The importance of cultural diversity and local perceptions in ensuring the effective protection of human rights: a study of the Sawhoyamaxa case
In order for human rights to be relevant to all and to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable members of society, it is necessary that human rights to be considered from a local perspective. There is limited research regarding the effectiveness of the impact that a dialogue between the local and the global can have on the effective protection of rights. Seeking to investigate this concept further, this thesis explores how human rights and their violations are viewed, and how the consideration of such nuances by international protection mechanisms can have an impact, at local level. These questions are answered through a case study of the Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay case deliberated by Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This case is an example of the Court’s progressive jurisprudence regarding its consideration of the cultural and spiritual connection that indigenous peoples have with their land in its interpretation of the right to property. In order to explore the above concepts, this thesis focuses on the impact that the violation of the Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community’s right to property, in the form of the expropriation of their land, had on their culture and the subsequent impact of the Inter-American Court’s sentence.