Definition of Youth

The 2012 national youth strategy defines youth as people 15 to 29 years old. It identifies an additional three age groups: 15-19 years old, 20-24 years old, 25-29 years old.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • XX

  • No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
In the case of terrorism charges criminal responsibility may apply from 15 years of age. Source:  Penal Code of Peru

Majority Age


Source: Civil Code of Peru (1984)

Voting Age


Compulsory voting.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 98.89% Male (15-24) %
  • 98.99% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 76.81%Male %
  • 77.47% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 21.50% Male (13-15) %
  • 16.50% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth strategy covers the period 2012-2021, the previous plan covered 2006-2011.

The youth strategy was presented at the second National Youth Congress in 2012, and  “constitutes a kind of ‘National Agreement’ for the youths of the country: a clear roadmap of the steps we must take to implement strategies for young people”.   The congress elected a National Committee for the Implementation of the National Youth Strategy Plan  to monitor the implementation of the plan. The document was informed by decentralised regional consultations with youth groups, CSOs, minorities and LGBT groups, coordinated by the National Secretariat for Youth (SENAJU).   The key areas of the strategy are: Access to inclusive, quality education; Participation & youth representation; Employment & Entrepreneurship; Health Culture, Identity & Integration; Environment & Sustainable Development.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The National Secretariat for Youth (SENAJU) is the state body in charge of implementing the national youth strategy, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Educationand is structured in three directorates. As highlighted in this article, in 2011 it replaced the National Youth Council (CONAJU), and National Youth Commission (CNJ). The Secretariat organises events and provides information to youth –for example through use of flyers - on national and regional level. It also provides services such as legal advice and volunteering.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
Since the introduction of the 2012 national strategic plan on youth, and the establishment of SENAJU the framework for youth representation is unclear.  As highlighted by a video reportage, government changes in the country and a process of decentralisation have resulted in a restructuring of institutions active in the youth field. The National Youth Network (RENAJUV), a non-governmental youth association, campaigns for the re-activation of the Council for Youth Participation (CPJ), the youth representative body created by the previous youth plan.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the 2014 budget, Peru allocated 18.2 million PEN (6.5 million USD) to the Ministry of Education, in charge of youth. However, the amount for youth is unspecified According to the World Bank, Peru spent 2.76% of its GDP on education in 2012, but does not calculate what this translates to in terms of percentage of government expenditure.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

From BBC country profile:  
The country is still trying to come to terms with the trauma of a two-decade conflict - roughly from 1980 to 2000 - between the state and the leftist guerrilla groups, the Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement.
The warfare is thought to have claimed nearly 70,000 lives, most of them Andean peasants. It's ruthlessness was in large part due to the fanatical following of the leader of the Shining Path, Abimael Guzman, whose capture in 1992 in effect disbanded the guerrilla movement.
  From the USAID report (2005)  
The July 2001 approval of national youth policy guidelines in Peru was a milestone in improving programs for young people. Following the approval, the political environment changed dramatically, but civil society has successfully maintained a focus on youth and their reproductive health. Civil society groups and a coalition of youth- focused nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have helped ensure the implementation of the youth policy guidelines and recently played a key role in the approval of specific guidelines on adolescent health.
The involvement of civil society was central to maintaining a focus on the youth guidelines and policies in Peru, particularly with the frequent changes in government actors and as support for youth reproductive health programs waxed and waned. A key to achieving the commitment of civil society was to involve it from the very beginning of policy formulation efforts in 2000. NGOs and other civil society groups concerned with youth maintain this commitment through their coalition-building efforts.
Maintaining youth participation. A major challenge is sustaining the participation of young people in the policy process. Civil society groups are important in this respect because they provide long-term stability even as individual youth “age out” of their involvement.
The value of the youth vote. One factor that keeps young people’s issues on the political radar screen in Peru is the weight of the youth vote. Advocates have found this to be a persuasive argument in their work with the government and politicians.
  The National Action Plan for Childhood and Adolescence (2012 – 2021) was also introduced by the current administration. It tackles childhood and youth poverty, illiteracy and access to health services.