Improving human rights and nature in Paraguay
Every 4 years, the United Nations undertake a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in each UN Member State. The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights situation. This year Paraguay was reviewed. To amplify the recommendations, WWF has supported local partners to publish a shadow report from civil society to highlight the links between human rights and conservation.
Two examples of environmental issues
In Paraguay, many basic universal rights that are not assured are linked to the environment. For example, the Yshir indigenous communities who have to drink their water directly from the Paraguay River. Too often this is contaminated by livestock waste, pollution from upstream towns, industrial activities including fumigation, barge traffic and the discharge of waste into rivers.
Another example is about the many uncontrolled forest fires. In 2019 only, 900,000 hectares in the country have been affected and in 2020 the situation got worse. By government inaction the fires caused a greater negative impact, highlighting the lack of means, financial and technical capacity. Fires affect not only natural resources necessary for basic human rights, such as access to water and food, but also the means and quality of life of many people. For example that of Ayoreo families who were forced to migrate south to access their traditional foods.
With this shadow report, civil society of Paraguay gives a set of recommendations which can be found in the report. Amongst others:
- The urgent need to guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples and local forest-dependent peoples by ensuring the maintenance of their natural and traditional resources and ecosystem services.
- To establish effective mechanisms to prevent third-party access to territories with the presence of indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation.
- Align the national legal framework on the use and application of agrochemicals to WHO and human rights standards.
- Respond to the demands of indigenous peoples calling for historical redress for human rights violations suffered as a result of the construction of the country's Binational Hydroelectric Plants by considering the provisions of Article 28 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Read the full shadow report here. There are also 3 factsheets created (in Spanish and English) with further explanations of the challenges, impacts and recommendations: on forestry issues, agribusiness and access to basic human rights. If you want to read more, please see the article on the website of FAPI (in Spanish).
- Factsheet 1: Human rights, business and environment - FORESTRY ISSUES
- Factsheet 2: Human rights, business and environment - AGRIBUSINESS
- Factsheet 3: Human rights, business and environment - BASIC RIGHTS
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