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Paraguay – Penal Code

Article 137 of the Paraguay Penal Code provides a lower penalty for sexual offences against adolescent girls between the ages of 14 – 16 than for rape of a child or a woman. This provision is known as an ‘estupro’ provision. Estupro provisions too often result in impunity for rapists when the victim is between 14 and 16 years old.

  • Country: Paraguay
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Rape

Sex discrimination in laws purporting to address violence, or silence on the issue within the law, can actually promote or perpetuate violence against women and girls because there is little to deter perpetrators from committing crimes or inadequate recourse for victims; intimate partner and sexual violence is disproportionately inflicted upon women and adolescent girls. 

The Law:

Article 137 of the Paraguay Penal Code provides a lower penalty for sexual offences against adolescent girls between the ages of 14 – 16 than for rape of a child or a woman. This provision is known as an ‘estupro’ provision. Estupro provisions too often result in impunity for rapists when the victim is between 14 and 16 years old. Such estupro provisions are common across many Latin American countries, including Bolivia as well as Paraguay below.

Article 137. (1) The man who persuaded a woman of fourteen to sixteen years of age to perform extramarital intercourse, will be punished with penalty of fine.

Note: Chapter III of the Constitution of Paraguay: Article 47. The State will guarantee to all inhabitants of the Republic: 1. Equality in access to justice, for which effect it will level the obstacles that would prevent it; 2. Equality before the laws … Article 48. Men and women have equal civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.

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