Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NEWS RELEASE

Paraguay: UN rights expert to assess indigenous peoples’ participation and land and resource rights

GENEVA / ASUNCIÓN (19 November 2014) – The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will carry out an official visit to Paraguay from 21 to 28 November 2014 to study the situation of indigenous peoples in the country .

“I will explore, among others, the issues of land and resource rights, as well as participation and consent -which can be achieved through free, prior and informed consultations- and land and resource rights,” Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said, announcing the first visit ever to Paraguay by an independent expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on indigenous peoples’ rights worldwide.

“These issues were identified as the priorities of indigenous peoples’ in Paraguay during a series of dialogues with them prior to the visit,” she noted. “I hope this visit will contribute to raising awareness of the concerns of indigenous peoples in the country, concerns that are often ignored by the societies in which they live.”

The UN independent expert expressed her desire to “get a better understanding of the various experiences and views of indigenous peoples, including indigenous women, representatives of the Government, and other parties on the advances and challenges that exist with regard to enjoyment of human rights of indigenous peoples in the country."

During her eight-day visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with indigenous representatives and officials of the Government of Paraguay in Asunción. She will also travel to the Occidental and Oriental regions where she will meet with local government representatives and indigenous organizations in El Chaco to explore issues related to the protection of their natural resources and will visit urban indigenous communities. In Oriental region, she will visit communities dealing with issues of protection, safety and security of indigenous peoples and of their lands and territories.

At the end of her mission, on Friday 28 November, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz will present her preliminary findings at a press conference that will be held at 10:30 am in Asunción in UNIC, United Nations Information Centre, UN House PB, Mcal. López y Saraví.

The Special Rapporteur will submit in 2015 a report to the UN Human Rights Council with her conclusions and recommendations on the issues studied during the mission.