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.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been incorporated into the laws of Venezuela allowing children to directly use it in national courts. International human rights treaties ratified by Venezuela have constitutional rank and precede national legislation insofar as they contain provisions concerning the enjoyment and exercise of rights that are more favorable than those established by the Constitution. The laws of Venezuela provide that legal assistance for children and their representatives shall always be free of cost, thereby helping children access the courts. Generally, court proceedings are initiated not by a child but on behalf of a child by a legal representative or a guardian, who are required to act in the child's best interests. Proceedings can be brought by non-governmental organisations on behalf of child victims and special provisions exist to protect child witnesses giving evidence.