For years, Amnesty International has said that Chile needs a new Constitution because the current one, which was imposed during the regime of Augusto Pinochet, has shown that it does not contribute to reducing the inequalities, precariousness and abuses experienced by the vast majority of the population. On the contrary, the current text hinders the changes needed to achieve a fairer Chile. Therefore, and in the certainty that the new Constitution will better guarantee human rights, the organization is today launching its “Aprobar es Humano” (Approving is Human) campaign.
“In September we will have two options before us that will determine the future of current and future generations. On the one hand, citizens will be able to approve and open the way for a Constitution that supports equal rights, or reject it and keep the current text, which has shown that it works to the benefit of some and not others. Amnesty International has decided to position itself on the path of justice and dignity, which is why it is supporting approval,” said Rodrigo Bustos, executive director of Amnesty International Chile.
Amnesty International has decided to position itself on the path of justice and dignity, which is why it is supporting approvalRodrigo Bustos, executive director of Amnesty International Chile
“The eyes of the world are on Chile. The population has a historic opportunity to correct many decades of inequalities and injustices and to enshrine human rights in a new representative and inclusive Constitution, as a first step towards building a country that is fairer and free for all,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.
Amnesty International believes that the text of the new Constitution will enshrine more robustly fundamental rights, especially economic, social, cultural and environmental rights related to adequate access to health, pensions, housing, education, social security, decent work and water, among others. It will, therefore, have a direct impact on people’s daily lives, opening the way to greater equality and justice.
This is in clear contrast with what is happening today under the current Constitution, which does not include certain crucial rights, such as the right to housing, to water, to food – or mentions them, but very inadequately, as is the case with the right to health and social security. The current Constitution frequently assigns a rather passive role to the state, instead of setting out its obligation to ensure these rights. This helps explain the inequality and the situation of vulnerability in which the vast majority of the population in Chile lives and which sparked the mass protests of October 2019.
The eyes of the world are on Chile. The population has a historic opportunity to correct many decades of inequalities and injustices and to enshrine human rightsErika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International
In addition, the text of the proposed new Constitution safeguards the rights of groups of people with special protection needs because of the discrimination they have traditionally experienced, such as people with disabilities, children and adolescents, and Indigenous peoples. In no way does it establish privileges, but it will make it possible to even up a situation that has thus far given rise to injustices.
Amnesty International acknowledges that the Constitution alone will not ensure immediate and comprehensive protection of the rights of all people, but it is an essential first step in that direction.
“The new Constitution is not the end point, but a starting point for constructing that path to greater equality. Approving is human and opens the way to a society of greater fairness and solidarity,” said Rodrigo Bustos.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Duncan Tucker (Amnesty International Americas): [email protected]
Ilsen Jara (Amnesty International Chile): [email protected]