Chapter 7

Family, Children, Adolescents and the Elderly Icon

November 20, 2021

Article 226. The family, which is the foundation of society, shall enjoy special protection from the State.

Paragraph 1. Marriage is civil and the marriage ceremony is free of charge.

Paragraph 2. Religious marriage has civil effects, in accordance with the law.

Paragraph 3. For purposes of protection by the State, the stable union between a man and a woman is recognized as a family entity, and the law shall facilitate the conversion of such entity into marriage.

Paragraph 4. The community formed by either parent and their descendants is also considered as a family entity.

Paragraph 5. The rights and the duties of marital society shall be exercised equally by the man and the woman.

Paragraph 6. Civil marriage may be dissolved by divorce, after prior legal separation for more than one year in the cases set forth by law, or after two years of proven de facto separation.

Paragraph 7. Based on the principles of human dignity and responsible parenthood, family planning is a free choice of the couple, it being within the competence of the State to provide educational and scientific resources for the exercise of this right, any coercion by official or private agencies being forbidden.

Paragraph 8. The State shall ensure assistance to the family in the person of each of its members, creating mechanisms to suppress violence within the family.

Article 227. It is the duty of the family, the society and the State to ensure children and adolescents, with absolute priority, the right to life, health, nourishment, education, leisure, professional training, culture, dignity, respect, freedom and family and community life, as well as to guard them from all forms of negligence, discrimination, exploitation, violence, cruelty and oppression.

Paragraph 1. The State shall promote full health assistance programmes for children and adolescents, the participation of non-governmental entities being allowed, and with due regard to the following precepts:

  1. allocation of a percentage of public health care funds to mother and child assistance
  2. creation of preventive and specialized care programmes for the physically, sensorially or mentally handicapped, as well as programmes for the social integration of handicapped adolescents, by means of training for a profession and for community life, and by means of facilitating the access to communal facilities and services, by eliminating prejudices and architectonic obstacles.

Paragraph 2. The law shall regulate construction standards for public sites and buildings and for the manufacturing of public transportation vehicles, in order to ensure adequate access to the handicapped.

Paragraph 3. The right to special protection shall include the following aspects:

  1. minimum age of fourteen years for admission to work, with due regard to the provisions of article 7, XXXIII;
  2. guarantee of social security and labour rights;
  3. guarantee of access to school for the adolescent worker;
  4. guarantee of full and formal knowledge of the determination of an offense, equal rights in the procedural relationships and technical defense by a qualified professional, in accordance with the provisions of the specific protection legislation;
  5. compliance with the principles of brevity, exceptionality and respect to the peculiar conditions of the developing person, when applying any measures that restrain freedom;
  6. Government fostering, by means of legal assistance, tax incentives and subsidies, as provided by law, of the protection, through guardianship, of orphaned or abandoned children or adolescents;
  7. prevention and specialized assistance programmes for children and adolescents addicted to narcotics or related drugs.

Paragraph 4. The law shall severely punish abuse, violence and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

Paragraph 5. Adoption shall be assisted by the Government, as provided by law, which shall establish cases and conditions for adoption by foreigners.

Paragraph 6. Children born inside or outside wedlock or adopted shall have the same rights and qualifications, any discriminatory designation of their filiation being forbidden.

Paragraph 7. In attending to the rights of children and adolescents, the provisions of article 204 shall be taken into consideration.

Article 228. Minors under eighteen years of age may not be held criminally liable and shall be subject to the rules of the special legislation.

Article 229. It is the duty of parents to assist, raise and educate their under-age children and it is the duty of children of age to help and assist their parents in old- age, need or sickness.

Article 230. It is the duty of the family, society and the State, to assist the elderly, ensuring their participation in the community, defending their dignity and well-being and guaranteeing their right to life.

Paragraph 1. Assistance programmes for the elderly shall be carried out preferably within their homes.

Paragraph 2. Those over sixty-five years of age are guaranteed free urban public transportation.

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