REPORT No. 148/18
CASE 12.997
September 11, 2018

On October 28, 2008, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition filed by Sandra Cecilia
Pavez Pavez, Rolando Paul Jiménez Pérez, legal representative of the Homosexual Integration and Liberation
Movement (Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual—MOVILH), and Alfredo Morgado
(hereinafter “the petitioning party”) 2 alleging the international responsibility of Chile (hereinafter “the Chilean
State,” “the State,” or “Chile”) to the detriment of Sandra Cecilia Pavez Pavez.
The Commission approved admissibility report No. 30/15 of July 21, 2015. 3 On September 29,
2015, the Commission notified said report to the parties and indicated its willingness to assist the parties in
reaching a friendly settlement. 4 The parties benefited from the regulatory time-limits to submit their additional
observations on the merits. All the information received was duly forwarded between the parties.

The petitioning party alleged that, for more than 20 years, Sandra Pavez discharged her duties
as a religious education teacher in a public school and that, on July 25, 2007, the vicar for education of the
Diocese of San Bernardo withdrew her certificate of suitability, which was required by internal regulations to
perform this job. It indicated that said withdrawal was based on the sexual orientation of Sandra Pavez, as a
result of which it was discriminatory and breached the other rights enshrined in the Convention. It added that
it filed an appeal for protection, which was ruled inadmissible.

The State alleged that it did not engage in any discrimination based on sexual orientation
because the regulatory framework under domestic law grants religions the authority to determine the
suitability of persons to teach this subject, which is legitimate and constitutes a way of respecting the freedom
of worship. It added that it does not pertain to the state to participate in said decisions and that the labor
relationship of a public institution with religious education teachers is separate from the authorization
pertaining to churches. It indicated that, nevertheless, it has started reviewing the regulatory framework under
domestic law.

On the basis of determinations of fact and law, the Inter-American Commission concluded that
the State is responsible for violating Article 8 (fair trial), Article 11 (privacy and autonomy), Article 23.1(c)
(access to public service under conditions of equality), Article 24 (equality before the law), Article 25.1 (judicial
protection), and Article 26 (right to work) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
American Convention” or “the Convention”), in connection with the obligations set forth in Articles 1.1 and 2 of
the same instrument. The Commission made the respective recommendations.

1 According to the provisions of Article 17.2 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, the Commissioner Antonia Urrejola, a Chilean national,
did not participate in the discussion or in the decision making for the present case.
2 Subsequently, Ciro Colombara López was included as a petitioner by means of a brief received on February 2, 2016.
3 IACHR. Report No. 30/15. Petition 1263-08. Admissibility. Sandra Cecilia Pavez Pavez. Chile. July 21, 2015. The articles ruled admissible
were Articles 8, 11, 24, and 25 of the American Convention.
4 In a brief of November 7, 2016, the state expressed its willingness to start friendly settlement proceedings. The petitioning party did not
reply to said request.

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