INTER AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS : Atala Riffo & daughters c. Chile


Facts: This case is about the rights of LGBT people as well as the question of parental custody and the rights of the child. This case was brought to the Inter American Court in contestation to the judgment from the Chilean justice which had withdrawn the custody of the children to a mother because of her sexual orientation. This case is the first case related to the rights of LGBT people that the Inter American Court had to deal with.

Claimants :Inter American Commission on Human Rights based on an initial claim from Mrs Karen Atala Riffo against Chili

Rights at stakes: Right to equality and non-discrimination, right to private life, family life, rights of the child, to a fair trial and judicial protection linked to the obligation to respect and the guarantee of the rights concerning parental custody.

Texts: Inter-American Convention on Human Rights (CIAHR) art 1.1; art 11.2; art 19; art 24

Solution: The decisions based on stereotypes on sexual orientation are inadmissible. Thus the impact that these inadmissible considerations could have on the children, is not valid. To withdraw the parental custody to a woman, because of her sexual orientation, goes against the superior interest of the child and the non-discrimination principle, it also violates the right to have a respected private and family life.