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Chile: New Law Creates the Inter-Agency Social Protection System

(Sept. 25, 2009) Chile has adopted a new law that creates the Inter-Agency Social Protection System (IASPS) and recognizes the existence of the Integral Infants’ Protection Sub-System (IFPSS), “Chile Grows with You.” Law No. 20,379, which was promulgated on September 1, 2009, and entered into force on September 12, 2009, defines the IASPS as a management model composed of the actions and services provided by the state to the “sectors of the national population most economically vulnerable.” The IFPSS is defined in the same terms, but is focused on specific sections of the population. The Law calls for the external auditing of both programs and mentions the requirements with which IFPSS must comply in order to become a part of the IASPS, pursuant to a procedure managed by an inter-agency commission spearheaded by the Ministry of Planning. Each new IFPSS is to be created by means of a Supreme Decree identifying the social benefits to be granted within it and setting forth other administrative aspects of its operation.

The Law also creates management instruments for describing the national population, based upon criteria related to, among other things, the territorial distribution of the population and socio-economic surveys and polls. The Ministry of Planning is charged with implementing and administering the National Pollsters Registry, including the issuance of certification to pollsters, in accordance with a procedure to be implemented by the Ministry within six months from the Law’s date of publication.

“Chile Grows with You” is a program to follow the development process of children whose health needs are covered by the public health system from conception until their entry into the school system. The program protects children in situations of vulnerability, and includes the provision of assistance for children affected by mental or physical disabilities, in need of day care, or whose parents work outside the household. It also mentions protections for the unborn. It especially targets parents who are themselves students or unemployed. The program also grants preferential access to assistance for families in the 40 percent of the population who belong to the less favored social strata of the country. (Crea el sistema intersectorial de protección social e institucionaliza el subsistema de protección integral a la infancia “Chile crece contigo,” BCN Ley Chile website, Sept. 12, 2009, available at