The following information is based on the Amnesty International Report 2021/22. This report documented the human rights situation in 149 countries in 2021, as well as providing global and regional analysis. It presents Amnesty International’s concerns and calls for action to governments and others. 


Police responded with unnecessary and excessive use of force to protests over the government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic and alleged corruption. Several protesters were arrested and faced criminal charges. The health system collapsed as the pandemic intensified. There was no significant progress regarding several cases of human rights violations in previous years, including cases of torture and violations of LGBTI and Indigenous rights. There were high numbers of cases of sexual abuse of children and adolescents and violence against women. The country was shaken by forced evictions, especially of rural and Indigenous communities.


The UPR of Paraguay’s human rights record resulted in more than 200 recommendations of which seven were rejected and two were partially accepted. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Paraguay responsible for violating judicial independence and legal protections in the case of two former Supreme Court justices dismissed in 2003 and the UN Human Rights Committee found Paraguay responsible for violating the rights of an Indigenous community.

Freedom of assembly

In March, thousands of people throughout the country took to the streets to protest against alleged corruption in the pandemic response as well as the collapse of the health system. There were multiple complaints of excessive use of force by police. Vivian Genes and other student protesters were arrested, charged and accused of involvement in a fire at the premises of the ruling party, the National Republican Association.

The authorities announced that they would acquiesce to the facts presented before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding the killing of the journalist Santiago Leguizamón in 1991, acknowledging their responsibility. Deliberations regarding reparations continued.

Right to health

The health system collapsed as the Covid-19 pandemic intensified and thousands of people were unable to access intensive care units or receive adequate healthcare.

Implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination plan was initially intermittent and slow. There were allegations of corruption and strong criticism of mismanagement regarding the purchase of vaccines. As the vaccination roll-out progressed, the number of deaths and infections decreased.

Covid-19 claimed the lives of over 14,367 people in 2021, more than six times as many as in 2020. The pandemic further exposed historic underfunding of the health system and the resulting inadequate access to public healthcare, particularly for those with limited resources.

Torture and other ill-treatment

No progress was made in investigations into the alleged torture of 35 people at a naval base in the city of Ciudad del Este in 2020. By the end of the year, more than 18 months after the incident, no one had been charged in the case.

Economic, social and cultural rights

By the end of the year, Paraguay had not ratified the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR or the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (the Escazú Agreement).

The number of forced evictions increased, several of them affecting Indigenous communities. Many evicted groups had no guarantees of effective judicial remedies and the evictions were carried out without granting them any resettlement alternatives, among other irregularities.

Indigenous peoples’ rights

The state failed to return the ancestral lands to the Tekoha Sauce community of the Avá Guaraní people. They had been evicted on two occasions in previous years, one of them to allow the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in Itaipú.1

In October, the UN Human Rights Committee issued a resolution holding Paraguay responsible for violating the human rights of the Campo Agua’e Indigenous community through contamination by toxic agrochemicals on their lands.

LGBTI people´s rights

No progress was reported in the criminal cases concerning attacks on LGBTI people during a Pride march in 2019 in the city of Hernandarias. The Hernandarias municipality had banned the march in part as “contrary to public morals”. A lawsuit against the municipality´s decision filed by Amnesty International in October 2019 also remained stalled.

Human rights defenders

Despite a commitment made during a previous UPR review, the authorities did not identify a mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders and did not disseminate the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

Children´s rights

The authorities did not implement sufficient and effective measures to prevent, identify and address cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of children and adolescents.

The Ministry for Childhood registered 3,850 cases of mistreatment and sexual abuse of children between January and October. Of these, 1,345 related to sexual abuse and exploitation. The Public Prosecutor’s Office received 2,284 complaints of child sexual abuse in the first 10 months of the year.

The authorities did not guarantee the sexual and reproductive rights of girls. By September the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare had registered 357 births to girls aged between 10 and 14.2 However, in December, a technical working group was set up to address the problem and a single comprehensive care route was finally approved.

The authorities failed to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two 11-year-old Argentine girls during an operation by the Joint Task Force in the department of Concepción in September 2020. There were also no answers regarding the flawed investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the authorities failed to establish a special commission to investigate the incident or to seek the assistance of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as requested by civil society organizations.

Women´s rights

In November, a sentencing court found a priest responsible for the sexual harassment charges brought by Alexa Torres, and he faced a suspended sentence of one year imprisonment.

A bill declaring femicides a national emergency was passed in the context of an increasing number of killings of women.

Congress also discussed another bill which would define cases as family violence even where the perpetrator and victim are not cohabiting. The Supreme Court of Justice approved the protocol for dealing with cases of domestic violence against women and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare issued a manual on support services for victims of domestic violence.

The Public Defender’s Office reported in mid-November that a record 2,312 women had been assisted in the first six months of the year within the framework of Law 5777. The National Police and Ministry of Women SOS helpline registered 4,469 cases of domestic violence in the same period.

A bill to prevent, punish and eradicate gender-based political violence against women was before Congress at the end of the year.

Paraguay Newsroom

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 23, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Paraguay 2013

Republic of Paraguay Head of state and government Federico Franco There were some advances in the fulfilment of the rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, some communities continued to be denied …

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Paraguay 2010

Head of state and government Fernando Lugo Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 6.3 million Life expectancy 71.7 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 44/32 per 1,000 Adult literacy 94.6 per …

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

May 11, 2015 • Press Release

Paraguay: Raped 10-year-old girl continues to be denied the option of an abortion despite national and global outrage

The clock is ticking and Paraguayan authorities are still not ensuring that all options are available for a raped 10-year-old girl, including safe abortion services, Amnesty International and a group of national and international human rights organizations said.

April 29, 2015 • Press Release

Raped 10-Year-Old in Paraguay Must Be Allowed an Abortion

Failure by the Paraguayan authorities to provide a safe abortion to a 10-year-old rape survivor could have devastating consequences on her health and will heap injustice on tragedy, said Amnesty International today. The organization is now calling on the government to intervene to ensure the girl gets all the medical treatment she requires, including the termination of the unwanted pregnancy.

December 17, 2012 • Press Release

Paraguay Authorities Must Investigate Perpetrators of Curuguaty Killings

Amnesty International said today that authorities in Paraguay must ensure all those responsible for the deaths of 11 peasants and six police officers in Curuguaty last June are investigated, including police officers present during the forced eviction.