N° 97/10




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 treatment 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.



Useful links:

Report No 42/08, Admissibility, on Case 12.502, Karen Atala and daughters, Chile

Applications and Cases filed to the Inter-American Court by the IACHR

IACHR Press Office





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