Public Policies for the Comprehensive Protection of Indigenous Defenders of Collective Rights, Especially the Rights to Their Lands, Territories and Environment

Federación por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos Indígenas.

The defense of human rights strengthens the democracy of any country considering the fundamental contribution offered by seeking, in different ways, to promote, advance or protect the realization of environmental, civil, cultural, economic, social and political rights, especially if this defense is carried out in relation to groups that are vulnerable either through exclusion, discrimination or poverty, among other factors. In this context, in the Republic of Paraguay there is a historical and structural racial discrimination against indigenous peoples.
In this context, in the Republic of Paraguay there is a historical and structural racial discrimination against indigenous peoples, which has meant a plundering and attack on their lands, territory and environment, and which continues to this day. It is in this sense that several individuals, organizations, communities or peoples have organized themselves to protect their collective rights, hence their status as human rights defenders. In carrying out this work, individually or collectively, they have suffered and continue to face different forms of attacks or violations of their rights as human rights defenders, whether through stigmatization, intimidation or criminalization, among others.
This situation occurs even within the State itself, despite the fact that the State has the obligation to adopt the necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that the rights and freedoms of human rights defenders are fully guaranteed, as stipulated in Article 2 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, approved by the General Assembly in 1998. This work focuses primarily on the study of public policies for the comprehensive protection of human rights defenders with emphasis on indigenous defenders of collective rights, especially when the defense refers to their lands, territories and environment. To achieve this objective, a comparative study of the region is carried out in terms of the survey of public policies on protection mechanisms for human rights defenders. It also analyzes the factors that influence Paraguay to continue without a law and without a mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders. Finally, it concludes with proposals for some guidelines based on public policies for the comprehensive guarantee of the rights of these defenders.