Children and Youth Protection in Spain
- Up to which age is one regarded as a child and young person respectively?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in public places?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in restaurants or dance halls / ballrooms?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in night clubs, bars, casinos, places for gambling etc.?
- Is it allowed to sell spirits to children/teens?
- Which restrictions are there for children/teens to visit public film screenings?
- Are children/teens allowed to smoke in public?
- Is it allowed for children/teens to go to internet café?
- Which restrictions are there about carrying knifes, martial arts equipment, weapons?
- Which regulations are there concerning sexual relations with children/teens?
- Which restrictions are there if foreign young people want to work temporarily?
- To which institutions can children/teens turn to if they need help?
- Useful internet sites about youth protection
- More information
Under Spanish law a person under 18 is considered as a child and always has all the protection derived from its status as a minor. A young person in Spain is between 15 and 24 years, persons aged 15 to 17 are children and young people, and 18 to 24 are young but already adults. The condition of young person is more a social category that a legal status, unlike the minor’s condition.
there is no legal prohibition for unaccompanied children in public places like
streets, parks, squares, etc.
If children are very young and someone notes that they are alone too long without seeing any adult who takes over, or children, although older, are unaccompanied during school time or late at night, the police may intervene to locate the parents or to address to public social services. The legislation covers only the existence of a offense if it is found that the adults responsible for children have been abandoned or not cared for properly, but the children are alone in the street is not in most cases a sufficient indicator to qualify the abandonment. Local governments can, if they want, ban unaccompanied children being in the streets after certain hours at night.
A child may well be unaccompanied in a restaurant. The restaurant managers only suspect that something may go wrong if the child is very young, or during school time, or late at night, or if child look is suspecting, and then will alert police. People under 18 cannot access alone to areas reserved for smokers in restaurants and bars. In some regions cannot access these areas even if accompanied by their responsible adults.
Many dance halls do not allow entry to children under 18, especially at night. Some dance halls allow access at night after 16 years. There are also special ballrooms just for teens from 14 to 18 years not serving spirits and not allowing smoking, and that only work in the evenings. Children can come to adult dance halls if accompanied by their parents or legal guardians demonstrating that, under his responsibility, and in any case where the establishment's activities do not cause harm in their physical, psychological and moral.
Night Clubs, Bars:
The law expressly prohibits the entry of persons under 18 years in nightclubs and similar establishments at night time, including theatres, night cinemas, television shows, etc. Children can come if accompanied by their parents or legal guardians demonstrating that, under his responsibility, and in any case where the establishment's activities do not cause harm in their physical, psychological and moral.
Spanish law does not allow children and young people under 18 years being in that kind of places. If parents or legal guardians will allow children (or even accompany themselves) can commit a crime and may lose guardianship. Examples of dangerous places covered by Spanish law can include: places where drugs are distributed or consumed, areas with pornographic or violent performances, problem areas with high crime, prostitution areas, places with high health risk, gambling places, etc.
Places for gambling:
Spanish Law do not allow this for people under 18 years.
Nobody can sell spirits to people under 18. Law also prohibits consume, but some parents or legal guardians consent it by social convention in some Regions and authorities sometimes turn a blind eye.
establishes five categories of films:
suitable for everyone, PG-7, PG-12,
PG-16, suitable only for adults.
These categories also apply for television programs and films. Cinemas must prohibit entrance to children alone if they are under recommended age, but permit entrance to children accompanied by parents or legal guardians.
Spanish Law prohibits sell tobacco to children under 18 years. In addition, there are general bans on smoking in many public places.
Internet cafes allow entry of all users without age restrictions. Children can come alone or with no problem. No clear standards governing the operation of these establishments exist, although in some Regions it is recommended that separate areas for children and adult areas, and that computers have some control software to prevent minors accessing harmful content or who are victims of grooming.
Spanish arms law is very restrictive. Minors can not possess or use them, although children over 16 may possess shotguns if they have previously applied for a license. These are small-calibre guns, and must have the authorization of parents or legal guardians. We could not find information about carrying knifes and martial arts equipment.
Children under 13 cannot have sex, and if the adult is with them is a
crime. Children over 13 can have sex with other children and youth under age.
They can also have sex with adults if they are with their consent and there is
no violence or deceit. But in any case cannot participate in pornographic acts
or engage in prostitution.
Children under 16 cannot legally work in Spain, even
if they are foreigners. People over 16 and under 18 need permission from their
parents or legal guardians.
As mentioned at the beginning, each Autonomous Community has its own system of protection of children, and in some Regions there are toll free direct support, but not all. Here is a list of phone numbers for each Autonomous Community:
·Andalucía: Teléfono de Notificación de Situaciones de Maltrato Infantil (900 851 818)
·Aragón: Instituto Aragonés de Servicios Sociales (976 715 602)
·Asturias: Teléfono del Menor (900 20 20 10)
·Cantabria: Dirección General de Servicios Sociales (942 20 77 76)
·Castilla – La Mancha: Dirección General de la Familia (925 28 70 96)
·Castilla y León: Dirección General de Familia (983 410 989)
·Catalunya: Telèfon Infància Respon (900 300 777)
·Ceuta: Servicios Sociales (956 504 652)
·Comunidad Valenciana: Direcció General de Família (963 428 500)
·Extremadura: Teléfono de Ayuda a la Infancia y a la Adolescencia (900 20 20 10)
·Galicia: Telefono do Neno (112)
·Illes Balears: Servei de Menors (971 17 74 00)
·Islas Canarias: Dirección General de Protección del Menor y la Familia (922 47 45 22 / 928 30 62 00)
·La Rioja: Dirección General de Política Social (941 291 829)
·Madrid: Instituto Madrileño del Menor y la Familia (91 580 34 64)
·Melilla: Fundación ANAR (900 20 20 10)
·Murcia: Dirección General de Familia y Menor (968 36 20 81)
·Navarra: Dirección General de Familia, Infancia y Consumo (948 292 952)
·País Vasco: Atención telefónica ZUZENEAN (012)
The general emergency phone number is 112, the fire department, the number 085th
The police is available 24 hours a day at number 091
Calle Fortuny 8
phone: + 34 91 55790 00
fax: +34 91 31021 04
Emergency phone: 0034 91 557 9000
Spanish Constitution is
available (in Spanish)
A map with Spanish territorial organization in Autonomous Communities (in Spanish) is available in: http://www.la-moncloa.es/Espana/ElEstado/OrganizacionTerritorial/default.htm. This page provides also links to all Autonomous Governments websites.
APRODEF(Children and Youth Rights Promoting and Defending Association): www.aprodef.org
Federación de Asociaciones para la Prevención del Maltrato Infantil (FAPMI): www.fapmi.es
Generalitat de Catalunya – Departament d’Acció Social i Ciutadania: www.gencat.cat/dasc
Ministerio de Sanidad y Política y Social: www.msps.es
Observatorio de la Infancia de Andalucía: www.juntadeandalucia.es/observatoriodelainfancia/oia/esp/index.aspx
Observatorio de la Infancia de España: www.observatoriodelainfancia.msps.es/
Save the Children España: www.savethechildren.es
UNICEF – Comité Español: www.unicef.es
Spain is not formally a Federal State, but the Constitution organises the country into 19 Autonomous Communities (17 Regions and 2 Autonomous Cities), each with different laws and regulations in many aspects, particularly social services, education, health, and policies for families and children. The Central Government based in Madrid in general makes legislation in many matters throughout the country, but after each Autonomous Community autonomously apply legislation and sets policies and regulations for its own territory. For this reason many of the regulations mentioned in this questionnaire may experience minor variations by Region. http://www.aprodef.org/redir/child-laws
APRODEF - Children and Youth Rights Promoting and Defending Association (06/2010)
For the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information we can not guarantee.