Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape of men or women, including spousal rape. Penalties for rape range from five to 15 years’ imprisonment, and the government generally enforced the law when violations were reported. The law criminalizes both physical and psychological domestic violence and protects the privacy and safety of the victim making the charge of rape or domestic violence.
Family courts handle cases of domestic violence and penalize offenders with fines up to 556,680 pesos ($850). Additional sanctions include eviction of the offender from the residence shared with the survivor, restraining orders, confiscation of firearms, and court-ordered counseling. Cases of habitual psychological abuse and physical abuse cases in which there are physical injuries are prosecuted in the criminal justice system. Penalties are based on the gravity of injuries and range from 61 to 540 days’ imprisonment.
The government continued launched a national video campaignagainst femicide, and operatedshelters and a hotline.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is not a criminal offense but is classified as a misdemeanor, with penalties outlined exclusively in the labor code. By law sexual harassment is cause for immediate dismissal from employment. The law requires employers to define internal procedures, or a company policy, for investigating sexual harassment, and employers may face fines and additional financial compensation to victims if it is shown that the company policy on sexual harassment was not followed. The law provides protection to those affected by sexual harassment by employers and coworkers. The law provides severance pay to individuals who resign due to sexual harassment if they have completed at least one year with the employer.
Coercion in Population Control: There were no reports of coerced abortion, involuntary sterilization, or other coercive population control methods. Estimates on maternal mortality and contraceptive prevalence are available at: www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/monitoring/maternal-mortality-2015/en/ .
Discrimination: Although women possess most of the same legal rights as men, discrimination in employment, pay, owning and managing businesses, and education persisted. The default and most common marital arrangement is “conjugal society,” which provides that a husband has the right to administer joint property, including his wife’s property, without consultation or written permission from his spouse, but a wife must demonstrate that her husband has granted his permission before she is permitted to make financial arrangements. Legislation remained pending years after a 2007 agreement with the IACHR to modify the conjugal society law to give women and men equal rights and responsibilities in marriage. The commercial code provides that, unless a woman is married under the separate estate regime or a joint estate regime, she may not enter into a commercial partnership agreement without permission from her husband, while a man may enter into such an agreement without permission from his wife.
Despite a law providing for equal pay for equal work, the average woman’s annual income was 32 percent less than that of men, according to the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality. The ministry is in charge of protecting women’s legal rights and is specifically tasked with combatting discrimination against women.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived by birth within the country’s territory and from one’s parents or grandparents. Births are registered immediately.
Child Abuse: Intrafamily violence, including violence against children, remained a persistent problem. The law renders persons convicted of child sexual abuse permanently ineligible for any position, job, career, or profession in educational settings requiring direct and habitual contact with children under age 18. The law also includes a public registry of these sex offenders.
Early and Forced Marriage: The legal minimum age of marriage is 18 (16 with parental consent).
Sexual Exploitation of Children: Commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents was a problem, and children were exploited in prostitution with and without third-party involvement. Law 20,507 prohibits all forms of human trafficking, prescribing penalties ranging from five years and one day to 15 years in prison, plus fines, for trafficking offenses. Nevertheless, internal child sex trafficking cases were often prosecuted under a different law, Article 367 of the penal code, which provides lesser penalties. Due to sentencing guidelines for first-time offenders or those sentenced to less than five years’ confinement, many convicted traffickers were given weak and inadequate sentences for the crime, which continued to hamper efforts to deter and hold traffickers accountable.
Heterosexual sexual relations with minors between the ages of 14 and 18 may be considered statutory rape depending on the circumstances; sex with a child under age 14 is considered rape, regardless of consent or the victim’s gender. Penalties for statutory rape range from five to 20 years in prison. Child pornography is a crime. Penalties for producing child pornography range from 541 days to five years in prison.
Institutionalized Children: On June 27, the second special congressional committee in a span of five years to investigate the situation of SENAME issued a report that claimed widespread lack of oversight of its child protective programs. The report also found that the service had long waiting lists for its programs, lack of training for its personnel, and “an [organizational] culture lacking in the protection of [children’s] rights.”
On July 12, the INDH released the results of a year-long study of 171 SENAME child-service centers. Among the 405 children interviewed, 195 reported negligent treatment by child services workers; physical, mental, or psychological abuse; and sexual abuse or exploitation.
International Child Abductions: The country is a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. See the Department of State’s Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction at travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/en/legal/compliance.html.
The Jewish community numbers approximately 18,000 persons. Jewish community leaders reported concern over the tone of social media postings they perceived as threatening. The commentary leaders found offensive primarily referenced frustration with Israeli government policies and did not specifically mention either Jewish individuals or Chilean Jews.
A June soccer game between Israeli-Chilean and Palestinian-Chilean clubs ended in physical violence. Jewish community leaders filed a complaint with the public prosecutor over anti-Semitic chants by Palestinian fans. Palestinian leaders complained to authorities that the entrance to their community’s soccer field was marked with graffiti of the Star of David and the words “Palestine doesn’t exist, Arabs are terrorists.”
Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.
Persons with Disabilities
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities, and the government mostly enforced these provisions. On June 8, the government made concerted efforts to improve workforce participation and further eliminate all forms of discrimination by passing the Employment Inclusion Act for Persons with Disabilities. Nevertheless, persons with disabilities suffered forms of de facto discrimination.
The law provides for universal and equal access to buildings, information, and communications. Most public buildings did not comply with legal accessibility mandates. The public transportation system, particularly outside Santiago, did not adequately provide accessibility for persons with disabilities. In recent years, however, TranSantiago, the main system of public transportation within Santiago, instituted changes to improve compliance with the law, including new ramp systems and elevators at certain metro stations as well as improved access to some buses. Nevertheless, many metro stations and most buses remained inaccessible to persons with physical disabilities.
The Ministry of Social Development’s National Service for the Disabled (SENADIS) reported that children with disabilities attended primary and secondary school but noted difficulties in ensuring equal access to schooling at private institutions. SENADIS also reported that persons with disabilities had fewer opportunities to continue their education beyond secondary school.
In its annual report, the INDH noted concerns over the prolonged or forced institutionalization of persons with mental disabilities in psychiatric hospitals or other types of residency centers. The government, along with SENADIS, worked to expand access to legal justice for persons with disabilities.
Equal treatment and nondiscrimination are explicitly protected in the constitution, and the labor code specifically prohibits discrimination. According to a June survey by the National Center for Migration Studies at the University of Talca, 48 percent of immigrants surveyed, most of whom were from other Latin American countries or from the Caribbean, reported experiencing discrimination.
Although the constitution does not specifically protect indigenous groups, indigenous people have the right to participate in decisions affecting their lands, cultures, and traditions, including the exploitation of energy, minerals, timber, or other natural resources on indigenous lands. The Citizen’s Observatory reported, however, that indigenous people encountered serious obstacles to exercising these civil and political rights. Indigenous persons experienced societal discrimination, including in employment, and there were reports of incidents in which they were attacked and harassed.
There were numerous reports of police abuse against Mapuche individuals and communities, including against children. The INDH brought petitions to protect the constitutional rights of Mapuche individuals, including children and adolescents, in cases of excessive use of force by security forces. In February, Amnesty International’s annual report cited constant reports of excessive use of force and arbitrary detention during police operations in Mapuche communities.
Indigenous lands are demarcated, but some indigenous Mapuche communities demanded restitution of privately and publicly owned traditional lands.
The Law on Indigenous Peoples’ Protection and Development recognizes nine indigenous groups in the country and creates an administrative structure to provide specialized programs and services to promote economic, social, and cultural development of these peoples.
Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law sets the age of consent at 18 for homosexual sexual activity; heterosexual activity is permitted, under some circumstances, at age 14. Antidiscrimination laws exist and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In March the NGO Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) reported that it tracked 332 cases of discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity during 2016.
Violence against LGBTI individuals continued. MOVILH, a leading gay rights NGO, reported that, on September 12, a lesbian couple presented a criminal lawsuit against their former neighbors for discriminatory threats under the country’s antidiscrimination law. The couple had been subject to verbal slurs for two years, which escalated to death threats and vandalism of their property. The criminal case was pending at year’s end. According to MOVILH, in 2016 (the year for which the most recent data is available) four persons were killed and 39 were physically assaulted in homophobic attacks. The most common discriminatory acts reported to MOVILH were verbal abuse and discrimination in the workplace, such as difficulty obtaining promotions.
Law enforcement authorities appeared reluctant to use the full recourse of a 2012 antidiscrimination law, including charging assailants of LGBTI victims with a hate crime, which would elevate criminal penalties as permitted under the law.
Laws prevent transgender persons from changing gender markers on government-issued identity documents, including national identity cards and university diplomas, to match their outward appearance or chosen expression.
HIV and AIDS Social Stigma
The law prohibits discrimination against persons based on their HIV status and provides that neither public nor private health institutions may deny access to health-care services on the basis of a person’s serological status.
As the majority of citizens with HIV and AIDS were men, NGOs reported that government-sponsored outreach campaigns were oriented to a male audience, particularly men who have sex with men.