Posts Tagged 'Karen Atala'

LGBT Rights Upheld in Historic Inter-American Court Ruling

Karen Atala

Karen Atala

“Based on both American regional standards and international jurisprudence, the Court has ruled that LGBT people must live free from discrimination, whether as parents or in any other aspect of their lives.”
-Jessica Stern, Director of Programs IGLHRC

(New York, March 22, 2012) — On Tuesday, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemned the Government of Chile for its 2003 Supreme Court ruling which stripped Karen Atala, a lesbian mother and judge, of custody of her three daughters on the basis of her sexual orientation. The 2003 ruling determined that if her daughters remained in her custody, they would be in a “situation of risk” due to their “unique family.” This is the first time the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ever heard a case specifically regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Court’s landmark ruling found that Chile not only violated Atala’s right to equality and non-discrimination but affirms for the first time in its history that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected categories and such discrimination violates international law. It represents a historic victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Chile and around the world. Continue reading ‘LGBT Rights Upheld in Historic Inter-American Court Ruling’

IACHR Takes Case Involving Chile to the Inter-American Court

Repost – Interamerican Commission on Human Rights

Washington, D.C., September 20, 2010 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a case involving Chile.

On September 17, 2010, the IACHR filed an application in the Karen Atala and daughters, which concerns the discriminatory treatement and arbitrary interference in the private and family life Karen Atala experienced due to her sexual orientation. In the Merits Report 139/09, the Commission concluded that the State of Chile was responsible for the discrimination against Karen Atala in the course of judicial process that resulted in the decision to deny her the care and custody of her daughters. The case also concerns the failure to observe the best interest of her daughters, whose custody and care the Commission considered were determined in violation to their rights. The case was referred to the Inter-American Court because the IACHR concluded the State did not comply with the recommendations contained in its Merits Report.

This is the first case that the Inter-American Commission decides on discrimination based on sexual orientation. This case will allow the Inter-American Court to decide for the first time on the incompatibility of this type of discrimination with the American Convention.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.


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