Advance questions and statement to Paraguay

Norway welcomes the delegation from Paraguay. We commend Paraguay for its commitment to follow up its international human rights obligations, including through the Recommendations Monitoring System for UPR and its active participation as a member of the Human Rights Council. We also commend Paraguay for establishing a National Preventive Mechanism against Torture.

We are concerned, however, of a high number of reports regarding threats, attacks, harassment and even killings of Human Rights Defenders and journalists because of their legitimate work. Human Rights Defenders working to prevent land confiscation seem to face particular risk.

In light of this Norway recommends that Paraguay:

  1. Combat impunity by ensuring prompt, thorough and transparent investigation of all violations against, and killing of Human Rights Defenders; the prosecution of perpetrators and access to effective remedies for victims;
  2. Adopt measures to guarantee the right to life, safety of human rights defenders and journalists, including for those defending indigenous communities from land grabbing;
  3. Adopt appropriate measures to disseminate widely and ensure full observance of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;
  4. Acknowledge the legitimate role of human rights defenders, and create and maintain a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders and journalists to carry out their legitimate work without threat of violence or reprisals.