Human rights violations committed during the 1980-1991 El Salvadorian armed conflict have gone largely unpunished. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has called on El Salvadorian authorities to actively trace children who "disappeared" during the fighting. In response, the El Salvadorian government formed an Inter-Institutional Commission for the Search of Children, which does not have the force of legislative decision, nor does it include representative family members of the "disappeared." The government attempted to make permanent an otherwise unconstitutional law penalizing mara gang members involved in the "disappearances," but withdrew the initiative following widespread criticism from human rights organizations.
More concerns have surfaced recently regarding human rights violations against women, particularly in the spheres of domestic and social violence. Few efforts to obtain justice for murdered women succeeded and more women were murdered. Only two of around a dozen cases involving the murder, decapitation and mutilation of women in early 2003 were investigated and those responsible for the crime sent to prison.