Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived from one’s parents. When a child does not acquire the parents’ nationality, the government may grant it.
Child Abuse: As of August the Observatory against Domestic and Gender Violence registered the killing of one child. In addition, 517,000 children were victims of mistreatment within the context of gender violence. By August gender violence orphaned 24 children. In 2013 the NGOs answered 414,722 telephone calls from children/adolescents; 37.9 percent of the calls had to do with physical/psychological mistreatment or violence. According to the NGO Foundation for Children and Youths at Risk, mistreatment of children and adolescents increased, compared with 2012. The NGO received 424,171 telephone calls reporting child violence, compared with 324,643 in 2012.
In August the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) publicly condemned the government for not providing protection, prosecution, or compensation to Angela Gonzalez after her former partner killed her seven-year-old daughter, Andrea, in 2004. The CEDAW ruling required the government to compensate Gonzalez “properly and fully,” investigate the institutional weaknesses exposed by the case, and take adequate and effective measures to ensure a history of violence is taken into account when establishing custodial rights. The ruling also required the government to reinforce mandatory gender-based violence training for judges and relevant administrative staff and report to CEDAW within six months on the actions taken. The committee also noted discrimination and gender stereotyping by judges, prosecutors, social workers, and others who made protection of women and children difficult.
Early and Forced Marriage: The minimum age of marriage is 16 years for minors living on their own. In 2013 a total of 77 persons under the age of 18 married (60 girls and 17 boys); none of them was under 15. These marriages were 0.02 percent of all marriages that year.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): The law prohibits FGM/C, authorizes courts to prosecute cases even if the crime occurred outside the country, and it provides that parents who subject their children to FGM/C risk losing custody. In May 2013 the provincial court of Barcelona sentenced a Gambian couple residing in Vilanova i la Geltru to 12 years in prison for performing FGM/C on their two daughters ages six and 11 years. In May the Supreme Court confirmed the sentence.
According to the Wassu Foundation, an NGO dedicated to the study and prevention of FGM/C, in 2013 approximately 16,869 girls under the age of 14 in the country, of whom 6,182 resided in Catalonia, had roots in countries where FGM/C is practiced.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law criminalizes the “abuse and sexual attack of minors” under the age of 13. The penalty for sexual abuse and assault of children under the age of 13 is imprisonment from two to 15 years, depending on the nature of the crime. Individuals who contact children under the age of 13 through the internet for the purpose of sexual exploitation face imprisonment of one to three years.
The minimum age for consensual sex in the country is 13. If deceit is used to gain the consent of a minor under the age of 16, an individual can be charged upon parental complaint. The law specifically provides for imprisonment for one to two years or an equivalent fine for an individual who, by use of deceit, commits sexual abuse against a person over the age of 13 but younger than 16. The law defines nonconsensual sexual abuse as sexual acts committed against persons under 13 years, and it provides from four to six years in jail.
Penalties for recruiting children or persons with disabilities into prostitution are imprisonment from one to five years. If the child is under the age of 13, the term of imprisonment is four to six years. The same sentence applies to those who seek to victimize children through prostitution. The penalty for pimping children into prostitution is imprisonment from four to six years. If the minor is under 13, the term of imprisonment is five to 10 years.
Trafficking of teenage girls for commercial sexual exploitation remained a problem. Although trafficked women traditionally were 18 to 25 years of age, the government identified 12 child victims in the first half of 2013.
The law prohibits child pornography. The penal code criminalizes both using a minor “to prepare any type of pornographic material” and producing, selling, distributing, displaying, or facilitating the production, sale, dissemination, or exhibition of “any type” of child pornography by “any means.” The penalty for recruiting children or persons with disabilities for child pornography is one to five years’ imprisonment; if the child is under the age of 13, imprisonment is five to nine years. Knowingly possessing child pornography also is penalized, carrying a potential prison sentence of up to one year. The penalty for the production, sale, or distribution of pornography in which a child under 18 years of age was involved is imprisonment from one to four years or up to eight years if the child is under 13.
In July the Supreme Court confirmed a 29-year prison sentence of an engineer for child pornography and sexual abuse of minors. In June a court imposed a three-year prison term on a member of the National Police for distributing child pornographic material through the internet.
International Child Abductions: The country is a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. For country-specific information see travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/english/country/spain.html.