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Human rights in Paraguay: Wikis

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Paraguay meets most international standards for human rights. It affords its citizens the rights of freedom of the press, speech, and religion. Those suspected of committing crimes must have charges brought against them within 180 days, or have the charges dropped. All suspects have the right to a lawyer. However, prison conditions in Paraguay are abysmal. Asunción’s largest prison holds three times the number of prisoners for which it was designed. Moreover, it has only 120 guards for more than 2,500 prisoners. Prisoners are malnourished and often kept in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. The constitution guarantees the right of privacy and the protection of private property. However, the National Police have been accused of violating these rights at times. Additionally, the police have been accused of using torture to solicit information from suspects. Demonstrations of protest are permitted but are restricted to certain places and times in Asunción. Paraguayan workers have the right to unionize, protest, and strike. Nevertheless, the International Labour Organization has criticized Paraguay’s workers’ rights for various deficiencies, including required registration of unions, the 300-worker minimum to form a union, and the lack of measures to prevent anti-union discrimination. Union members in Paraguay have complained of their leaders being fired or suffering discrimination. Violations of women’s rights have occurred most frequently in situations of sexual and domestic abuse. Spousal abuse is common and underreported, but it is a crime in Paraguay only if deemed habitual. Abuse and sexual abuse of children also are problems. The passage of the Child and Adolescent Law in 2001 required that departmental agencies be created to monitor and protect children’s rights, but so far the effect has been minimal. Trafficking in women and children from Paraguay remains a serious problem. In April 2004, Spanish police discovered 28 Paraguayan women trafficked to Spain for prostitution. Paraguay’s penal code outlaws trafficking of persons, but there have been no reported prosecutions of suspected traffickers.

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Paraguay meets most international standards for human rights. It affords its citizens the rights of freedom of the press, speech, and religion. Those suspected of committing crimes must have charges brought against them within 180 days, or have the charges dropped. All suspects have the right to a lawyer. However, prison conditions in Paraguay are abysmal. Asunción’s largest prison holds three times the number of prisoners for which it was designed. Moreover, it has only 120 guards for more than 2,500 prisoners. Prisoners are malnourished and often kept in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. The constitution guarantees the right of privacy and the protection of private property. However, the National Police have been accused of violating these rights at times. Additionally, the police have been accused of using torture to solicit information from suspects. Demonstrations of protest are permitted but are restricted to certain places and times in Asunción. Paraguayan workers have the right to unionize, protest, and strike. Nevertheless, the International Labour Organization has criticized Paraguay’s workers’ rights for various deficiencies, including required registration of unions, the 300-worker minimum to form a union, and the lack of measures to prevent anti-union discrimination. Union members in Paraguay have complained of their leaders being fired or suffering discrimination. Violations of women’s rights have occurred most frequently in situations of sexual and domestic abuse. Spousal abuse is common and underreported, but it is a crime in Paraguay only if deemed habitual. Abuse and sexual abuse of children also are problems. The passage of the Child and Adolescent Law in 2001 required that departmental agencies be created to monitor and protect children’s rights, but so far the effect has been minimal. Trafficking in women and children from Paraguay remains a serious problem. In April 2004, Spanish police discovered 28 Paraguayan women trafficked to Spain for prostitution. Paraguay’s penal code outlaws trafficking of persons, but there have been no reported prosecutions of suspected traffickers.

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