Update to URY37420.E of 19 July 2001 on whether domestic violence legislation has been adopted and implemented; whether there have been any improvements to the Law of Public Security of July 1995 in relation to domestic violence; whether Women's Police Stations are effective in addressing domestic violence and the protection of victims (2002) [URY40572.E]

In a report released on 23 November 2002, CLADEM Uruguay stated that Law 17.514, also known as the Law on Domestic Violence (Ley de Violencia Domestica), was approved by the National Parliament on 2 July 2002. According to CLADEM Uruguay, the Law on Domestic Violence should provide a number of protective measures for victims of domestic violence:

1) The existence of a definition of domestic violence will allow women and state officials (judges, attorneys, lawyers, police, etc.) to know what domestic violence means and what are its manifestations, be they physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or "patrimonial" (patrimonial).
2) Women will know who they can turn to for assistance and who will be obligated to follow-up on their case.
3) Women will understand which concrete measures they can demand and obtain.
4) Women will have the right to obligatory legal assistance.
5) Women will have the possibility of resorting to different [legal] routes: civil, criminal, or juvenile (de menores).
6) The state will be forced to adopt measures to prevent, sanction and eradicate domestic violence, and to promote the integral support of the victim. Therefore, it is possible that under the law, each health, education, legal or police program, in short all [programs] that represent the interests of the inhabitants of the Republic, will have to be improved to include measures and provisions [on the prevention of domestic violence]. How long will [victims of domestic violence] have to wait to benefit from these improvements? This question can only be answered by evaluating how the law will work in practice (23 Nov. 2002).

With regard to the implementation of the Law on Domestic Violence, an article of 26 November 2002 in El Pais reported the launch of the National Consultative Council Against Domestic Violence (Consejo Nacional Consultivo de Lucha contra la Violencia Domestica). The Council was created under Law 17.514 [Law on Domestic Violence] and is a coalition of representatives from diverse state institutions functioning under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education and Culture (El Pais 26 Nov. 2002). The Council had yet to set up operating procedures and establish work priorities, but Graciela Lopez, a representative of the Ministry of the Interior, stated that she would like to see the implementation of preventative educational programs aimed at school children (ibid.).

In a follow-up article of 30 November 2002, El Pais reported that a "decalogue" (decalogo) to be used to guide police conduct in domestic violence cases was unveiled before a number of police officers, representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, and British Ambassador John Everad. This decalogue, put together by psychologist and inspecting commissioner Cristina Dominguez, tries to "throw some light" (arrojar algo de luz) on the complex phenomenon of domestic violence (El Pais 30 Nov. 2002).

Designed to serve as a practical guide for police officers, the decalogue is intended to provide information on all aspects of domestic violence, such as effective legislation in the matter, the most common characteristics that surround an incident of this type, how to deal with a victim, how to make a quick analysis of the situation, and how to diminish the risks (ibid.).

Information on whether there have been any improvements to the Law of Public Security of July 1995 in relation to domestic violence further to that found in URY37420.E of 19 July 2001 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, statistics of 2001 reported that 66 homicides (41 women and 25 men) in Uruguay were attributed to a situation of domestic violence (CLADEM Uruguay 23 Nov. 2002).

With regard to whether Women's Police Stations are effective in addressing domestic violence and the protection of victims, no further information to that provided in URY39340.E of 9 October 2002 could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Please refer to Country Reports 2001 (2002, Section 5) for more information about the situation of women in Uruguay at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2001/wha/8231.htm.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


CLADEM Uruguay. 23 November 2002. Dossier de Violencia Domestica. http://www.cladem.org/uru7.doc [Accessed 16 Jan. 2003]

El Pais [Montevideo]. 30 November 2002. "Precisas instrucciones para actuar en violencia familiar." http://www.diarioelpais.com/02/11/30/pciuda_21471.asp [Accessed 16 Jan. 2003]

_____. 26 November 2003. "Inician acciones contra la violencia." http://www.diarioelpais.com/02/11/26/pnacio_20943.asp [Accessed 16 Jan. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases

Unsuccessful attempts to contact the National Commission of Uruguayan Women (Comision Nacional de Mujeres Uruguayas)

World News Connection (WNC)

Internet sites:

Amnesty International (AI)

Comision Interamericana de Mujeres

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Fempress [Santiago]

Mujeres en Red: Uruguay

Radio El Espectador [Montevideo]

Social Watch


Uruguay, Direccion Nacional de Prevencion de Delito

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