Atala Riffo and Daughters v Chile, 2012, Series C No. 239

Judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights finding that Chile violated the complainant's right to freedom from discrimination in a custody case of same-sex parents.

The case related to the custody process brought before the Chilean court by the father of three girls against their mother, Karen Atala Riffo. The Chilean Court found that Ms Atala’s sexual orientation and her co-habitation with her same-sex partner would cause harm to the three girls, and granted custody to the father.

Ms Atala Riffo brought the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where she argued that in the course of the judicial process she had suffered discriminatory treatment and arbitrary interference in her private and family life. The Court ruled that ‘the Chilean state had violated Karen Atala Riffo’s right to live free from discrimination’. The Court urged Chile to make reparations and to adopt legislation, policies and programmes to prohibit and eradicate discrimination based on sexual orientation.