Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Hear Ecuador Sexual Violence Case

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After being sexually abused by her school’s vice-principal for two years, Paola Guzmán, a student in Ecuador, became pregnant and committed suicide. She was only 16. In October 2006, the Center filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) with our local partners in Ecuador on behalf of Paola’s mother. Recently, the IACHR declared Paola’s case admissible and will now proceed to study the merits of the case. 

The petition argues that Ecuador deprived Paola of the rights to life, personal integrity, personal security, freedom from violence, non-discrimination, judicial guarantees, judicial protection, and to the measures of protection required by her condition as a minor.

“This case reveals a total systemic failure on the part of the Ecuadorian government to protect girls from sexual abuse and its consequences,” said Lilian Sepúlveda, the Center’s regional manager and legal adviser for Latin American and the Caribbean.

“We hope that the Commission will bring justice to Paola’s family and take the necessary steps to implement legal and policy measures in Ecuador that will protect girls from sexual violence in school.”