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Consulta pública

Código de Proteção Integral da Criança


A single consolidated and harmonious legal instrument

Unlike other countries, such as Portugal, which have different laws and diplomas to regulate matters relating to child protection, the option in Guinea-Bissau was to consolidate the most important norms in a single Code. This follows the example of Brazil   and Cape Verde, among other countries.

The CPIC incorporates national legislation that aims to respond to the needs of preventing the violation of children's rights, as well as the promotion and protection of children, with a view to their integral development in a coherent, systematic, and up-to-date manner.

Doctrine of comprehensive child protection

The CPIC adopts the doctrine of the integral protection of the child, breaking with a minorist vision, which sees children as “minor” beings, and starting to see them as people in development, subjects of rights.

This new vision establishes a new paradigm, based on the recognition of the right to full and harmonious development in a dignified family environment with a view to its integral development.

A consequence of this doctrine is the adoption by the CPIC of the concept of a child rather than a minor. Thus, it breaks with an old Portuguese tradition, still embraced in the Guinean Civil Code, as it understands that terminology and/or language can have an impact (negative or positive) on the systems.

Preference for prevention

The CPIC intends to reinforce the importance of prevention, in addition to the need to promote and protect the rights of the child, contrary to a trend that has been observed in some countries, to primarily address protection ( after the problem has occurred) to the detriment of prevention mechanisms ( before any problem occurs and so that it does not occur ). Thus, the CPIC opts for a less reactive and more proactive approach, aiming to reinforce the need and mechanisms for preventing the violation of children's rights.

A single child concept

The Code's option of establishing the age of majority at 18 years and adopting a single concept of child, instead of several concepts, such as children and adolescents or children and young people, as we see happening in other legal systems. Despite long discussions on the matter during the preparatory work on the code, the main reason for this option is the fact that the Code does not initially distinguish rules that apply specifically to different age groups within the concept of child: so, where there is no reason to distinguish the legal distinction has not been made.


Holistic and systemic approach

The Code takes a holistic approach to the protection of children, viewing them as a subject of developing rights that must be considered in all their areas, needs and strengths. This approach treats the child according to their integral needs and not according to a single category or “problem” (eg child victim of trafficking versus child victim of FGM – both are children in need of protection and should be seen as one whole).

This approach supports the child based on a comprehensive assessment from the beginning of the child's contact with the system through to the phase of follow-up and successful integration into the community, in a long-term perspective. The Code establishes a systemic approach to protection, which considers the child at the center of the protection system and its connection to the various levels of their protective environment in the various areas of social intervention (health, education, justice, etc.). including the need for multidisciplinary coordination.

Child sensitive justice

The Code enshrines a child-sensitive justice and protection system that makes the rights and protection of the child a priority, taking into account all of the child's needs, including their special needs, their development and their individual opinions. This system aims to protect, in particular, the child from any difficulties during the protection and justice processes, creating favorable environments, and encouraging actors to act in a sensitive and respectful manner. It also provides rules to ensure adequate and specific assistance to the child from the first contact with the system and throughout the process and to avoid delays and unnecessary actions.

Child Protection Code

  • Part I - General provisions, principles and prevention

  • Part II - Children's Rights

  • Part III - Child Protection System

  • Part IV - Provisions common to children in contact with the law

  • Part V - Protection procedures and processes

  • Part VI - Children in conflict with the law

  • Part VII -  Adoption and Sponsorship

  • Part VIII - Tutelary civil proceedings


Part I

General provisions, principles and prevention

  • General provisions

  • Child concept

  • Principles

  • Prevention

  • Specialization

  • Training

Part III

Child protection system

  • Child Protection Actors

  • Child protection structures:

    • Coordination structures:​

      • National Child Protection Commission​

      • Regional Child Protection Forum

    • Operational Protection Structures:

      • IMC

      • Regional protection team

      • Local protection team

  • Jurisdiction of the child​

  • Specialized Police

  • Social workers

Part V

Child Protection Process and Measures

  • Intervention for the protection of the child

  • Urgent processes

  • Protection measures:

    • Family support​

    • Support for a family member or a suitable person

    • Support for life autonomy

    • Host family

    • Residential care

  • Protection procedure:​

    • Signaling​

    • Assessment

    • Individual plan and protection agreement

    • Review and termination of the measure

  • Protection process

Part VII

Adoption and Sponsorship

  • General provisions and principles

  • Requirements for adoption

  • Types of adoption

  • Adoption Effects

  • Intervention of competent authorities in national adoption

  • ​Intervention within the scope of international adoption

  • adoption process

    • National adoption process​

      • Processing of the adoption process​

        • Preparatory phase​

        • Compatibility Analysis Phase

        • Final Phase - Legal Adoption Process

        • post-adoption phase

      • International adoption process

      • Recognition of international adoption decisions​

  • Civil sponsorship​

Part II

Rights of the child

  • Rights and Responsibilities of the Child

  • Health

  • Education

  • Child Labor

  • Protection of disabled children

Part IV

Provisions applicable to children in contact with the law

  • Child sensitive process

  • Hearing, participation and information

  • Simplification and speed

  • Individualization

  • Assistance (legal / other types of assistance)

  • Defense and Appeal

  • Safety

  • Repair

  • Case manager

  • Support person

  • Medical exams

  • Common procedural provisions

  • Adapting the process to the child

  • Social report

  • Confidentiality and Publicity

Part VI

Child in conflict with the law

  • Principles applicable to children in conflict with the law

  • Educational measures

  • Temporary detention and flagrant offense

  • Socio-educational procedure:​

    • Identification and first contact​

    • Assessment

    • Diversion

    • restorative processes

    • Socio-educational plan and agreement

    • Review and termination of the measure

  • Judicial process

  • Rehabilitation and Integration


  • General provisions

  • Procedural provisions common to tutelary civil proceedings

  • Processing

  • Special processes:

    • Regulation of the exercise of parental responsibilities and resolution of related issues​

    • Food due to child

    • Child judicial delivery

    • Inhibition and limitations on exercising parental responsibilities

    • Unofficial investigation of maternity or paternity

Examples of the outdated legal framework prior to the Comprehensive Child Protection Code (CPIC):

  1. The Legal Assistance Statute for Overseas Minors , approved by Decree No. 417/71, of September 29, enshrined in the domestic legal system a regime for the protection of minors, ensuring the adoption of protectionist measures to promote and protect their rights and interests in criminal and civil proceedings. This diploma presupposed an immediate state intervention to recognize the child as a subject of rights, as well as an outdated language and solutions. The Code intends to review this outdated perspective, adopting a more holistic conception of protection, with a special focus on prevention, the involvement of other actors in the protection system, including civil society organizations and traditional power, and not forgetting the fundamental role attributed to the family and community

  2. The Civil Code of 1966, as a fundamental law in matters of family law, constitutes an archaic legal regulation with a patriarchal and/or paternalistic bent, given the profound ideological and societal transformations that, however, occurred in Guinean society and in the legal system itself. after the entry into force of the Constitution. The Children's Law has been the object of great attention by international legal instruments. The concern for respect and protection of the family is highlighted, as a structuring element of society and an essential means for the development and well-being of all its members, and in particular of children, but also a more democratic view of the family, recognizing spaces for self-assertion and freedom for members of the family group. There are new values ​​established by ratified international instruments, reflecting a new mentality for the right of the family and minors, based on the principles of equality between parents and a focus on protecting the development of children, which in turn imposes its emerging constitutional positivization in the domestic legal order.

  3. The Penal Code has serious and relevant gaps with regard to the protection of children against certain types of crime. Particularly important is the inadequacy of the penal type “abuse of minors” (Article 134), for having a semi-public nature (Article 138) and for implying that a 12-year-old child can give informed consent to the practice of sexual relations.

  4. Finally, relevant gaps in the legal system such as the absence of a regulation that sanctions violence against children in the school environment , which is systematic, with worrying rates. On the other hand, in a fragile socio-economic context, there are still numerous cases of child labor in inhumane conditions and exposure to serious dangers for the child's physical, psychological and intellectual development, and the current legislation is insufficient to regulate.

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