Protecting girls from sexual violence in schools: recognizing their rights to education, health and autonomy

14 October, 2020


In August 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights decided the case of Paola Guzmán Albarracín v. Ecuador, which establishes standards to protect girls from sexual violence and harassment in schools. The ruling also holds Ecuador responsible for failing to protect an adolescent student from the sexual violence she suffered in school.

The Court’s judgment, which has wide impact throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, discusses violence as a health concern, recognizing the importance of comprehensive sexuality education, as well as violence prevention and redress mechanisms.

The case was brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights and its partner, the Ecuadorian Center for the Promotion and Action of Women (CEPAM-Guayaquil).

To learn more about the case and it’s implications for sexual and reproductive rights for adolescent girls, SRHM spoke with the Center’s Latin America and Caribbean team.

Interview by:

Nina Sun, JD
Deputy Director – Global Health, Assistant Clinical Professor – Community Health and Prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University and SRHM Associate Editor


Catalina Martínez Coral
Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights

Carmen Cecilia Martinez Lopez
Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights

Further readings:

  • The Center for Reproductive Rights’ news article on the case
  • Inter-American Court’s decision (in Spanish)