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Advancing indigenous peoples’ rights through regional human rights systems: the case of Paraguay

Over the past few years, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled against Paraguay in three cases that refer mainly to violations of the territorial rights of indigenous peoples. This report describes the experience of Paraguayan organisation Tierraviva in working with communities from the Chaco region to bring such cases to the Inter- American Human Rights System (IAHRS).

Taking a long-term perspective, the report discusses the structural discrimination that prevents the fulfilment of indigenous rights in Paraguay; examines the work undertaken by Tierraviva alongside communities to advance their demands to the IHRS for the restitution of their land; and shares key lessons from the experience. The report also discusses one human rights case exemplifying a direct tension between indigenous peoples’ right to their ancestral territories and international treaties protecting foreign investment.

This publication has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.

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Mendieta Miranda, M. and Cabello Alonso, J. (2017) Advancing indigenous peoples’ rights through regional human rights systems: The case of Paraguay. IIED, London.
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