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The Protection of Children of Indigenous Peoples: the Case of the Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay

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Chapter Summary

In the past the Inter-American Court dealt with cases of few individual victims only, today incidence of cases of multiple victims is increasing in its docket. In this evolving trend, the rights of indigenous peoples, have been at stake in individual petitions, whose aim has been to protect communities historically deprived of their rights, including their rights to ownership of ancestral lands. The case of the Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay, decided on 29th March 2006, is in that sense a landmark decision on protection of children of indigenous peoples in the world. In its analysis of Article 4 in the present case, the Court started by emphasizing the principle that "the right to life is a fundamental human right whose full enjoyment is a prerequisite for the enjoyment of the other human rights" and as consequence, it reiterated the principle that "no restrictive approach of this right was admissible".

Keywords: human rights; indigenous peoples; Inter-American Court; protection of children; right to life; The Case of the Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay



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