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Social Panorama of Latin America 2006

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 2006

In the last four years, Latin America has turned in its best performance in twenty-five years in economic and social terms. Progress with poverty reduction, falling unemployment, improving income distribution in several countries and a strong upswing in numbers of jobs are the main factors underlying the positive trend in a number of the region's countries. The first two chapters of in this report look at the way the main social indicators have behaved in the last few years. The following two chapters address matters that, for different reasons, have come to figure prominently on government agendas.

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Diversity and sociodemographic inequality of indigenous peoples: Reflections for the formulation of policies within the framework of individual and collective rights

One of the most remarkable phenomena to have occurred in the region in the last two decades of the twentieth century and one which is likely to have long–term effects on Latin American democracies was the establishment of movements of indigenous peoples as national and transnational political stakeholders. Accordingly, a first generation of legal modifications, mainly consisting of recognition measures, was introduced. Concomitantly with these transformations, minimum standards relating to the rights of indigenous peoples were adopted in international human rights law, which is binding on States. Indigenous peoples’ status as subjects of law calls for a change of approach to ensure that their individual human rights are guaranteed and respected at the same time as their right to form different collectivities. In addition, a fresh reading of existing inequities is needed insofar as these reflect gaps in the observance of such rights. Hence, it is necessary to formulate and implement policies and programmes aimed at eliminating those inequities.

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