Paraguay: indigenous forced labour

To discuss forced labour in indigenous communities in the Paraguayan Chaco region, the ITUC and the Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores/as de las Américas (CSA), together with Paraguayan affiliates, the Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Paraguay (CNT) and the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores Auténtica del Paraguay (CUT-A), conducted a workshop in Asuncion, Paraguay in November 2010.
In addition to the Paraguayan trade union affiliates, Federación Regional Indígena del Chaco Central, the Consejo Interétnico Boquerón, the Dirección General de Educación Escolar Indígena de Paraguay (DGEEI), Movimiento Pueblo Originario (MPO), the União Geral de Trabalhadores de Brasil (UGT), Central Única dos Trabalhadores Brasil (CUT), the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, the Building and Woodworkers International (BWI), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Universidad Católica de Asunción, participated in the event.

In the Paraguayan Chaco live only 2.5 per cent of the national population, of which about 60% are indigenous. Unfortunately, many of these indigenous people do not own their ancestral lands, even when national laws and international agreements - such as the ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries - ensure these rights. The concentration of land in the hands of a few owners is noted as one of the main causes of forced labour among indigenous people, as they have no other option than to accept the work with livestock or in agricultural cooperatives, receiving low wages, as one of many other violations.
At the end an action plan to jointly combat the situation of forced labour in Paraguay was adopted. Follow-up meetings already took place this year and partners have started working on a mapping of the Guarani People and forced labour in Paraguay as a basis for further strategy development.

Full report and action plan

Report on the website of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas

Report on the website of the CNT Paraguay