REPORT ON THE
SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
RIGHT TO EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW AND TO
persons are equal before the law and have the rights and duties established in
this Declaration, without distinction as to race, sex, language, creed or any
other factor. /
1. During its visit to El Salvador, the Special Committee received reports, that some provisions of the legislation in force in El Salvador, especially of the Civil Code. In practice imply discrimination on account of sex or birth, despite the constitutional standards that establishes that all men are equal before the law. (Article 150).
In a communication from the representative of a group of women lawyers,
devoted to the study of the legal status of Salvadoran women. It was stated that “Our political Constitution, is a very
modern legal document, which eliminates racial, political, religious, and sex
discrimination. Since all men (in
the fullest sense) are equal before the law”, but despite that, many
provisions of the civil and criminal legislation, secondary and administrative
regulations, such as those that set the minimum wages of field workers, contain
discriminations against women.”
Among the specific examples presented in that communication, two show
cases of evident discrimination:
Discrimination against women on account of adultery.
There is discrimination, among the grounds for divorce, in Article 145 of
the Civil Code.
For the men to obtain a divorce on this ground the adultery for the woman
is sufficient, but for adultery on the part of the man to constitute grounds for
divorce the adultery must be accompanied by “public scandal” or
“abandonment of the woman”.
Discrimination between children bore in and out of wedlock.
In Articles 34 and 35 of the Civil Code, children continue to be referred
to as legitimate or illegitimate, and the latter are called natural when they
have been recognized by their Father, or children of an illicit union, if they
have resulted from adulterous or incestuous relations.
Effects of this classification.
A) If there is a legitimate descendant or descendants the other s are
excluded from the inheritance, and the natural children have only the right to
claim maintenance up to the amount of one third of the inheritance.
B) If there are no legitimate descendants, the natural children participate
in the inheritance along with the ascendant relatives.
C) Adultery or incestuous children do not have even the right to claim
D) Adultery children cannot be legitimated by the subsequent marriage of
their parents and, obviously, neither can incestuous children be, since their
progenitors are prohibited from marrying on account of their relationship.
these classifications work against human dignity, encourage paternal
irresponsibility, and leave the whole burden of support of the children on the
In addition to these specific points, discriminations are alleged in
regard to wages of campesino women and woman domestic workers.
In this regard there is a commination in the hands of the Commission that
the wages of permanent agricultural labor, women earn 0.60 less than men per
regular working day, their wage being the same as that of a male worker under 16
years of age or a partially disabled man. Here
I consider there is obvious discrimination, since if the work done by a woman
had to be done by a man, he would earn 0.60 more than she.”
The report concludes with the statement that “The Organization of
American States can contribute, with its actions and suggestions to eliminating
the legal discriminations and gaps existing, not only in this country, but in
all those member countries whose laws contain provisions injurious to human
American Convention on Human Rights
Article 17 - Rights of the
4. The States Parties shall take appropriate steps to ensure the
equality of rights and the adequate balancing of responsibilities of the
spouses as to marriage, during marriage, and in the event of its
dissolution. Incase of
dissolution, provisions shall be made for a the necessary protection of any
children solely on the basis of their own best interest.
5. The law shall recognize equal rights for children born out of wedlock
and those born in wedlock.
Article 24 -
right to Equal Protection
All persons are equal before the law.
Consequently, they are entitled, without discrimination, to equal
protection of the law.