HUMAN RIGHTS AND GUARANTEES
Article 19: The State shall guarantee to every individual, in
accordance with the progressive principle and without discrimination of any
kind, not renounceable, indivisible and interdependent enjoyment and exercise of
human rights. Respect for and the
guaranteeing of these rights is obligatory for the organs of Public Power, in
accordance with the Constitution, the human rights treaties signed and ratified
by the Republic and any laws developing the same.
Article 20: Everyone has the right to the free development of his
or her own personality, subject only to the limitations deriving from the rights
of others and public and social order.
Article 21: Al persons are equal before the law, and,
1. No discrimination based on race, sex, creed or social standing shall be permitted, nor, in general, any discrimination with the intent or effect of nullifying or encroaching upon the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on equal terms, of the rights and liberties of every individual.
2. The law shall guarantee legal and administrative
conditions such as to make equality before the law real and effective manner;
shall adopt affirmative measures for the benefit of any group that is
discriminated against, marginalized or vulnerable; shall protect in particular those persons who, because of any of the
aforementioned circumstances, are in a manifestly weak position; and shall
punish those who abuse or mistreat such persons.
3. People will only be officially addressed as Citizens, except for
4. No titles of nobility or hereditary distinctions shall be recognized.
The recitation of rights and guarantees contained in this Constitution and in
international instruments concerning human rights are not to be understood as
negating others inherent to individuals, not expressly mentioned in such
recitation. The absence of a law regulating these rights shall not adversely
affect the exercise thereof.
The treaties, pacts and conventions relating human rights which have been
executed and ratified by Venezuela have a constitutional rank, and prevail over
internal legislation, insofar as they contain provisions concerning the
enjoyment and exercise of such rights that are more favorable than those
established by this Constitution arid the laws of the Republic, and shall be
immediately and directly applied by the courts and other organs of the Public
No legislative provision shall have retroactive effect, except where it imposes
a lesser penalty. Procedural laws shall apply from the moment they go into
effect, even to proceedings already in progress; however, in criminal
proceedings, evidence already admitted shall be weighed in accordance with the
laws that were in effect when the evidence was admitted, insofar as this
benefits the defendant.
When there are doubts as to
the rule of law that is to be applied, the most beneficial to the defendant will
Any act on the part of the Public Power that violates or encroaches upon the
rights guaranteed by this Constitution and by law is null and void, and the
public employees* ordering or implementing the same shall incur criminal, civil
and administrative liability, as applicable in each case, with no defense on
grounds of having followed the orders of a superior.
Everyone has the right to access the organs comprising the justice system for
the purpose of enforcing his or her rights and interests, including those of a
collective or diffuse nature to the effective protection of the aforementioned
and to obtain the corresponding prompt decision.
The State guarantees
justice that is free of charge, accessible, impartial, suitable, transparent,
autonomous, independent, responsible, equitable and expeditious, without undue
delays, superfluous formalities or useless reinstating.
Everyone has the right to be protected by the courts in the enjoyment and
exercise of constitutional rights and guarantees, including even those inherent
individual rights not expressly mentioned in
this Constitution or in international instruments concerning human rights.
Proceedings on a claim for constitutional protection shall be oral, public, brief, free of charge and unencumbered by formalities, and the competent judge shall have the power to restore immediately the legal situation infringed upon or the closest possible equivalent thereto. All time shall be available for the holding of such proceedings, and the court shall give constitutional claims priority over any other matters.
action for the protection of liberty or safety, may be exercised by any person
and the physical custody of the person of the detainee shall be transferred
immediately to the court, without delay.
exercise of this right shall not be affected in any way by the declaration of a
state of exception or restriction of constitutional guarantees.
Article 28: Anyone has the right of access to the information and
data concerning him or her or his or her goods which are contained in official
or private records, with such exceptions as may be established by law, as well
as what use is being made of the same and the purpose thereof, and to petition
the court of competent competence for the updating, correction or destruction of
any records that are erroneous or unlawfully 'affect the petitioner's right.
He or she may, as well, access documents of any nature containing
information of interest to communities or group of persons.
The foregoing is without prejudice to the confidentiality of sources from
which information is received by journalist, or secrecy in other professions as
may be determined by law.
Article 29: The State is obliged to investigate and legally
punish offenses against human rights committed by its authorities.
to punish the offense of violating humanity rights, serious violations of human
rights and war crimes shall not be subject to statute of limitation.
Human rights violations and the offense of violating humanity rights
shall be investigated and adjudicated by the courts of ordinary competence.
These offenses are excluded from any benefit that might render the
offenders immune from punishment, including pardons and amnesty.
Article 30: The State has the obligation to make full reparations
to the victims of human rights violations for which it may be held responsible,
and to the legal successors to such victims, including payment of damages.
State shall adopt the necessary legislative measures and measures of other
nature to implement the reparations and damage compensation provided for under
The State shall protect the victims of ordinary crimes and endeavor to make the guilty parties provide reparations for the inflicted damages.
Article 31: Everyone has the right, on the terms established by
the human rights treaties, pacts and conventions ratified by the Republic, to
address petitions and complaints to the intentional organs created for such
purpose, in order to ask for protection of his or her human rights.
State shall adopt, in accordance with the procedures established under this
Constitution and by the law, such measures as may be necessary to enforce the
decisions emanating from international organs as provided for under this
Nationality and Citizenship
Section One: Nationality
Article 32: Are Venezuelans by birth:
Any person who was born within the territory of the Republic.
Any person who was born in a foreign territory, and is the child of a
father and mother who are both Venezuelans by birth.
Any person who was born in a foreign territory, and is the child of a
father or a mother, who is Venezuelan by birth, provided they have established
residence within the territory of the Republic or declared their intention to
obtain the Venezuelan nationality.
Any person who was born in a foreign territory, and is
the child of a father or a mother who is Venezuelan by naturalization, provided
that prior to reaching the age of 18, they establish their residence within the
territory of the Republic, and before reaching the age of 25 declare their
intention to obtain the Venezuelan nationality.
Article 33: Are considered Venezuelans by naturalization:
Foreign nationals who obtain a naturalization letter.
In order to do so, they must have at least ten years of uninterrupted
residence immediately preceding the application date.
The period of residence shall be reduced to five years
in the case of foreign nationals whose original nationality is that of Spain,
Portugal, Italy, or a Latin American or Caribbean country.
Foreign nationals who marry a Venezuelan, upon
declaring their wish to adopt the Venezuelan nationality, which may be done at
least five years after the date of marriage.
Minors of foreign nationality, on the date of the
naturalization of one of his/her parent who exercises parental authority,
provided that such minor declares his or her intention of adopting the
Venezuelan nationality before reaching the age of 21, and has resided in
Venezuela without interruption throughout the five-year period preceding such
Article 34: The Venezuelan nationality is not lost upon electing
or acquiring another nationality.
Article 35: Venezuelans by birth cannot be deprived of their
nationality. The Venezuelan nationality by naturalization can be revoked only by
a judgment handed down by a court in accordance with law.
Article 36: Venezuelan nationality may be renounced.
A person who renounces the Venezuelan nationality by birth may regain
such nationality if he or she establishes a residence within the territory of
the Republic for a period of at least two years, and expresses the intention of
regaining the Venezuelan nationality. Naturalized
Venezuelans who renounce the Venezuelan nationality may regain it by again
meeting the requirements prescribed under article 33 of this Constitution.
Article 37: The State shall promote the celebration of
international treaties related to nationality, especially with the bordering
countries and those indicated in item 2 of Article 33 of this Constitution.
Article 38: The substantive and procedural rules relating to the
acquisition, election, renunciation and recovery of the Venezuelan nationality,
as well as the revocation and withdrawal of naturalization, shall be determined
by law, in compliance with the foregoing provisions.
Section Two: Citizenship
Article 39: Venezuelans who are not subject to political
disablement or civil interdiction, and meet the age requirements provided for in
this Constitution, can exercise citizenship and therefore are entitled to
political rights and duties in accordance to this Constitution.
Article 40: Political rights are reserved to those who are
Venezuelans, with the exceptions established in this Constitution.
Naturalized Venezuelans who have entered the country prior to reaching the age of seven years and have resided permanently in Venezuela until reaching legal age shall enjoy the same rights as Venezuelans by birth.
Article 41: Only Venezuelans by birth who have no other
nationality shall be permitted to hold the offices of President of the Republic,
Executive Vice President, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly,
Justices of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Chairman of the National Board of
Elections, Attorney General of the Republic, Comptroller
General of the Republic, General Prosecutor of the Republic, People
Defender, Ministers with responsibilities relating to national security,
finance, energy and mining or education; Governors and Mayors of border States
and Municipalities and those contemplated under the Organic Law on the National
order to hold the position of member of the National Assembly, Minister or
Governors and Mayors of non-border States and Municipalities, naturalized
Venezuelans must be domiciled in Venezuela with at least fifteen years of
permanent residence, as well as meeting the capability requirements provided for
Article 42: Anyone who loses or renounces to nationality loses
citizenship. The exercise of
citizenship or any political rights can be suspended only by final judicial
decision in the cases provided by law.
Article 43: The right to life is inviolable.
No law shall provide for the death penalty and no authority shall apply
the same. The State shall protect
the life of persons who are deprived of liberty, serving in the armed forces or
civilian services, or otherwise subject to its authority.
Article 44: Personal liberty is inviolable, therefore:
No person shall be arrested or detained except by
virtue of a court order, unless such person is caught in fraganti. In the
latter case, such person must be brought before a judge within forty-eight hours
of his or her arrest. He or she
shall remain free during trial, except for reasons determined by law and
assessed by the judge on a case-by-case basis.
The bail as required by law for the release of a
detainee shall not be subject to tax of any kind.
(3) Any person under arrest has the right to communicate
immediately with members of his or her family, an attorney or any other person
in whom he or she reposes trust, and such persons in turn have the right to be
informed where the detainee is being held, to be notified immediately of the
reasons for the arrest and to have a written record inserted into the case file
concerning the physical or mental condition of the detainee, either by himself
or herself, or with the aid of specialists.
The competent authorities shall keep a public record of every arrest
made, including the identity of the person arrested, the place, time,
circumstances and the officers who made the arrest.
In the case of the arrest of foreign nationals,
applicable provisions of international treaties concerning consular notification
shall also be observed.
The penalty shall not extend beyond the person of the
convicted individual. No one shall
be sentenced to perpetual or humiliating penalties. Penalties consisting of deprivation of liberty shall not
exceed 30 years.
Any authority taking measures involving the deprivation
of liberty must identify himself or herself.
No person shall remain under arrest after a release
order has been issued by the competent authority or such person's sentence has
Article 45: The public authorities, whether military, civilian or
of any other kind, even during a state of emergency, exception or restriction or
guarantees, are prohibited from effecting, permitting or tolerating the forced
disappearance of persons. An officer receiving an order or instruction to carry it out,
has the obligation not to obey, and to report the order or instruction to the
competent authorities. The
intellectual and physical perpetrators accomplices and concealers of the crimes
of forced disappearance of a person, as well as any attempt to commit such
offense, shall be punished in accordance with law.
Article 46: Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her
physical, mental and moral integrity, therefore:
No person shall be subjected to penalties, tortures,
cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment. Every
victim of torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment effected or
tolerated by agents of the State has the right to rehabilitation.
Any person deprived of liberty shall be treated with
respect due to the inherent dignity of the human being.
No person shall be subjected without his or her freely
given consent to scientific experiments or medical or laboratory examinations,
except when such person's life is in danger, or in any other circumstances as
may be detained by law.
Any public official who, by reason of his official
position, inflicts mistreatment or physical or mental suffering on any person or
instigates or tolerates such treatment, shall be punished* in accordance with
Article 47: A person's home and any private premise are
inviolable. They may not be
forcibly entered except by court order, to prevent the commission of a crime or
carry out the decisions handed down by the courts in accordance with law,
respecting human dignity in all cases.
health inspections carried out in accordance with law shall be performed only
after notice from the officials ordering or carrying it out.
Article 48: The secrecy and inviolability of private
communications in all forms are guaranteed.
The same may not be interfered with except by order of a competent court,
with observance of applicable provisions of law and preserving the secrecy of
the private issues unrelated to the pertinent proceedings.
Article 49: All judicial and administrative actions shall be
subject to due process, therefore:
Legal assistance and defense are inviolable rights at
all stages and levels during the investigation and proceeding.
Every person has the right to be notified of the charges for which he or
she is being investigated, to have access to the evidence and to be afforded the
necessary time and means to conduct his or her defense.
Any evidence obtained in violation of due process shall be null and void. Any person declared guilty shall have the right to appeal,
except in the cases established by this Constitution and by the law.
Any person shall be presumed innocent until proven
Every person has the right to be heard in proceedings
of any kind, with all due guarantees and within such reasonable time limit as
may be legally detained, by a competent, independent and impartial court
established in advance. Anyone who
does not speak Spanish or is unable to communicate verbally is entitled to an
Every person has the right to be judged by his or her
natural judges of ordinary or special competence, with the guarantees
established in this Constitution and by law.
No person shall be put on trial without knowing the identity of the party
judging him or her, nor be adjudged by exceptional courts or commissions created
for such purpose.
No person shall be required to confess guilt or testify
against himself or herself or his or her spouse or partner, or any other
relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or the second degree of
A confession shall be valid only if given without
coercion of any kind.
No person shall be punished for acts or omissions not
defined under preexisting laws as a crime, offense or infraction.
No person shall be placed on trial based on the same
facts for which such person has been judged previously.
Every person shall request from the State the
restoration or remediation of a legal situation adversely affected by
unwarranted judicial errors, and unjustified delay or omissions. The foregoing is without prejudice to the right of the
individual to seek to hold the magistrate or judge personally liable, and that
of the State to take action against the same.
Article 50: Everyone shall freely transit by any means throughout
the national territory, to change his or her domicile and residence, to leave
and return to the Republic, to move his or her goods or belongings within the
country and to bring his or her goods into or remove them from the country,
subject only to such limitations as may be prescribes by law.
In cases involving the granting of a concession, the law shall provide
for the circumstances in which an alternate route must be provided.
Venezuelans shall enter the country without need for authorization of any
act of the Public Power may establish against Venezuelans the penalty of
banishment from the national territory.
Article 51: Everyone has the right to petition or make
representations before any authority or public official concerning matters
within their competence, and to obtain a timely and adequate response.
Whoever violates this right shall be punished in accordance with law,
including the possibility of dismissal from office.
Article 52: Everyone has the right to assemble for lawful
purposes, in accordance with law. The
State is obligated to facilitate the exercise of this right.
Article 53: Everyone has the right to meet publicly or privately,
without obtaining permission in advance, for lawful purposes and without
weapons. Meetings in public places
may be regulated by law.
Article 54: No person shall be subjected to slavery or servitude.
Traffic of persons, in particular women, children and adolescents, in any
form, shall be subject to the penalties prescribes by law.
Article 55: Every person has the right to protection by the State, through the citizen safety organs regulated by law, from situations that affect or constitute a threat, vulnerability or risk to the physical integrity of individuals, their properties, the enjoyment of rights or the Fulfillment of duties.
by citizens in programs for purposes of prevention, citizen safety and emergency
management shall be regulated by a special law.
State's security corps shall respect the human dignity and rights of all
persons. The use of weapons or
toxic substances by police and security officers shall be limited by the
principles of necessity, convenience, opportunity and proportionality in
accordance with law.
Article 56: Every person has the right to his own name, to the
summates of his father and mother, and to know the identity of the latter.
The State guarantees the right to investigates maternity and paternity.
All persons have the right to be registered free of charge with the Civil Registry Office after birth, and to obtain public documents constituting evidence of their biological identity, in accordance with law. Such documents shall not contain any mention classifying the parental relationship.
Article 57: Everyone has the right to express freely his or her
thoughts, ideas or opinions orally, in writing or by any other form of
expression, and to use for such purpose any means of communication and
diffusion, and no censorship shall be established. Anyone making use of this right assumes full responsibility
for everything expressed. Anonymity,
war propaganda, discriminatory messages or those promoting religious intolerance
are not permitted.
restricting the ability of public officials to report on matters for which they
are responsible is prohibited.
Article 58: Communications are free and plural, and involve the
duties and responsibilities indicated by law.
Everyone has the right to timely, truthful and impartial information,
without censorship, in accordance with the principles of this Constitution, as
well as the right to reply and corrections when they are directly affected by
inaccurate or offensive information. Children
and adolescents have the right to receive adequate information for purposes of
their overall development.
Article 59: The State guarantees the freedom of cult and
religion. All persons have the
right to profess their religious faith and cults, and express their beliefs in
private or in public, by teaching and other practices, provided such beliefs are
not contrary to moral, good customs and public order. The autonomy and independence of religious confessions and
churches is likewise guaranteed, subject only to such limitations as may derive
from this Constitution and the law. Father
and Mother are entitled to have their sons and daughters receive religious
education in accordance with their convictions.
No one shall invoke religious beliefs or discipline as a means of evading compliance with law or preventing another person from exercising his or her rights.
Article 60: Every person is entitled to protection of his or her
honor, private life, intimacy, self-image, confidentiality and reputation.
The use of electronic information shall be restricted by law in order to
guarantee the personal and family intimacy and honor of citizens and the full
exercise of their rights.
Article 61: All persons have the right to freedom of conscience, and to express the same except those practices affecting personality or constituting criminal offense. Objections of conscience may not be invoked in order to evade compliance with law or prevent others from complying with law or exercising their rights.
Political Rights and Public
One: Political Rights
Article 62: All citizens* have the right to participate freely in
public affairs, either directly or through their elected* representatives.
The participation of the people in forming, carrying out and controlling the management of public affairs is the necessary way of achieving the involvement to ensure their complete development, both individual and collective. It is the obligation of the State and the duty of society to facilitate the generation of optimum conditions for putting this into practice.
Article 63: Suffrage is a right. lt. shall be exercised through
free, universal, direct and secret elections.
The law shall guarantee the principle of personalization of suffrage and
Article 64: All Venezuelans* who have reached the age of 18 and
are not subject to political disablement or civil interdiction are qualified to
state, municipal and parish elections, the right to vote shall be extended to
foreign nationals who have reached the age of 18 and have resided in Venezuela
for more than ten years, subject to the limitations established in this
Constitution and by law, and provided they are not subject to political
disablement or civil interdiction.
Article 65: Persons who have been convicted* of crimes committed
while holding office or other offenses against public property, shall be
ineligible to run for any office filled by popular vote, for such period as may
be prescribed by law after serving their sentences, depending on the seriousness
of the offense.
Article 66: Voters have the right to obtain from their public
representatives, transparent and periodic accounting for their office, in
accordance with the offered program.
Article 67: All citizens have the right of association for
political purposes, through democratic methods of organization, operation and
direction. Their governing organs
and candidates for offices filled by popular vote, shall be selected by
internal elections with participation of their members.
No financing of associations for political purposes with State funds
shall be permitted.
relating to the financing of and private contributions to associations for
political purposes shall be regulated by law, as shall the oversight mechanisms
to guarantee propriety as to the sources and handling of such funds.
Law shall regulate as well, political and election campaigns, the
duration thereof and spending limits with a view pursuing its democratization.
on their own initiative, and associations for political purposes, shall be
entitled to participate in the electoral process, putting forward candidates*. The financing of political advertising and election campaigns
shall be regulated by law. The
authorities of associations for political purposes shall not enter into
contracts with organs in the public sector.
Article 68: Citizens have the right to demonstrate, peacefully
and without weapons, subject only to such requirements as may be established by
Article 69: The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela recognizes and
guarantees the right of asylum and refuge.
Article 70: Participation and involvement of people in the
exercise of their sovereignty in political affairs can be manifested by: voting
to fill public offices, referendum, consultation of public opinion, mandate
revocation, legislative, constitutional and constituent initiative, open forums
and meetings of citizens whose decisions shall be binding among others; and in
social and economic affairs: citizen service organs, selfmanagement,
co-management, cooperatives in all forms, including those of a financial nature,
savings funds, community enterprises, and other forms of association guided by
the values of mutual cooperation and solidarity.
law shall establish conditions for the effective, functioning of the means of
participation provided for under the present article.
Section Two: Popular Referendum
Article 71: Matters of special national transcendence may be
referred to a consultative referendum, on the initiative of the President of
the Republic, taken at a meeting of the Cabinet; by resolution of the National
Assembly, passed by a majority vote; or at the request of a number of voters
constituting at least 10% of all voters registered on the national, civil and
Matters of special state, municipal and parish transcendence may also be referred to a consultative referendum. The initiative shall be taken by the Parish Board, the Municipal Council and to the Legislative Council, by the vote of two third of its members; by the Mayor and the Governor or by a number of voters constituting at least 10% of the total number of voters registered in the pertinent circumscription.
Article 72: All magistrates and other offices filled by popular
vote are subject to revocation.
half of the term of office to which an official has been elected has elapsed, a
number of voters constituting at least 20% of the voters registered in the
pertinent circumscription may extend a petition for the calling of a referendum
to revoke such official's mandate.
a number of voters equal to or greater than the number of those who elected the
official vote in favor of revocation, provided that a number of voters equal
to or greater than 25% of the total number of registered voters* have voted in
the revocation election, the official’s mandate shall be deemed revoked, and
immediate action shall be taken to fill the permanent vacancy in accordance with
the provided for in this Constitution and by law.
The revocation of the mandate for
the collegiate bodies shall be performed in accordance with the law.
Article 73: Bills under discussion by the National Assembly shall
be submitted to a referendum when at least two-thirds of the members of the
Assembly so decide. If the referendum ends in an affirmative vote of approval,
provided that the 25% of the voters registered before the Civil and Electoral
Registry have concurred to the election, the bill conceded shall be enacted into
Any international agreement, convention or treaty which might compromise the national sovereignty or transfer authority to supranational organs, may be submitted to a referendum on the initiative of the President of the Republic, taken at a meeting of the Cabinet by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Assembly or by 15% of the voters registered on the civil and electoral registry.
Article 74: Statutes whose abrogation are requested on the
initiative of a number of voters constituting at least 10% of the voters
registered in the civil and electoral registry, or by the President of the
Republic taken at a meeting of the Cabinet, shall be submitted to a referendum
for its abrogation in whole or in part.
Decrees with the force of law issued by the President of the Republic, making use of the authority prescribed under article 236, section 8 of this Constitution, may also be submitted to an abrogatory referendum, when it is requested by a number of voters constituting at least 5% of the total number of voters registered in the civil and electoral registry. In order for the abrogatory referendum to be valid, a number of voters constituting at least 40% of the total number of voters registered in the civil and electoral registry shall be essential.
It shall not be possible to submit budget laws to an abrogatory referendum, neither those establishing or modifying taxes, relating to public credit, to amnesty, the protection, guaranteeing and developing human rights, nor those which ratify international treaties.
shall not be more than one abrogatory referendum on the same matter during the
same constitutional term.
and Family Rights
Article 75: The State shall protect families as a natural
association in society, and as the fundamental space for the overall development
of persons. Family relationships
are based on equality of rights and duties, solidarity, common effort, mutual
understanding and reciprocal respect among family members.
The State guarantees protection to the mother, father or other person
acting as head of a household.
Children and adolescents have the right to live, be raised and develop in the bosom of their original family. When this is impossible or contrary to their best interests, they shall have the right to a substitute family, in accordance with law. Adoption has effects similar to those of parenthood, and is established in all cases for the benefit of the adoptee, in accordance with law. International adoption shall be subordinated to domestic adoption.
Article 76: Motherhood and fatherhood are fully protected,
whatever the marital status of the mother or father. Couples have the right to decide freely and responsibly how
many children they wish to conceive, and are entitled to access to the
information and means necessary to guarantee the exercise of this right.
The State guarantees overall assistance and protection for motherhood, in
general, from the moment of conception, throughout pregnancy, delivery and the
puerperal period, and guarantees full family planning services based on ethical
and scientific values.
father and mother have the shared and inescapable obligation of raising,
training, educating, maintaining and caring for their children, and the latter
have the duty to provide care when the former are unable to do so by themselves.
The necessary and proper measures to guarantee the enforceability of the
obligation to provide alimony shall be established by law.
Article 77: Marriage, which is based on free consent and absolute
equality of rights and obligations of the spouses, is protected.
A stable de facto union between a man and a woman which meets the
requirements established by law shall have the same effects as marriage.
Article 78: Children and adolescents are full legal persons and
shall be protected by specialized courts, organs and legislation, which shall
respect, guarantee and develop the contents of this Constitution, the law, the
Convention on Children's Rights and any other international treaty that may have
been executed and ratified by the Republic in this field.
The State, families and society shall guarantee full protection as an
absolute priority, taking into account their best interest in actions and
decisions concerning them. The
State shall promote their progressive incorporation into active citizenship, and
shall create a national guidance system for the overall protection of children
Article 79: Young people have the right and duty to be active
participants in the development process. The
State, with the joint participation of families and society, shall create
opportunities to stimulate their productive transition into adult life,
including in particular training for and access to their first employment, in
accordance with law.
Article 80: The State shall guarantee senior citizens the full
exercise of their rights and guarantees. The
State, with the solidary participation of families and society, is obligated to
respect their human dignity, autonomy and to guarantee them full care and social
security benefits to improve and guarantee their quality of life.
Pension and retirement benefits granted through the social security
system shall not be less than the urban minimum salary. Senior citizens* shall
be guaranteed to have the right to a proper work, if they indicate a desire to
work and are capable to.
Article 81: Any person with disability or special needs has the
right to the full and autonomous exercise of his or her abilities and to its
integration into the family and community.
The State, with the solidary participation of families and society,
guarantees them respect for their human dignity, equality of opportunity and
satisfactory working conditions, and shall promote their training, education and
access to employment appropriate to their condition, in accordance with law.
It is recognized that deaf persons have the right to express themselves
and communicate through the Venezuelan sign language.
Article 82: Every person has the right to adequate, safe and
comfortable, hygienic housing, with appropriate essential basic services,
including a habitat such as to humanize family, neighborhood and community
relations. The progressive meeting
of this requirement is the shared responsibility of citizens and the State in
State shall give priority to families, and shall guarantee them, especially
those with meager resources, the possibility of access to social policies and
credit for the construction, purchase or enlargement of dwellings.
Article 83: Health is a fundamental social right and the
responsibility of the State, which shall guarantee it as part of the right to
life. The State shall promote and
develop policies oriented toward improving the quality of life, common welfare
and access to services. All persons
have the right to protection of health, as well as the duty to participate
actively in the furtherance and protection of the same, and to comply with such
health and hygiene measures as may be established by law, and in accordance with
international conventions and treaties signed and ratified by the Republic.
Article 84: In order to guarantee the right to health, the State
creates, exercises guidance over and administers a national public health system
that crosses sector boundaries, and is decentralized and participatory in
nature, integrated with the social security system and governed by the
principles of gratuity, universality, completeness, fairness, social integration
and solidarity. The public health
system gives priority to promoting health and preventing disease, guaranteeing
prompt treatment and quality rehabilitation.
Public health assets and services are the property of the State and shall
not be privatized. The organized community has the right and duty to participate
in the making- of decisions concerning policy planning, implementation and
control at public health institutions.
Article 85: Financing of the public health system is the
responsibility of the State, which shall integrate the revenue resources,
mandatory Social Security contributions and any other sources of financing
provided for by law. The State
guarantees a health budget such as to make possible the attainment of health
policy objectives. In coordination
with universities and research centers, a national professional and technical
training policy and a national industry to produce health care supplies shall be
promoted and developed. The State
shall regulate both public and private health care institutions.
Article 86: All persons are entitled to Social Security as a
nonprofit public service to guarantee health and protection in contingencies of
maternity, fatherhood, illness, invalidity, catastrophic illness, disability,
special needs, occupational risks, loss of employment, unemployment, old age,
widowhood, loss of parents, housing, burdens deriving from family life, and any
other social welfare circumstances. The
State has the obligation and responsibility of ensuring the efficacy of this
right, creating a universal and complete Social Security system, with joint,
unitary, efficient and participatory financing from direct and indirect
contributions. The lack of ability
to contribute shall not be ground for excluding persons from protection by the
system. Social Security financial
resources shall not be used for other purposes. The mandatory assessments paid by employees to cover medical
and health care services and other Social Security benefits shall be
administered only for social purposes, under the guidance of the State.
Any net remaining balances of capital allocated to health, education and
Social Security shall be accumulated for distribution and contribution to those
services. The Social Security system shall be ruled by a special
Article 87: All persons have the right and duty to work.
The State guarantees the adoption of the necessary measures so that every
person shall be able to obtain productive work providing him or her with a
dignified and decorous living and guarantee him or her the full exercise of this
right. It is an objective of the State to promote employment.
Measures tending to guarantee the exercise of the labor rights of
self-employed persons shall be adopted by law.
Freedom to work shall be subject only to such restrictions as may be
established by law.
employer shall guarantee employees adequate safety, hygienic and environmental
conditions on the job. The State
shall adopt measures and create institutions such as to make it possible to
control and promote these conditions.
Article 88: The State guarantees the equality and equitable
treatment of men and women in the exercise of the right to work.
The state recognizes work at home as an economic activity that creates
added value and produces social welfare and wealth.
Housewives are entitled to Social Security in accordance with law.
No law shall establish provisions that affect the
intactness and progressive nature of labor rights and benefits.
In labor relations, reality shall prevail over forms or appearances.
Labor rights are not renounceable; any action,
agreement or convention involving a waiver of or encroachment upon these rights
is null and void. Concessions and
settlements are possible only at the end of the employment relationship, in
accordance with the requirements established by law.
When there are doubts concerning application or
conflicts among several rules, or in the interpretation of a particular rule,
that most favorable to the worker shall be applied. The rule applied must be applied in its entirety.
Any measure or act on the part of an employer in
violation of this Constitution is null and void, and of no effect.
All types of discrimination because of political
reasons, age, race, creed, sex or any other characteristic is prohibited.
Work by adolescents at tasks that may affect their
overall development is prohibited. The
State shall protect them against any economic and social exploitation.
Article 90: Working hours shall not exceed eight hours per day or
44 hours per week. Where permitted
by law, night work shall not exceed seven hours per day or 35 hours per week.
No employer shall have the right to require employees to work overtime.
An effort shall be made to reduce working hours progressively in the
interest of society and in such sphere as may be determined, and appropriate
provisions shall be adopted to make better use of free time for the benefit of
the physical, spiritual and cultural development of workers.
are entitled to weekly time off and paid vacations on the same terms as for days
Article 91: Every worker has the right to a salary sufficient to
enable him or her to live with dignity and cover basic material, social and
intellectual needs for himself or herself and his or her family.
The payment of equal salary for equal work is guaranteed, and the share
of the profits of a business enterprise to which workers are entitled shall be
determined. Salary is not subject
to gamishment, and shall be paid periodically and promptly in legal tender, with
the exception of the food allowance, in accordance with law.
State guarantees workers in both the public and the private sector a vital
minimum salary which shall be adjusted each year, taking as one of the
references the cost of a basic market basket.
The form and procedure to be followed, shall be established by law.
Article 92: All workers have the right to benefits to compensate
them for length of service and protect them in the event of dismissal.
Salary and benefits are labor obligations due and payable immediately
upon accrual. Any delay in payment
of the same shall bear interest, which constitutes a debt certain and shall
enjoy the same privileges and guarantees as the principal debt.
Article 93: Stable employment shall be guaranteed by law, with
provisions as appropriate to restrict any form of unjustified dismissal.
Dismissals contrary to this Constitution are null and void.
Article 94: The liability of the natural or juridical person for
whose benefit services are provided through an intermediary or contractor shall
be determined by law, without prejudice to the job and severance liability of
the latter. The State shall
establish, through the competent organ, the liability to which employers in
general are subject in the event of simulation or fraud for the purpose of
distorting, disregarding or impeding the application of labor legislation.
Article 95: Workers, without distinction of any kind and without
need for authorization in advance, have the right freely to establish such union
organizations as they may deem appropriate for the optimum protection of their
rights and interests, as well as the right to join or not to join the same, in
accordance with law. These
organizations are not subject to administrative dissolution, suspension or
intervention. Workers are protected
against any act of discrimination or interference contrary to the exercise of
this right. The promoters and the
members of the board of directors of the union enjoy immunity from dismissal
from their employment for the period and on the terms required to enable them to
carry out their functions.
purposes of the exercise of union democracy, the bylaws and regulations of union
organizations, shall provide for the replacement of boards of directors and
representatives by universal, direct and secret suffrage.
Any union leaders and representatives who abuse the benefits deriving
from union freedom for their personal gain or benefit shall be punished in
accordance with law. Boards of
directors members* of union organizations shall be required to file a sworn
statement of assets.
Article 96: All employees in both public and the private sector
have the right to voluntary collective bargaining and to enter into collective
bargaining agreements, subject only to such restrictions as may be established
by law. The State guarantees this
process, and shall establish appropriate provisions to encourage collective
relations and the resolution of labor conflicts. Collective bargaining agreements cover all workers who are
active as of the time they are signed, and those hired thereafter.
Article 97: All workers in the public and private sector have the
right to strike, subject to such conditions as may be established by law.
Article 98: Cultural creation is free. This freedom includes the right to invest in, produce and
disseminate the creative, scientific, technical and humanistic work, as well as
legal protection of the author's rights in his works. The State recognizes and protects intellectual property
rights in scientific, literary and artistic works, inventions, innovations,
trade names, patents, trademarks and slogans, in accordance with the conditions
and exceptions established by law and the international treaties executed and
ratified by the Republic in this field.
Article 99: Cultural values are the unrenounceable property of
the Venezuelan people and a fundamental right to be encouraged and guaranteed by
the State, efforts being made to provide the necessary conditions, legal
instruments, means and funding. The
autonomy of the public administration of culture is recognized, on such terms as
may be established by law. The
State guarantees the protection and preservation, enrichment, conservation and
restoration of the cultural tangible and intangible heritage and the historic
memories of the nation. The assets
constituting the cultural heritage of the nation are inalienable, not subject to
distrait or to statute of limitations. Penalties
and sanctions for damage caused to these assets shall be provided for by law.
Article 100: The folk cultures comprising the national identity of
Venezuela enjoy special attention, with recognition of and respect for
intercultural relations under the principle of equality of cultures.
Incentives and inducements shall be provided for by law for persons,
institutions and communities which promote, support, develop or finance cultural
plans, programs and activities within the country and Venezuelan culture abroad.
The State guarantees cultural workers inclusion in the Social security
system to provide them with a dignified life, recognizing the idiosyncrasies of
cultural work, in accordance with law.
Article 101: The State guarantees the issuance, receiving and
circulation of cultural information. The
communications media have the duty of assisting in the dissemination of the
values of folk traditions and the work of artists, writers , composers,
motion-picture directors, scientists and other creators of culture of the
country. The television media shall
include subtitles and translation into Venezuelan sign language for persons with
hearing problems. The terms and
modalities of these obligations, shall be established by law.
Article 102: Education is a human right and a fundamental social
duty; it is democratic, free of charge and obligatory.
The State assumes responsibility for it as an irrevocable function of the
greatest interest, at all levels and in all modes, as an instrument of
scientific, humanistic and technical knowledge at the service of society.
Education, is a public service, and is grounded on the respect for all
currents of thought, to the end of developing the creative potential of every
human being and the full exercise of his or her personality in a democratic
society based on the work ethic value and on active, conscious and joint
participation in the processes of social transformation embodied in the values
which are part of the national identity, and with a Latin American and universal
vision. The State, with the
participation of families and society, promotes the process of civic education
in accordance with the principles contained in this Constitution and in the
Article 103: Every person has the right to a full, high-quality,
ongoing education under conditions and circumstances of equality, subject only
to such limitations as derive from such persons own aptitudes, vocation and
aspirations. Education is
obligatory at all levels from maternal to the diversified secondary level.
Education offered at State institutions is free of charge up to the
undergraduate university level. To
this end, the State shall make a priority investment in accordance with United
Nations recommendations. The State
shall create and sustain institutions and services sufficiently equipped to
ensure the admission process, ongoing education and program completion in the
education system. The law shall
guarantee equal attention to persons with special needs or disabilities, and to
those who have been deprived of liberty or do not meet the basic conditions for
admission to and continuing enrollment in the education system.
contributions of private individuals to public education programs at the
secondary and university levels shall be tax deductible in accordance with the
Article 104: Persons of recognized good moral character and proven
academic qualifications shall be placed in charge of education.
The State shall encourage them to remain continuously up to date, and
shall guarantee stability in the practice of the teaching profession, whether in
public or private institutions, in accordance with this Constitution and the
law, with working conditions and a standard of living commensurate with the
importance of their mission. Admissions,
promotion and continued enrollment in the education system shall be provided for
by law, and shall be responsive to evaluation criteria based on merit, to the
exclusion of any partisan or other nonacademic interference.
Article 105: The professions requiring a degree and the conditions
that must be met to practice them, including, professional organization
membership, shall be determined by law.
Article 106: Every natural or juridical person, subject, to
demonstration of its ability and provided it meets at all times the ethical,
academic, scientific, financial, infrastructure and any other requirements that
may be established by law, shall be permitted to found and maintain private
educational institutions under the strict inspection and vigilance of the State,
with the prior approval of the latter.
Article 108: The communications media, public and private, shall
contribute to civil education. The
State guarantees public radio and television services and library and computer
networks, with a view to permitting universal access to information.
Education centers are to incorporate knowledge and application of new
technologies and the resulting innovations, in accordance with such requirements
as may be established by law to this end.
Article 109: The State shall recognize the autonomy of
universities as a principle and status that allows teachers, students and
graduates from its community, to devote themselves to the search for knowledge
through research in the fields of science, humanistic and technology, for the
spiritual and material benefit of the Nation.
Autonomous universities shall adopt their own rules for their governance
and operation and the efficient management of their property, under such control
and vigilance as may be established by law to this end.
Autonomy of universities is established in the planning, organization,
preparation and updating of research, teaching and extension programs.
The inviolability of the university campus is established.
Experimental national universities shall attain their autonomy in
accordance with law.
Article 110: The State recognizes as being in the public interest
science, technology, knowledge, innovation and the resulting applications, and
the necessary information services, the same being fundamental instruments for
the country's economic, social and political development, as well as for
national sovereignty and security. To
promote and develop these activities, the State shall allocate sufficient
resources and shall create a national science and technology system in
accordance with law. The private
sector shall contribute with resources as well.
The State shall guarantee the enforcement of the ethical and legal
principles that are to govern research activities in science, humanism and
technology. The manners and means
of fulfilling this guarantee shall be determined by law.
Article 111: All persons have a right to sports and recreation as
activities beneficial to individual and collective quality of life.
The State assumes responsibility for sports and recreation as an
education and public health policy, and guarantees the resources for the
furtherance thereof. Physical
education and sports play a fundamental role in the overall education of
childhood and adolescents. Instruction
in the same is obligatory at all levels of public and private education up to
the diversified cycle, with such exceptions as may be established by law.
The State guarantees full attention to athletes without discrimination of
any kind, as well as support for high-level competitive sports and evaluation
and regulation of sports organizations in both the public and the private
sector, in accordance with law.
and inducements shall be established. for the persons, institutions and
communities that promote athletes and develop or finance sports activities,
plans and programs in the country.
Article 112: All persons may devote themselves freely to the
economic activity of their choice, subject only to the limitations provided for
in this Constitution and those established by law for reasons of human
development, security, health, environmental protection or other reasons in the
social interest. The State shall
promote private initiative, guaranteeing the creation and fair distribution of
wealth, as well as the production of goods and services that meet the needs of
the populace, freedom of work, enterprise, commerce, industry, without prejudice
to the power of the State to promulgate measures to plan, rationalize and
regulate the economy and promote the overall development of the country.
Article 113: Monopolies shall not be permitted.
Any act, activity, conduct or agreement of private individuals which is
intended to establish a monopoly or which leads by reason of its actual effects
to the existence of a monopoly, regardless of the intentions of the persons
involved, and whatever the form it actually takes, is hereby declared contrary
to the fundamental principles of this Constitution.
Also contrary to such principles is abuse of a position of dominance
which a private individual, a group of individuals or a business enterprise or
group of enterprises acquires or has acquired in a given market of goods or
services, regardless of what factors caused such position of dominance, as well
as in the event of a concentration of demand.
In all of the cases indicated, the State shall be required to adopt such
measures as may be necessary to prevent the harmful and restrictive effects of
monopoly, abuse of a position of dominance and a concentration of demand, with
the purpose of protecting consumers and producers* and ensuring the existence of
genuine competitive conditions in the economy.
the case of the exploitation of natural resources which are the property of the
Nation or the providing of services of a public nature, on an exclusive basis or
otherwise, the State shall grant concessions for a certain period, in all cases
ensuring the existence of adequate consideration or compensation to serve the
Article 114: Economic crime, speculation, hoarding, usury, the
formation of cartels and other related offenses, shall be punished severely in
accordance with law.
Article 115: The right of property is guaranteed.
Every person has the right to the use, enjoyment, usufruct and disposal
of his or her goods. Property shall be subject to such contributions,
restrictions and obligations as may be established by law in the service of the
public or general interest. Only for reasons of public benefit or social interest by
final judgment, with timely payment of fair compensation, the expropriation of
any kind of property may be declared.
Article 116: Confiscation of property shall not be ordered and
carried out, but in the cases permitted by this Constitution.
As an exceptional measure, the property of natural or legal persons of
Venezuelan or foreign nationality who are responsible for crimes committed
against public patrimony may be subject to confiscation, as may be the property
of those who illicitly enriched themselves under cover of Public Power, and
property deriving from business, financial or any other activities connected
with unlawful trafficking in psychotropic and narcotic substances.
Article 117: All persons shall have the right of access to goods
and services of good quality, as well as to adequate and non-misleading
information concerning the contents and characteristics of the products and
services they consume, to freedom of choice and to fair and dignified treatment.
The mechanisms necessary to guarantee these rights, the standards of
quality and quantity for goods and services, consumer protection procedures,
compensation for damages caused and appropriate penalties for the violation of
these rights shall be established by law.
Article 118: The right of workers and the community to develop
associations of social and participative nature such as cooperatives, savings
funds, mutual funds and other forms of association is recognized.
These associations may develop any kind of economic activities in
accordance with the law. The law shall recognize the specificity of these
organizations, especially those relating the cooperative, the associated work
and the generation of collective benefits.
state shall promote and protect these associations destined to improve the
popular economic alternative.
Article 119: The State recognizes the existence of native peoples
and communities, their social, political and economic organization, their
cultures, practices and customs, languages and religions, as well as their
habitat and original rights to the lands they ancestrally and traditionally
occupy, and which are necessary to develop and guarantee their way of life. It
shall be the responsibility of the National Executive, with the participation of
the native peoples, to demarcate and guarantee the right to collective ownership
of their lands, which shall be inalienable, not subject to the law of
limitations or distrait, and nontransferable, in accordance with this
Constitution and the law.
Article 120: Exploitation by the State of the natural resources in
native habitats shall be carried out without harming the cultural, social and
economic integrity of such habitats, and likewise subject to prior information
and consultation with the native communities concerned.
Profits from such exploitation by the native peoples are subject to the
Constitution and the law.
Article 121: Native peoples have the right to maintain and develop
their ethnical and cultural entity, world view, values, spirituality and holy
places and places of cult. The
State shall promote the appreciation and dissemination of the cultural
manifestations of the native peoples, who have the right to their own education,
and an education system of an intercultural and bilingual nature, taking into
account their special social and cultural characteristics, values and
Article 122: Native peoples have the right to a full health system
that takes into consideration their practices and cultures.
The State shall recognize their traditional medicine and supplementary
forms of therapy, subject to principles of bioethics.
Article 123: Native peoples have the right to maintain and promote
their own economic practices based on reciprocity, solidarity and exchange;
their traditional productive activities and their participation in the national
economy, and to define their priorities. Native peoples have the right to professional training
services and to participate in the preparation, implementation and management of
specific training programs and technical and financial assistance services to
strengthen their economic activities within the framework of sustainable local
development. The State shall
guarantee to workers belonging to native peoples the enjoyment of the rights
granted under labor legislation.
Collective intellectual property rights in the knowledge, technologies and
innovations of native peoples are guaranteed and protected.
Any activity relating to genetic resources and the knowledge associated
with the same, shall pursue collective benefits.
The registry of patents on this ancestral knowledge and these resources
Article 125: Native peoples have the right to participate in
politics. The State shall guarantee
native representation in the National Assembly and the deliberating organs of
federal and local entities with a native population, in accordance with law.
Article 126: Native peoples, as cultures with ancestral roots, are
part of the Nation, the State and the Venezuelan people, which is one, sovereign
and indivisible. In accordance with
this Constitution, they have the duty of safeguarding the integrity and
sovereignty of the nation.
term people in this Constitution shall in no way be interpreted with the
implication it is imputed in international law.
Article 127: It is the right and duty of each generation to
protect and maintain the environment for its own benefit and that of the world
of the future. Everyone has the
right, individually and collectively, to enjoy a safe, healthful and
ecologically balanced life and environment.
The State shall protect the
environment, biological and genetic diversity, ecological processes, national
parks and natural monuments, and other areas of particular ecological
importance. The genome of a living
being shall not be patentable, and the field shall be regulated by the law
relating to the principles of bioethics.
is a fundamental duty of the State, with the active participation of society, to
ensure that the populace develops in a pollution-free environment in which air,
water, soil, coasts, climate, the ozone layer and living species receive special
protection, in accordance with law.
Article 128: The State shall develop a zoning policy taking into
account ecological, geographic, demographic, social, cultural, economic and
political realities, in accordance with the premises of sustainable development,
including information, consultation and male/female participation by citizens.
An organic law shall develop the principles and criteria for this zoning.
Article 129: Any activities capable of generating damage to
ecosystems must be preceded by environmental and sociocultural impact studies.
The State shall prevent toxic and hazardous waste from entering the
country, as well as preventing the manufacture and use of nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons. A special law
shall regulate the use, handling, transportation and storage of toxic and
contracts into which the Republic enters with natural or juridical persons of
Venezuelan or foreign nationality, or in any permits granted which involve
natural resources, the obligation to preserve the ecological balance, to permit
access to, and the transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms and to
restore the environment to its natural state if the latter is altered, shall be
deemed included even if not expressed, on such terms as may be established by
Article 130: Venezuelans have the duty to honor and defend their
native land symbols and cultural values and to guard and protect the
sovereignty, nationhood, territorial integrity, self-determination and interests
of the nation.
Article 131: Everyone has the duty to comply with and obey this
Constitution and the laws and other official acts promulgated by the organs of
Article 132: Everyone has a duty to fulfill his or her social
responsibilities and participate together in the political, civic and community
life of the country, promoting and protecting human rights as the foundation of
democratic coexistence and social peace.
Article 133: Everyone has the duty to contribute toward public
expenditures by paying such taxes, assessments and contributions as may be
established by law.
Article 134: Everyone, in accordance with law, has the duty to
perform such civilian or military service as may be necessary for the defense,
preservation and development of the country, or to deal with situations
involving a public calamity. No one
shall be subjected to forcible recruitment.
Everyone has the duty of rendering its services in the electoral functions assigned to them by law.
Article 135: The obligations incumbent upon the State in accordance with this Constitution and the law, in Fulfillment of the States commitments to the general welfare of society, do not preclude the obligations which, by virtue of solidarity, social responsibility and humanitarian assistance, are incumbent upon private individuals according to their abilities. Appropriate provisions shall be enacted by law to compel the Fulfillment of these obligations in those cases in which such compulsion is necessary. Those aspiring to practice any profession have a duty to perform community service for such period, in such place and on such terms as may be provided for by law.