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MARCH 8, 2021

President Piñera commemorates International Women’s Day and announces law for child support debtors

The initiative seeks to streamline the recovery of child support debt through measures such as retaining funds from loans and payments for services provided, from income via legal enforcement and from tax refunds. In addition, driver’s licenses and passports will not be issued to such individuals.

President of Chile Sebastián Piñera and First Lady Cecilia Morel led the commemoration of International Women’s Day on Monday. During the event, the President signed a bill to streamline the recovery of child support debt.

The main goal of the bill that we submitted to Congress today is to facilitate child support payments and make life more difficult for parents who wish to continue to shirk their obligations,” President Piñera said at the event, which was held at the La Reina Comprehensive Women's Care Center. He was accompanied by Women and Gender Equity Minister Mónica Zalaquett and Justice Minister Hernán Larraín.

The initiative seeks to streamline the recovery of child support debt through measures such as retaining funds from loans and payments for services provided - in the case of people who supply the State -, from income via legal enforcement and from tax refunds. It also prohibits such individuals from being issued a driver’s license or passport unless they can prove that they require them.

The bill would create the National Child Support Debtors Register, a list managed by the Civil Registry Service that can be consulted by anyone with a legitimate interest, that is, the debtors, their children or their legal representatives and individuals and entities required to consult it.

The Register will contain a list of all individuals who are legally obligated to pay child support and owe some or all of at least three consecutive payments or five non-consecutive payments.

This is not a cause that is only of interest to the government or to the opposition. It is not a question of left-wing or right-wing, much less a struggle between men and women. This is an important, urgent and worthwhile cause that should be shared by all men and women of goodwill,” President Piñera remarked.

During the ceremony, the First Lady, who also leads the “Adulto Mejor” (aging better) program, paid tribute to the women of Chile: “A civilized society cannot lack equality of rights, much less equality of voice for all women. Nor can a society be considered civilized if it continues to have unacceptable levels of violence against women. I would like to honor our women: they have been hit hard by this pandemic, but they have kept going in spite of it all, especially our older adult women. This is a sector of the population that concerns me and with which I work a great deal. They have also had to suffer isolation during this pandemic. I want to tell them that we are working hard to include them even more in our society, so that the contribution that they’ve made and continue to make to our country continues. I pay tribute to them.”

During the event, President Piñera and First Lady Morel inaugurated the Comprehensive Women's Care Center in the municipality of La Reina and announced that eight such entities will be implemented throughout the country. The facilities are designed to provide effective specialized care, protection and reparations for women over the age of 18 who are suffering or have suffered violence at the hands of an intimate partner, acquaintance or stranger.

These new centers will be added to the network of women’s care centers that exist throughout the country. Chile currently has 111 women’s centers, 43 shelters and three comprehensive care centers.