Definition of Youth

The national youth plan (2011) of Paraguay defines youth as between 15-29 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 20
  • 16
  • --
  • Female
  • 20
  • 16
  • --

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

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Penal Code of Praguay

Majority Age


Voting Age


Compulsory voting.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 98.60% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.48% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 60.33%Male %
  • 64.87% 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) %
  • 20.80% Male (13-15) %
  • 12.90% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth plan of Paraguay was adopted in 2011 and covers the period 2011–2013.

The mission of the national youth plan is,

To ensure the active participation of young people in the process of design, implementation and evaluation of public policies that ensure a dignified life for all youth in the country.
It describes itself as a strategy designed to tackle the key challenges of youth in Paraguay in a political and governance context that is still trying to overcome the legacy of dictatorship. It states key principles of youth policy and is to be executed with beneficiary-participation. Its objectives are to contribute to the achievement of social inclusion, development, participation and the human rights of young people in Paraguay. The plan covered 2011-2013. No information can be found online regarding a revised or new version.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The National Secretariat for Youth(SNJ) is responsible for youth, and according to the official Facebook Page is the “leading institution” for youth policy in Paraguay. Created by Presidential Decree No. 262, the SNJ is an agency under the Presidency with the mission to, “[o]rganize, harmonize and coordinate the actions of the State to meet the needs and expectations of young people.”   The national youth plan was originally developed by the Office of the Vice Minister for Youth and the Ministry for Education and Culture but the SNJ is now responsible for implementation.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The national youth plan notes that no national youth organisation or association currently exists, with no structure acting as an “interlocutor” between youth and government agencies. The establishment of a national youth council is described as a priority of the 2011-2013 plan, in order “to strengthen and formalize the contribution of organized youth” across changes in government and policies. However, it is unclear what progress has been made in implementing the youth plan, as no information could be found regarding the establishment of a national youth council for Paraguay.

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?
No documentation on the budget for youth in Paraguay could be found online. According to the World Bank, Paraguay spent 4.80% of its GDP on education in 2011, 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

The forward to the national youth plan states
The size and weight of the youth population and the need to include them in the building of democracy are key reasons for the elaboration of the current plan.
The National Youth Plan, goes beyond the boundaries of theoretical exercises, is set on the guiding political and technical development of young people, establishing lines of action aimed at promoting and guaranteeing rights, from the active participation of the youth. It seeks to ensure opportunity for a better future for more than one million seven hundred thousand young Paraguayans.
Through this instrument, the VMJ meets the Government's commitment to promote social policy plans to transform the Paraguayan society by putting the focus on the well-being and quality of life of people.