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Bolivia

Defending Children from Sexual Violence

The epidemic of sexual violence in Bolivia is devastating. In this relatively small country of 10 million people, where tens of thousands of sexual assaults against children occur every year, from 2000 to 2007, the criminal justice system convicted fewer than three perpetrators of child sexual assault per year.¹

Getting justice in court takes years; the process is complex, cumbersome and frequently derails. Sexual predators act with impunity. Young survivors of sexual violence who live in poverty have little hope of finding justice. Courts are backlogged and often lack effective case management processes. The few cases that move through the system can take years before reaching a sentence.

We are fighting to change this system and protect children from sexual violence.

Since December 2006, we have rescued more than 160 children and secured more than 120 convictions. Cases of sexual violence against children are 30 times more likely to reach a conviction if IJM is involved.

We have trained more than a thousand teachers and educators on how to identify and report sexual assault cases. They are now equipped to protect the more than 25,000 students they serve.

We have successfully advocated for trials to be concluded in as few as 18 days – a major step forward in a country where cases usually take years, if they reach any verdict at all.

The Bolivian government has invited us to train all government psychologists working with the Social Services Ministry to help ensure that children who survive sexual assault receive sensitive care through the justice system process.

Our Team in Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia

Field Office Director:
Mali Christy
Established: 2006
Focus: Sexual Violence

¹Haugen, Gary and Victor Boutros. The Locust Effect. Oxford University Press, 2014.

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