Juvenile Justice in Guatemala - BICE - ONG de protection des droits de l'enfant

Juvenile Justice in Guatemala

In Guatemala, juvenile justice is governed by the 2003 Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents. It sets out the following: The age of criminal responsibility is set at 13 years of age (as in France) Socio-educational measures must be applied, in collaboration with the family and specialized professionals Since 2003, a programme of assisted liberty has been set up in five regions of the country by the Department of Social Welfare.



BICE acts for restorative justice

In Guatemala, BICE works in partnership with the ICCPG (Institute for Comparative Studies in Criminal Science of Guatemala).

The Childhood without bars programme supports the policy implemented by the National Plan for Childhood and Adolescence in Guatemala, which aims to improve the socio-familial reintegration of children in conflict with the law.

On the one hand, non-custodial sanctions have been set up by the Department of Social Welfare and the Institute for Public Defense.

On the other hand, a programme is specifically aimed at indigenous youths who have committed an offense.


  • Workshops to help adolescents in custody and children in open detention centres to prepare their future
  • Training for members of the judiciary on restorative practices within the juvenile justice system
  • Training on children’s rights for public defenders
  • Workshops with multi-disciplinary professionnals on support for children in conflict with the law
  • Workshops on positive parenting, with the families of children in closed or open detention centres
  • Study on the legal and institutional aspects of juvenile justice, in particular on restorative justice
  • Evaluation of the impact of information disclosed via the media on public opinion
  • Workshops and a conference with media professionnals on children’s rights
  • Organisation of an awareness campaign “Include me” with three groups of children in conflict with the law

Key figures per year

  • 170 adolescents in conflict with the law
  • 550 members of the family circle of minors (parents, tutors, communities…)
  • 60 persons involved in the juvenile justice system (judges, personnel, judicial police…)
  • 60 social workers from closed detention centres
  • 50 members of the media informed on juvenile justice (radios, TV, written press…)

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