Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2017, 12:58 GMT

Chile: Violence against children by family members and protection available from the state (2005 - February 2007)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 13 March 2007
Citation / Document Symbol CHL102426.FE
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Chile: Violence against children by family members and protection available from the state (2005 - February 2007), 13 March 2007, CHL102426.FE, available at: [accessed 13 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), more than half of Chilean children are victims of violence: 25.9 percent are victims of serious physical violence and 27.9 percent are victims of mild physical violence (Reuters 27 Sept. 2006). The situation has barely improved since a 1994 UNICEF study, and the number of children affected remains the same (ibid.).


According to Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2005, the National Bureau for Minors (Servicio Nacional de Menores, SENAME) has 75 local offices and works with its local partners and with Chilean police forces (US 8 Mar. 2006). SENAME assesses children in vulnerable situations and refers them to appropriate organizations as defined by the law (Chile n.d.c). Law 20.032 of 25 July 2005 provides for the implementation of a network to meet the needs of children and adolescents and to protect their rights (Chile 2005, 1). SENAME provides reception centres for children, intervenes with families and offers training to the staff of the institutions it works with (Chile n.d.c). Among the reception facilities in place, SENAME has 244 centres with 11,128 places for children who have to be removed from their homes in accordance with a court order. (Chile n.d.d; see also Chile 2005, 5). It also offers various foster family programs, depending on the children's needs (ibid.).

Locally, Children's Rights Protection Offices (Oficinas de Proteccion de Derechos de la Infancia, OPD) help children access the assistance available in their community (Chile n.d.d; Chile 2005, 3). One front-line service is the Diagnostic Centre, where children who need to be evaluated or separated from their family can go pending the adoption of protection measures (Chile 2005, 4).

According to the Chilean government Web site [translation] "Simple Procedures" (Tramite facil), specialized police units respond to reports of crimes involving minors, whether they are victims or delinquents (Chile 26 Oct. 2005).

The Investigative Squad for Sex Offences and Crimes Involving Minors (Brigada de Delitos Sexuales y Menores, BRISEX) of the Investigative Police of Chile (Policia de Investigaciones de Chile) was initially created to work on crimes involving delinquent minors, but also investigates cases of disappearances and the kidnapping of minors, non-payment of alimony, and incitation to prostitution, among other offences (Chile n.d.a).

In addition, the Institute of Criminology (Instituto de Criminologia), part of the National Headquarters of Crimes Against the Family (Jefatura Nacional de Delitos contra la Familia, JENAFAM) of the Investigative Police of Chile, offers psychological, legal and social assistance to victims of sexual assault, particularly victims who are minors (Chile n.d.b). SENAME defends the rights of abused and mistreated children through its legal representation program (Chile 2005, 4).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Chile. 26 October 2005. "Amenaza y Vulneración de Derechos a Menores de Edad: Recepción de Menor de Edad y Denuncias por Infracción a la Ley." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2007]
_____ . 2005. Servicio Nacional de Menores (SENAME). Boletín estadístico anual de los niños (as) y adolescentes vigentes en la red SENAME. Año 2005. [Accessed 12 Feb. 2007]
_____ . N.d.a. Policia de Investigaciones de Chile. "Brigada Investigadora de Delitos Sexuales y Menores." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2007]
_____ . N.d.b. Policia de investigaciones de Chile. "Misión del INSCRIM." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2007]
_____ . N.d.c. Servicio Nacional de Menores (SENAME). "Prestaciones o Servicios de SENAME." [Accessed 26 Feb. 2007]
_____ . N.d.d. Servicio Nacional de Menores (SENAME). "Proteccion: Proteccion de Derechos." [Accessed 26 Feb. 2007]

Reuters. 27 September 2006. "Mas de la mitad de niños chilenos sufre violencia fisica: UNICEF." (Factiva)

United States (US). 8 March 2006. "Chile." Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2005. [Accessed 12 Feb. 2007]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: The Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights (CLADEM), Brigada de Delitos Sexuales y Menores, BRISEX of the Policia de Investigaciones de Chile and the Servicio Nacional de Menores (SENAME) did not respond to a request for information within the time constraints of this response.

Internet site, including: Carabineros de Chile, Factiva, Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas de Chile, Resource Center of the Americas.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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