This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
Uruguay has ratified the CRC and the Convention can be directly enforced in the national courts and is regularly cited in court decisions. Children through their representatives can bring a wide range of complaints, including civil claims and constitutional challenges, and complaints by children can also be lodged with the National Human Rights Institution and Ombudsman. Group and collective litigation is available and constitutional proceedings can be filed by any natural or legal person, including non-governmental organisations. Legal aid is available to children and their representatives when bringing cases and court costs are not payable. The judiciary is relatively independent, but the court system is severely backlogged. Once all domestic remedies have been exhausted, complaints against violations of children’s rights may be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child under the third Optional Protocol to the CRC, which Uruguay has ratified.