Last Update: October 2021
Institutional Framework Database for Social Policy
in Latin America and the Caribbean
Legal and regulatory dimension
The legal and regulatory dimension refers to the existing legal base of the institutional framework of social policy as a central element to identify the State's commitments to guarantee the economic, social, and cultural rights of people. This dimension incorporates the adherence and ratification of international compacts and treaties, the guarantee of rights, and the presence of different social themes in constitutional texts and specific national laws and regulations. Thus, it includes sectoral social laws, especially social development and social protection laws, as well as legislation devoted to specific segments of the population.

Latin America and the Caribbean (33 countries): existence of constitutional and specific regulations on sectoral social issues and concerning specific population groups (In numbers of countries)
Axis Category Constitutional regulations
(Total with indirect mentions
not included)
Constitutional regulations
(Total with indirect mentions
Specific national regulations
Sectoral social issues Education 22 23 27
Sectoral social issues Employment protection/Social Security 20 23 32
Sectoral social issues Health 19 21 28
Sectoral social issues Housing 15 16 24
Sectoral social issues Social development 1 8 9
Specific population groups Children and adolescents 17 18 29
Specific population groups Youth 7 10 20
Specific population groups Older persons 16 16 19
Specific population groups Womens 10 14 20
Specific population groups Persons with disabilities 15 17 23
Specific population groups Afro-descendants 12 13 14
Specific population groups Migrants 2 6 29

For the elaboration of this chart, each States’ Political Constitution in the region was analyzed to identify which of them mention the protection of principal rights regarding sectoral topics and prioritized segments of the population. Certain analysis criteria were established in which these rights could be expressed explicitly (indicated with a green checkmark) or indirectly (indicated with a yellow checkmark). To be categorized as “explicit”, the Constitution must recognize the rights that citizens possess regarding main sectoral topics and the rights of specific population groups, establishing that they are protected by the State and its Constitution. To be categorized as “indirect”, constitutional texts that provided mechanisms for the promotion and protection of sectoral topics and prioritized segments of the population were considered, but without classifying them as social rights.

For the elaboration of these charts, official information from the States was used to identify the existence of national legal instruments (laws or decrees) that establish the mechanisms for social protection of main sectoral topics and for certain population segments. Some States are not included in the graphic because they do not have official information on legal instruments available.


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