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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,” 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 studie

The UN Human Rights Council appointed Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines) as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in May 2014. Ms. Tauli-Corpuz, a human rights activist, has worked as an institution builder and an educator-trainer in human rights, development and environment issues. She has focused her work on movement building among indigenous peoples, in particular women.  Within her work on advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples, she was instrumental in drafting and negotiating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  She is a member of the Kankana-ey, Igorot indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/SRIPeoplesIndex.aspx

Check the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/Pages/Declaration.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Paraguay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/PYIndex.aspx

For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Geneva (before the mission): Ms. Hee-Kyong Yoo (+ 41 22 917 9723, during the visit +41 / 79 752 0486 / hyoo@ohchr.org ) or write to indigenous@ohchr.org.
In Asunción: (during the mission): Ms. Liliana Valiña (+595 21 607904 EXT. 101) / lvalina@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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