How the Defensor works to defend the rights of children and adolescents

Rights of the child

The office of the Defensor del Pueblo is an institutional guarantee of the fundamental rights of everyone, including children and adolescents. Its objective is that the rights of childhood and adolescence, provided for by our Constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, become a reality in Spain.

Our main role is to address the complaints raised by children or adults on incorrect or illegal actions by institutions and public authorities that have affected the rights of children or adolescents.

We receive these complaints through any of the following channels: Web Form (requires ID Number), email (does not require ID Number), by post, fax, or in person at our office (Calle Zurbano 42, Madrid 28010).

If, after investigating the complaint, it is upheld, the Defensor del Pueblo issues a resolution which will recommend that the relevant authority modifies its behaviour or takes measures to prevent a recurrence.

The most important resolutions in the field of the rights of children and adolescents can be found under the tab entitled “Recommendations, suggestions and other significant activities”.

The Office of the Defensor del Pueblo also acts on its own initiative if it learns of actions or activities in which human rights may be being breached. These are referred to as “ex-officio activities”. As part of these activities, Recommendations and Suggestions are also made to Public Authorities.
In addition, the Defensor del Pueblo visits centres and services that provide health care, education, protection, etc. for children and adolescents.

Each year, the Defensor del Pueblo sends a report to the Spanish Parliament, giving an account of their activities, and reporting on any serious and important irregularities affecting fundamental rights that have been committed by Public Authorities. Click on annual reports.

Another of the Defensor del Pueblo’s activities is to prepare reports and case studies of situations in which human rights may be at risk. The Defensor del Pueblo takes the same action when it is a question of the rights of children and adolescents. The reports and monographic studies that relate to the rights of the child can be found under the tab for Reports and Monographic Studies on the rights of children and adolescents.