Practice Relating to Rule 105. Respect for Family Life
El Salvador’s Human Rights Charter of the Armed Forces recalls: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes … the protection of the family”.
El Salvador’s Decree Creating the Commission for Tracing Missing Children (2004) states:
The President of the Republic of El Salvador
ii) That because of the internal armed conflict which El Salvador experienced for more than twelve years, children have become involuntarily separated from their relatives;
iii) That family reunification and reestablishing the identity of these minors constitute a right …
By using its constitutional powers,
1. The establishment of the Inter-institutional Commission for Tracing Children who Disappeared as a Result of the Armed Conflict in El Salvador … which has the objective to collaborate with the public institutions involved with or in charge of the protection of children in the search for the children who have become involuntarily separated from their families, and to further the reunification with their close relatives based on the best interests of the child.
El Salvador’s Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children (2010) states:
Art. 1.- The National Commission for Tracing Girls and Boys Missing during the Internal Armed Conflict, which will be referred to as “Commission” or “Tracing Commission” hereinafter.
Art. 2.- The Commission shall have as its main objective … to promote the reunion [of girls and boys that went missing] with their families, with all due respect to the dignity of victims.
Art. 3.- The Commission shall have the mandate to:
e) Seek to guarantee the restitution of family relations between the person that as a boy or girl was subject to a disappearance, and his or her biological relatives.
In 2002, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, El Salvador stated: “By 1996 a total of 323 children had been recorded as having disappeared as a result of the armed conflict. Of the 29 children who had been traced, 22 had been reunited with their families.”
In 2003, during the consideration of the third periodic report of El Salvador before the Human Rights Committee, a representative of El Salvador stated:
[T]he Asociación Pro-búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos [Association for the Tracing of Disappeared Children] … submitted preliminary draft legislation to Parliament in 1999 for the establishment of a national commission to investigate the disappearance of children during the armed conflict and to identify those responsible. The Family Committee of the Legislative Assembly … [took] steps to obtain a cross-section of views of civil society on the matter. An advisory forum … [was] established but its findings … failed to secure the requisite support in the Legislative Assembly for the association’s proposal. An agenda for action … [was] drawn up for the Office of the Procurator-General but it contained no new proposals. The association … therefore opted to continue with its own work, which had enabled many children to be reunited with their families. In 1999, the Ministry of Internal Affairs … recognized it as a legally constituted organization. State institutions … assisted in the investigation of specific cases, maintaining contacts and holding meetings with representatives of the association. Two cases of disappeared children … [were] considered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The hearings … [were] attended by representatives of the State and the association, and measures that might be taken to resolve the cases … [were] discussed. The principal investigating body was the Office of the Attorney-General. Some 200 missing young people … [have] been found and the State … [has] taken steps to establish their identity and promote family reunification. No decision … [has] been taken to date on the creation of a compensation fund for young people who … [have] been found.