The country is on-track to achieving many of its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Targets. To date, the ones pertaining to extreme poverty, malnutrition, literacy, gender equality, births attended by health staff, protected areas, and consumption of chlorofluorocarbons have been reached. Despite this progress, important objectives related to protection of children and adolescents will not be reached by 2015.

Regarding the eradication of all forms of violence against children and women, the GoB has consolidated efforts for its prevention, strengthening the legal reform, improving the sanction system within the Judiciary and increasing the access to and quality of rehabilitation services. The enactment of Law 348 against violence in women, in March 2013, and the Integral law 263 against trafficking and smuggling and the approval of the Child and Adolescent Bill, in July 2014, are solid actions that show this commitment. Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice – the lead Ministry in child protection matters – took steps in strengthening its leadership; for example, in improving the analysis for data collection, drafting the National Action Plan for Children and Adolescents, revision of process for national and international adoption of children and adolescents, the reactivation of the national and Departmental Working Groups on Juvenile Justice, the institutionalization of child protection community promoters – particularly among indigenous population-, among others.

However, the allocation of national budgets for children and adolescents interventions continues to be a challenge as almost no progress could be witnessed during 2013, and still many programmes are depending on international aid. This contributes to not having updated or improved information and data on child protection issues. The main challenges in this area are: (1) the lack of specialized technical resources and specialized equipment, (2) the absence of a consolidated information system and (3) the very low allocation of national budget for child protection needs. Nevertheless, all involved sectors are aware of the need for information as a key step in influencing and changing policies and accompanying actions. Main efforts could be appreciated in the Prosecutor´s Office, the Police and the Municipal Children and Adolescent Defense Centres (DNA).

Nonetheless, there are scant data available on child labour, birth registration and violence. Women and particularly girls and adolescent gils remain the main victims of violence, whereby in 2008, 38 per cent of female partners were victims of physical, sexual and/or psychological violence in the home. According to a 2008 Child Labour survey, data show that 11% of children between the ages of 5 and 13 are involved in some form of labour activities, irrespective of gender. However, of those children in the same age group that do work, the participation of girls in domestic labour is higher than that of boys (83% and 77%, respectively) . Census data also indicate that 97% of the population was registered (as compared to 90% in 2001). Most recent data indicate that 53% of married female adolescents and youth (or in union) were victims of some form of violence by a partner or other person . Approximately 80% of children were victims of violent and denigrating discipline in households, 50 per cent of children engaged in bullying (victims, aggressors and witnesses); and 60 per cent of students were victims of violence perpetrated by their teachers.

Particularly regarding violence in schools, the Ministry of Education launched, in September 2013, the preliminary findings and its general conclusions of the survey that they conducted during 2012; despite this, the final report – with statistics and more detailed analysis- is still due to be public. In relation with domestic labour among children and adolescents, a study was conducted by the Ministry of Labour, with the support of ILO and BCO and the Academy (UMSA – Universidad Mayor de San Andres), which initial findings were publicly shared in December 2013.

At community level, there is still a need to work on changing traditional attitudes towards children and adolescents, that are not protective practices and that imply risks and make children victims of all forms of violence (physical, emotional and sexual), in particular among girls. For example, common use of corporal punishment as disciplinary measures or justification to have child labour at early ages.

In the country, as in the rest of America Latina, various strategies have been developed to improve protection of children and adolescents, but the existence of internal gaps reflects the need for higher impact evidence-based actions. In order to effectively steer policies directed at improving outcomes for Bolivian children, the GoB, through the technical assistance and institutional capacity building offered by UNICEF, needs the continued support and cooperation of international networks made up of the international donor community and the United Nations.

UNICEF in action

In order to achieve the following objectives: (1) Strengthening the Child and Adolescent Protection System; (2) Reduction of re-victimization and impunity towards violence against girls, boys, adolescents and women; (3) Reduction of Child and adolescent labour; and (4) Timely birth registration of new-borns,children, adolescents and women, UNICEF Bolivia focuses on the following key actions:

  • Strengthening of the intersectorial coordination among all the sectors and actors involved in the National and/or Local Child Protection System;
  • Implementation of the full Training Strategy on Children’s rights and Child Protection, at the national and local levels; including the Child Protection Community Promoters, among indigenous population and the Judiciary;
  • Dissemination of the tools developed for the attention and follow up on children and adolescent, victims of sexual abuse;
  • Support for the establishment of departmental working groups and specialized programs to promote alternative socio educative measures to detention for children in conflict with the law;
  • Design and development of Departmental Action Plans for Children and Adolescents, aligned with the National Action Plan, together with strong advocacy for the increase of allocation of public budget;
  • Advocacy and awareness-building work on the right to live within a family, promoting the non-separation from the family, family based alternative care as well as development of guidelines and standards for • institutionalized children;
  • Extension of timely birth registration interventions among remote populations, specially indigenous people and with the promotion of inter-sectorial cooperation to reduce the Birth Registration gap.
  • Strengthening the information system related to child protection while generating information about situation of children and adolescents affected by violence;
  • Improving technical institutional capacities of the National Child Protection System, with emphasis on the Departmental and municipal levels in order to contribute to the development and implementation of the Monitoring Results for Equity System (MoRES);
  • Continuing advocacy efforts, as well as technical assistance to strengthen the decentralization process, as well as the planning and management capabilities within the sector;
  • Documenting lessons learned to improve governance, services and resource allocation; including South to South Cooperation.

With human rights, gender- mainstreaming, trans-generational and equity as overarching approaches, the programme will take a mix of the above-mentioned key actions.

Additionally, UNICEF will use innovative strategies and models such as situation analyses for equity (using UNICEF’s Monitoring Results for Equity System) to better identify implementation constraints that should be removed in order to optimize expected outcomes.


Outcome: Children and adolescents, especially the most vulnerable are protected by an enhanced legal and policy framework (social welfare, law reform and justice system), and have access to child protection system, programmes and services (including timely birth registration) preventing and protecting them from violence, abuse and exploitation

Ouput 2.1.1: Families, communities and social organizations from prioritized geographical regions promote good treatment and report violent situations against children and adolescents

Output 2.1.2: Children and Adolescents victims of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect have access to institutionalized child protection services, with gender and intercultural approach, in prioritized geographical regions.

Output 2.1.3: National and sub national State Child Protection instances count with an improved legal framework and with strengthening of planning, coordination, implementation y monitoring capacities, within a child rights and equity framework

Output 2.1.4.: Boys, girls and adolescents in emergency situation, have access to child protection services and to psychosocial intervention.

Strategic Approach

In line with its Strategic Plan 2014-2017, UNICEF seeks to strengthen a combination of strategies in order to better achieve results for children: providing equitable delivery of interventions; increasing access to lifesaving and preventive interventions, including in humanitarian action; improving caregiver knowledge of high-impact interventions; improving the quality and use of data for making decisions; ensuring better integration of Children and Adolescent Protection Services with other services and interventions being provided to mothers, newborns and children; promoting policy dialogue and advocacy and communication for development; harboring innovative approaches; and strengthening partnerships at all levels.

Within the 2013-2017 Country Programme, and aiming at the achievement of the above-mentioned results, the strategic inter-sectorial approaches of the protection work of UNICEF within Bolivia include: improved and equitable prevention of and response to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children; strengthening of child protection systems; programming approaches that increasingly take into account the interplay between child protection systems and social norms; prevention of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect, including strengthening the protective capacities of families and communities; recognizing that child protection issues span the care, justice and civil registration domains; greater emphasis on the role of allied systems, such as health and education, in preventing and responding to child protection concerns; and, among others, invest in institutional competence and research on child protection, given the complexity of its issues and its centrality to the UNICEF mandate.

The overall strategic approach is based on equity principles including a social commitment to the vulnerable population living in rural areas. The strategy seeks to sustainably scale-up implementation initiatives to reach stronger results for children and adolescents.


Being able to partner effectively and efficiently to enhance results for children, based on the UNICEF comparative advantage and shared commitments to common principles and results, has never been more important. Strategic partnerships will continue to play a central role in advancing results for children with equity and UNICEF will continue its long-standing practice of building capacity through partnerships with national and local governments, civil society, academic institutions and the private sector, reducing the dependence of governments and other actors on development assistance over time.

The main partners supporting the Protection of Children and Adolescents Component of the Country Programme are:

  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Labour
  • Prosecutor´s Office
  • Municipal Children and Adolescent Defense Centres
  • Plurinational Public School for public servants
  • Ombudsman Office
  • The National Social Services Network (REDNAGES)
  • Social Services in the Departmental Level
  • Supreme Electoral Tribune (TSE) & Civil Registration Service (SERECI)
  • Municipal governments, bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies
  • Rural and indigenous community organizations
  • Global programme partnerships, will also continue to be a cornerstone of UNICEF programmatic engagement, advocacy and leveraging of funds.

Budget estimate

Strategic Lines of Action 2016 2017 Total
Promotion of good treatment to eradicate violent practices towards children and adolescents 970,000 530,000 1,500,000
Access to Child Protection services 980,000 520,000 1,500,000
Legal framework and strengthening of child protection system 550,000 200,000 750,000
Child Protection in Emergencies 260,000 130,000 390,000
Total $2,760,000 $1,380,000 $4,140,000