Assembly, none of which barred persons with disabilities from standing for elective office.
219.However, article 1317 of the Civil Code establishes that everyone has legal capacity except persons that the law has declared as lacking such capacity. Article 1318 of the Civil Code defines the three types of legal incapacity:
•Absolute incapacity: persons of unsound mind, children under 14 years of age and deaf persons who are unable to make themselves clearly understood are deemed to lack legal capacity in all cases and their acts do not therefore give rise to natural obligations.
•Relative incapacity: adult minors are deemed to lack legal capacity, but this incapacity is not absolute because their acts may be valid in certain legally defined cases.
•Specific incapacity: the law bars certain persons from performing certain acts.
220.Article 292 of the Family Code requires a court ruling for anyone to be declared legally incapable, stipulating that a person may be declared incapable only if a court has ruled to that effect on legal grounds and the Counsel General of the Republic or a departmental assistant attorney has acted in the person’s defence. The legal grounds to which the article refers are chronic incurable mental illness, even if there are moments of lucidity, and deafness, unless the person can understand and make himself or herself clearly understood.
221.Thus, a person can be declared incapable only by means of a court ruling (persons of unsound mind). Judicial interdiction was abolished on 1 October 1994 with the entry into force of the Family Code, article 403 of which expressly repealed titles XXII and XXIII of book 1 of the Civil Code regulating the measure of judicial interdiction. Chapter XIX of title VII of the Code of Civil Procedure regulating a number of summary procedures, including how to proceed in a trial for the interdiction of a deaf person or person of unsound mind, was repealed on the same basis. Persons with disabilities are able to vote and to stand for elective office unless a court has ruled otherwise.
222.With a view to promoting accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in electoral processes, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal signed a cooperation agreement with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities in December 2014 for the 2015 elections and in 2017 for the 2018 elections for mayors and members of the Legislative Assembly, under which pre-election information campaigns were organized and accessibility guarantees for voters with disabilities were established throughout the country.
223.With regard to measures to promote and strengthen organizations of persons with disabilities, between October 2016 and June 2017 the Inclusive Development and Governance Commission of CONAIPD held three training days on leadership, organization and public participation in the eastern and western parts of the country and in the area close to its centre. A total of 91 persons took part in the training days.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport (art. 30)
Please describe the programmes and projects in place to ensure the participation of persons with disabilities in cultural, sports and leisure activities and in tourism, and to guarantee their access to sports, cultural and other leisure facilities, in urban and rural areas, on an equal basis with others
224.The National Sports Institute of El Salvador, in conjunction with sporting associations of persons with disabilities, has held sports events in different (rural and urban) municipalities throughout the country, in which a total of 2,718 persons with disabilities have participated. These include the inclusive sports festival (734), the indigenous peoples festival (656), the national disabled scholars games (486) and an adaptive sports training project (79).
225.The Institute allocates US$ 155,000.00 to registered legally recognized associations of persons with disabilities, which are assigned an annual budget for operations and sports development. These associations include the Salvadoran Association for American Football (US$ 10,000.00), the Salvadoran Association for Wheelchair Sports (US$ 25,000.00), the El Salvador Association for Deaf Sports (US$ 10,000.00), the Salvadoran Association for Blind Sports (US$ 10,000.00) and the El Salvador Paralympic Committee (US$ 100,000.00). The Paralympic Committee also employs technical and administrative staff.
226.The Institute’s social inclusion department provides technical advice in sports processes and promotes the competition platform of the National Paralympic Games and the platform of the Central American Council of Sports and Recreation (CODICADER) Games. Its instruction manual includes a reference to the scholarship for outstanding athletes from associations of persons with disabilities and its programmes promote participation by children and adolescents with disabilities, as well as the National Paralympic Games and CODICADER Games platforms.
227.The Ministry of Tourism has drafted a tourism bill designed to promote social, inclusive and accessible tourism, encourage investment in high-quality sustainable tourism and promote the development of micro-, small and medium-sized tourism enterprises.
228.The Ministry of Tourism also has the National Tourism Policy, which includes persons with disabilities in tourism production chains and special segments of demand in the domestic market and promotes the accessibility of tourism facilities to persons with disabilities.
229.The Salvadoran Tourism Corporation owns 26 universally accessible tourist attractions and takes Technical Standard NTS 11.69.01:14 on accessibility of the physical environment, urban development and architecture into account in designing its public investment projects.
230.Phase I of the Montaña Cerro Verde hotel project in Santa Ana has been completed, with six bedrooms fitted out, one of them adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities according to the technical standards on accessibility of the physical environment and anthropometric variables such as strength, speed, mobility, vision and Braille signage.
231.The Salvadoran Institute for Child and Adolescent Development promotes physical and mental development activities, teamwork and healthy competition. Between January and June 2017, 109 children, adolescents and adults participated in activities carried out in its centres and in the community.
Specific obligations of the State party (arts. 31–33)
Statistics and data collection (art. 31)
Please report on measures taken to compile disaggregated data on persons with disabilities in population censuses, multipurpose household surveys and other data measurement tools in the State party. Please report on the results and analysis of the situation of persons with disabilities contained in the 2015 national survey on persons with disabilities. Please describe the measures taken to incorporate Goal 17 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its targets, and the recommendations of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics, in systems for collecting data on the situation of persons with disabilities
232.The National Council for Persons with Disabilities, the Presidential Technical and Planning Secretariat and the Directorate General of Statistics and Censuses provided technical guidance on the process of conducting the first national survey of persons with disabilities in El Salvador between 2013 and 2015. The first data reading took place in May 2016.
233.The survey process involved organizations of persons with disabilities represented on CONAIPD, while UNICEF provided technical assistance based on the Washington Group methodology for the children and adolescents module. This led to the signing of a letter of understanding and opened the way for a disability characterization study, which expanded the survey results.
234.Data analysis shows that most persons with disabilities (80 per cent) are in the 25 to 64 years and over age group.
235.Persons in this age group have little schooling. The nationwide average is a fourth-grade education and there are other gaps, such as in literacy, to which public policies will have to give priority. The survey data demonstrate a causal relationship between the educational exclusion suffered by persons currently aged 25 to 64 years and over, for instance, the lack of opportunities to develop vocational skills, and their inability to compete on the labour market and aspire to better socioeconomic conditions, not to mention the lack of opportunity to pay social security contributions upon reaching adulthood, which means that most of them do not have access to an old-age pension.
236.The survey results for children and adolescents reflect a greater level of participation in various spheres, but mainly in the right to education as a result of the public policies implemented in this area.
237.The Presidential Technical and Planning Secretariat also coordinates the single register of participants, in which persons with disabilities are registered and which will form the basis for the planning, identification, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of social policies and programmes.
238.With regard to the follow-up to Agenda 2030, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that a team of 71 government institutions, including CONAIPD, has been created. Managerial and technical focal points have been designated in the areas of planning, follow-up and statistics, who will channel and provide feedback on national processes for the implementation of Agenda 2030.
239.Given the complexity of implementing Agenda 2030, the creation of a National Council for Sustainable Development bringing together multiple national stakeholders has been proposed, taking into account the dialogue with the private sector and civil society that has made it possible to consider the need to move on from a paradigm of corporate social responsibility to business and investment models that promote sustainable development.
International cooperation (art. 32)
Please provide details concerning international cooperation programmes that include persons with disabilities and their representative organizations. Please report on measures taken to include the rights of persons with disabilities in plans to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and their monitoring mechanisms
240.State institutions have executed international cooperation projects and programmes directly. Some of these projects and programmes are described below.
241.From 2009 to 2017, the Ministry of Education executed as part of the Mesoamerica Project a technical cooperation project for the development of inclusive education systems in the Mesoamerican region. Among other actions, a universal accessibility strategy was designed by applying the universal accessibility diagnostic card and designing and executing school management plans and an institutional plan.
242.From 2013 to 2017, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation supported a project for the promotion of inclusive education in El Salvador under which, inter alia, a full-time inclusive school model was created, special education teachers were trained to support inclusion, investments were made in infrastructure and families and local stakeholders were involved in the design of pedagogical proposals.
243.From 2013 to 2017, the EFAVI campaign disbursed US$ 41,455.00 (annex 19). The FOMILENIO II project involves building or remodelling education centres, including building ramps and other facilities.
244.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports five projects, including the Country Programme Plan of Action 2016–2020 and the programme of support to the National Development, Protection and Social Inclusion Plan, amounting to US$ 12,795,000.00, one component of which involves following up the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (annex 20).
National implementation and monitoring
Please provide information on mechanisms in place to coordinate the efforts of the State’s public authorities in implementing the Convention. Please indicate whether an internal mechanism to monitor such implementation has been established and, if so, please specify its budget and functions and say whether organizations of persons with disabilities take part in it
245.Pursuant to article 1 of Executive Decree No. 80 and the amendments in article 65, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities was set up as a decentralized body of the Office of the President of the Republic to perform the role of lead agency for the formulation and design of the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities and for ensuring the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of that policy and of laws and regulations relating to persons with disabilities.