The Center for Reproductive Rights submitted a shadow letter for the review of Ecuador to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) during its 47th Session in December 2011. The letter discusses the government of Ecuador’s failure to ensure freedom from sexual violence in educational institutions for adolescents and its ineffective and limited remedies for violations of this human right.
Sexual violence in schools directly violates a child’s rights to health, education, freedom from discrimination, freedom from torture, and reproductive and sexual freedom. All of these rights are enshrined in Ecuador’s own Constitution as well as the international treaties to which it is a party. Inadequate mechanisms for redress exacerbate the trauma that results from these incidences. The State’s failings stem from extensive barriers to reproductive rights. Women have limited access to emergency contraception. A near-blanket ban on abortion for victims of rape includes exceptions only if the victim is developmentally delayed or mentally ill. And the country’s legal system allows almost all reported crimes of sexual violence to go unpunished. These conditions are proof that Ecuador is not adhering to the principles outlined in the ICESCR and in its domestic law.