Key victory for parental rights in Chile

(Photo: Unsplash/Annie Spratt)

The right of parents to decide how their children are educated, especially when it comes to sex education, has been protected following a ruling by the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal.

The tribunal declared unconstitutional certain provisions in a children’s rights Bill that would have prioritised children’s “progressive autonomy” over parental oversight.

The demand that sex education be “secular and non-sexist” was also overturned following a local campaign.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which supported campaigners, said the provision would have led to the exclusion of different religious and moral perspectives in teaching on the subject.

Tomás Henríquez, Director of Advocacy in Latin America and the Caribbean for ADF International, said the verdict had important ramifications beyond Chile.

“The state should not interfere with parent-child relationships,” he said. 

“We welcome the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling, which sets a strong precedent for the protection of parental rights in Latin America.

“A majority of judges confirmed that the government cannot impose a worldview on religious and moral issues, nor interfere without grave reasons in the decision-making of parents when it comes to directing their children’s upbringing and the exercise of their rights.”

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