EL SALVADOR: Children's Rights in the UN Special Procedures' Reports

Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of the UN Special Procedures. This does not include reports of child specific Special Procedures, such as the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, which are available as separate reports.

Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.


Scroll to:


Agreed and requested visits

(A) SR on indigenous peoples (Dates to be agreed)
(R in 2006) SR on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions


UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo

Country visit: 17-19 March 2010

Ms Manjoo ed the following concerns in a press release:

  • Causes of violence (particularly domestic violence): Ms Manjoo reports that some of the root causes of violence towards women and girls are rooted in the socio-economic disparities and the machista culture of El Salvador.
  • Criminalisation of abortion: Ms Manjoo notes that the criminalisation of abortion is having a direct impact on the current high rates of maternal mortality and adolescent pregnancies.
  • Femicides: Ms Manjoo recommends that an establishment of a specialised investigation and prosecution unit on femicides should exist to ensure the protection of women and girls.


Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances


Country visit: 5 to 7 February 2007
26 October 2007

The Working Group identified the following concerns:

  • Disappearance in times of conflict: The Working Group notes that in times of conflict enforced disappearance of children was part of a deliberate strategy within the violence institutionalised by the State. Children were often taken during military executions and raised by military officials as their own (para 23).

  • Searching for missing children: The Working Group notes that the government of El Salvador is making some efforts to search for disappeared children. El Salvador is now obliged to set up a national commission to trace the young people who disappeared when they were children during the armed conflict, with the participation of civil society, to create a search web page and create a genetic information system (para 46).


UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Ertürk


Country visit: 2-8 February 2004
Report published: 20 December 2004

Ms. Ertürk identified the following concerns:

  • Child labour: Ms. Ertürk notes that girls took up employment in the informal sector particularly domestic work (para 7).

    According to the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) projections of Salvadoran census bureau data, there were an estimated 21,500 children between the ages of 14 and 19 working in domestic service in 2001, of whom 95 per cent were female. Nearly one quarter began working between the ages of nine and 11 and over 60 per cent were working by the age of 14 (para 38).

  • Single parent households: Mr Ertürk notes that although there is no research indicating with certainty that children are better off living with both parents, studies do show that a father's presence is generally positive for children's development. She suggested that nurturing by fathers is likely to reduce the propensity of boys for domestic violence later in life (para 22).
  • Sexual abuse of girls: Ms. Ertürk notes that child abuse and incest are widespread. Many of these cases are due to unstable matrimonial unions (para 30).

    Women's organisations believe that domestic violence and sexual abuse of girls in the private sphere is severely underreported. The reasons cited include: societal pressure; fear of reprisals; fear of publicity and stigmatisation; discriminatory responses by authorities; and low confidence in the justice system (para 32).

    In terms of employment, Ms. Ertürk notes that girls employed as domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to physical abuse and sexual harassment from members of the household in which they live and work. An ILO-IPEC study in 2002 found that 60 per cent of girls working in domestic service who were surveyed reported physical and sexual abuse (para 39).

  • Trafficking of children: Ms. Ertürk notes that according to NGOs many people pay to be smuggled into the United States of America, however many women and children do not make it to their final destination. Instead it is reported that many are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, and some are raped and/or found murdered near the Mexico/United States border (para 43).

    According to the NGO Save the Children, many infants, the majority of whom are girls, are taken from El Salvador for commercial or fraudulent adoptions in the North and in Europe (para 44).


UN Special Rapporteur on the question of the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, Mr. Enrique Bernales Ballesteros


Country visit: 5 to 8 May 2002
Report published: 29 November 2002

No mentions of children's rights


Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

Gabriela Knaul


Country visit: 19 to 26 November 2012
Report published: 24 May 2013

No mention of children's rights.


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.