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Basic Principles, Rights, Duties, and Guarantees

Preamble

The Paraguayan people, through their legitimate representatives convening at the National Constituent Assembly, pleading to God, recognizing human dignity for the purpose of ensuring freedom, equality and justice, reaffirming the principles of a representative, participatory, pluralistic republican democracy, upholding national sovereignty and independence and joining the international community, hereby approve and promulgate this Constitution.

Title I  About Basic Principles
 
Article 1  About the Type of State and Government
(1) The Republic of Paraguay is and will always be independent. It is constituted as a social state of law, which is unitary, indivisible, and decentralized as prescribed by this Constitution and the laws.
(2) The Republic of Paraguay adopts as its system of government a representative, participatory, and pluralistic democracy, which is founded on the recognition of human dignity6111.
 
Article 2  About Sovereignty
In the Republic of Paraguay the sovereignty rests with the people, who exercise it in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
 
Article 3  About Public Powers
(1) The people exercise public powers through their right to vote. The government is exercised by the legislative, executive, and judicial powers through a system in which the three branches of government are kept independent, balanced, coordinated and with mutual checks and balances. None of these branches may claim for itself or may grant to another branch, any individual, or group, either special powers or all of the public powers.
(2) Dictatorship is against the law.
 
Title II  About Rights, Duties, and Guarantees
 
Chapter I  About Life and Environment
 
Section I  About Life
 
Article 4  About the Right to Live
The right to live is inherent to the human being. Its protection is guaranteed, in general, after the time of conception. The death penalty remains abolished. Each individual's physical and psychological integrity as well as his honor and reputation will be protected by the State. The law will regulate the freedom to dispose ones own body, but only for scientific or medical purposes.
 
Article 5  About Torture and Other Crimes
(1) No one will be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment.
(2) Genocide, torture, the use of force to make people disappear, kidnapping and the homicide for political reasons are crimes that are not subject to terms of limitation.
 
Article 6  About the Quality of Life
(1) The State will promote the quality of life through plans and policies that are focused on conditioning factors, such as extreme poverty and of impediments stemming from disability or age.
(2) The State will also promote research on population factors and their links with socio-economic development, the preservation of the environment and the quality of life of the inhabitants.
 
Section II  About the Environment
 
Article 7  About the Right to a Healthy Environment
(1) Everyone has the right to live in a healthy, ecologicallybalanced environment.
(2) The preservation, recovery, and improvement of the environment, as well as efforts to reconcile these goals with comprehensive human development, are priority objectives of social interest. The respective laws and government policies will seek to meet these objectives.
 
Article 8  About Environment Protection
(1) Those activities that are likely to cause environmental changes will be regulated by law. The law may also restrict or prohibit those activities that are considered hazardous.
(2) The manufacturing, assembly, import, commerce, possession or use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, as well as the introduction of toxic waste into the country are hereby prohibited. The law may be extended to other hazardous elements. It will also regulate the trafficking of genetic resources and related technologies to protect national interests.
(3) The law will define and establish sanctions for ecological crimes. Any damage to the environment will entail an obligation to restore and to pay for damages.
 
Chapter II  About Freedom
 
Article 9  About Individual Freedom and Security
(1) Everyone has the right to have his freedom and security protected.
(2) No one may be forced to do anything that is not mandated by law, and no one may be prevented from doing something that is not prohibited by law62.
 
Article 10  About Proscription of Slavery and Other Forms of Servitude
Slavery, personal servitude, and the trafficking in people are hereby proscribed. Individuals may be required by law to perform social duties in favor of the State.
 
Article 11  About Deprivation of Freedom
(1) No one will be deprived of his physical freedom or taken to court, except under causes and conditions established by this Constitution and the law.
 
Article 12  About Detention and Arrest
No one will be detained or arrested without a written order issued by a competent authority, except for those caught in flagrante delicto in relation to a crime punishable with a prison sentence. Any arrested person has the right:
1.  to be informed at the time of arrest of the reason for the arrest, and of his right to remain silent and to be assisted by a defender of his trust. The official conducting the arrest must produce an arrest warrant at the time of the arrest;
2.  have family members or individuals designated by him immediately informed of his arrest;
3.  to have free communication except when, by way of anexception, he is ordered to be held incommunicado by virtue of a founded decision issued by a competent judicial authority. His incommunicado status, which in no case can exceed the deadline established by law, will not prevent him from contacting his defense authority;
4.  To have an interpreter if necessary; and
5.  To be brought before a competent judge within 24 hours of his arrest so that the judge may take appropriate legal decisions in the case.
 
Article 13  About Debts Not Being Cause for Imprisonment
The deprivation of freedom by reason of debt is prohibited, except in cases when a competent judicial authority issues an arrest warrant against someone who has failed to comply with sustenance payments or who has to serve time as a substitute for judicial fines or bonds to be paid.
 
Article 14  About the Non-retroactivity of Laws
No law will be retroactive, except if it were to the defendant's or convict's advantage.
 
Article 15  About the Prohibition of Taking the Law into one's Own Hands
No one may take the law into his own hands or use violence to demand his rights. However, the right to self-defense is guaranteed.
 
Article 16  About Defense in Court
Everyone has the inviolable right to defend himself and his rights in court.  Everyone has the right to have his case heard by competent, independent and impartial judges and courts.
 
Article 17  About Procedural Rights
In a criminal process or in any other process which could result in punishment or sanction, everyone has the right:
1.  To be presumed innocent;
2.  To be judged in a public trial, except for special cases in which the presiding judge may consider it necessary to do otherwise to safeguard other rights;
3.  To be sentenced only at the end of a trial based on a law that was already in force when the criminal offense was committed, and not to be tried by special tribunals;
4.  Not to stand trial more than once for the same offense. Closed trials cannot be reopened, except to revise sentences to benefit the convicted individual in those cases prescribed in procedural law;
5.  To defend himself or to be assisted by defenders of his choice;
6.  To have a public defender at the State's expense if he cannot afford to pay attorney's fees;
7.  To have a detailed list of the charges against him in advance, as well as copies of relevant documents, the means, and the essential time that is needed to prepare for his defense while in free communication;
8.  To offer, produce, check, and reject evidence;
9.  Not to be charged with any evidence produced or proceedings carried out in violation of legal provisions;
10.  To have access either personally or through his defender to all proceedings, which, under no circumstance, may be kept secret from him.  The pretrial inquest stage cannot extend beyond the deadline established by law;
11.  To be indemnified by the State if he was convicted because of a judicial error.
 
Article 18  About Restrictions on Questioning
(1) No one may be forced to give testimony against himself, against his spouse or partner, or against blood relatives of up to the fourth degree and relatives by marriage of up to the second degree.
(2) Illegal acts committed by, or dishonors brought upon a defendant do not affect his relatives or next-of kin.
 
Article 19  About Preventive Imprisonment
The preventive imprisonment of a defendant will be ordered only when it is essential for the case proceedings.  It should in no way extend beyond the minimum sentence established for the crime being investigated, according to the classification of it made by the judge in his respective resolution.
 
Article 20  About the Objective of Sentences
(1) Prison sentences will serve the purpose of readapting convicted criminals and to protect society.
(2) The confiscation of goods and the dispossession of land are proscribed as punishment.
 
Article 21  About the Imprisonment of People
(1) Those people deprived of their freedom will be kept in adequate establishments, in which the mixture of sexes should be avoided.  Minors will not share the same establishments with adults.
(2) Persons subject to preventive custody will stay in places other than those designed for convicted inmates.
 
Article 22  About Reporting on Court Cases
(1) Any publication on pending court cases has to be carried out free from prejudice.
(2) The defendant must not be considered guilty until the sentence against him becomes final.
 
Article 23  About Efforts to Prove That Allegations are True
(1) Evidence that seeks to prove that allegations are true and notorious will not be admissible in court cases motivated by publications affecting the honor, reputation, and dignity of individuals if those allegations refer to private penal crimes or to private behavior that this Constitution or the law have declared to be exempted from the authority of the courts.
(2) This type of evidence is admissible in cases prompted by the publication of public criticism of government officials and in other cases expressly established by law.
 
Article 24  About Religious and Ideological Freedom
(1) Freedom of religion, worship, and ideology is recognized without any restrictions other than those established in this Constitution and the law.  The State has no official religion.
(2) Relations between the State and the Catholic Church are based on independence, cooperation, and autonomy.
(3) The independence and autonomy of all churches and religious denominations, without restrictions other than those imposed by this Constitution and the law, are hereby guaranteed.
(4) No one may be disturbed, questioned, or forced to give testimony by reason of his beliefs or ideology.
 
Article 25  About the Expression of One's Personality
(1) Everyone has the right to freely express his personality, to be creative, and to forge his own identity.
(2) Ideological pluralism is hereby guaranteed.
 
Article 26  About Freedom of Expression and of Press
(1) Free expression6242 and the freedom of the press, as well as the dissemination of thoughts and opinions, without any type of censorship, and with no more limitations than the ones established by this Constitution, are hereby guaranteed.  In consequence, no law is to be passed that restricts or makes these rights unfeasible.  There will be no press crimes; they will be considered common crimes committed through the press.
(2) Everyone has the right to generate, process, or disseminate information and to use any legal, effective instrument to achieve these goals.
 
Article 27  About the Use of the Mass Communication Media
(1) The operation of mass communication media organizations is of public interest; therefore, they cannot be closed or suspended.
(2) No press organization that lacks responsible management will be permitted.
(3) Any discrimination practice in providing press supplies is hereby prohibited, as well as the jamming of radio frequencies, any action aimed at obstructing in any way the free circulation, distribution, and sale of periodicals, books, magazines, or other publications managed by responsible directors or authors.
(4) The pluralism of information is hereby guaranteed.
(5) Advertisement will be regulated by law to better protect the rights of children, youths, illiterates, consumers, and women.
 
Article 28  About the Right to Obtain Information
(1) The people's right to receive true, responsible, and equitable information is hereby recognized.
(2) Everyone has free access to public sources of information.  The laws will regulate the corresponding procedures, deadlines and sanctions, in order to turn this right effective.
(3) Anyone affected by the dissemination of false, distorted, or ambiguous information has the right to demand that the offending media organization rectify or clarify the report under the same conditions in which it was originally conveyed, without any other compensatory rights being affected.
 
Article 29  About the Freedom to Practice Journalism
(1) The practice of journalism, in all its forms, is free and is not subject to prior authorization.  In performing of their duties, journalists of mass communication media organizations will not be forced to act against the dictates of their conscience or to reveal their sources of information.
(2) A columnist has the right to publish his opinion uncensored in the newspaper for which he works as long as his work bears his signature. The newspaper management may exempt itself from any responsibility by stating its disagreement with the columnist.
(3) The journalist's right of authorship to the product of his intellectual, artistic, or photographic work, no matter what is its techniques, is hereby recognized under the terms of the law.
 
Article 30  About Electromagnetic Communication Signals
(1) The transmission and programming of electromagnetic communication signals fall within the public domain of the State which, exercising its national sovereignty, will promote the full use of these signals in compliance to the rights of the Republic and ratified international agreements.
(2) The law will ensure equal opportunities for everyone to have free access to the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as the electronic instruments used to collect and to process public information, without limitations other than those imposed by international regulations and technical rules.  Government officials may not violate personal or family privacy or the other fundamental rights ensured by this Constitution.
 
Article 31  About State Mass Communication Media
The structure and operation of mass media organizations subordinated to the State will be regulated by law.  Equal opportunities must be given to all social and political sectors, guaranteeing a democratic and pluralistic access to these organizations.
 
Article 32  About Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration
Everyone has the right to assemble and to demonstratepeacefully without carrying weapons and with legal purpose, without having to ask the authorization of the respective authorities, and everyone has the right to not being obliged to attend this type of meeting.  The law can only regulate the exercise of this right in areas of public traffic control, at certain hours, to preserve the rights of others and public order as established by law.
 
Article 33  About the Right to Privacy
(1) Personal and family privacy, as well as the respect of private life, are inviolable.  Individual behavior that does not affect public order as established by law or the rights of third parties is exempted from the authority of public officials.
(2) The protection of the privacy, dignity, and private image of each individual is hereby guaranteed.
 
Article 34  About the Inviolability of Private Premises
Every private premises is inviolable.  Private premises can only be searched or closed by a court order in accordance with the law.  By way of exception, it can be searched or closed without a court order in case of flagrante delicto or to prevent the imminent perpetration of a crime or to avoid personal harm or property damage.
 
Article 35  About Identification Documents
Personal identification documents, licenses or certificates cannot be seized or retained by government officials. Government officials cannot deprive any individual of these documents except in those cases established by law.
 
Article 36  About the Inviolability of Personal Documents and Private Correspondence
(1) Personal documents are inviolable.  Records, regardless of the technique used, accountings, printed matter, correspondence, writings, telephonic communication, telegraphic communication, or any other type of communication, collections or reproductions, testimonies or objects of testimonial value, as well as their respective copies, cannot be reviewed, reproduced, intercepted, or seized unless
a court order is issued in specific cases established in the law, and then only when action are essential for clearing up matters falling within the jurisdiction of the respective competent authorities.  The law will establish special procedures for reviewing commercial accounting books and mandatory record books.
(2) Evidence obtained in violation of the above provisions is not admissible in court.
(3) In every case, strict reservation will be observed regarding matters irrelevant to the investigation.
 
Article 37  About the Right to Conscientious Objection
The right to conscientious objection for ethical or religious reasons is hereby recognized for those cases in which this Constitution and the law permit it.
 
Article 38  About the Right to Defend Common Interests
Everyone has the right, either individually or within a group, to demand that public officials adopt measures to defend the environment, the preservation of the habitat, public health, national cultural heritage, the interests of consumers, and other areas that, because of their legal nature, pertain to the community and are related to the quality of life and to property belonging to the community.
 
Article 39  About the Right to Just and Adequate Indemnification
Everyone has the right to just, adequate indemnification for damage or prejudice he may have sustained as a result of actions by the State.  The law will regulate this right.
 
Article 40  About the Right to Petition Authorities
Everyone, either individually or within a group, and without having to meet any special requirement, has the right to make written petitions to government authorities, who will have to respond within the established legal deadline.  If no response is received within this deadline, it will be assumed that the petition has been denied.
 
Article 41  About the Right to Move About From Place to Place and to Reside
(1) Every Paraguayan has the right to reside in his fatherland.  Residents may freely move from one place to another throughout the national territory to change their place of residence, to leave the Republic or to return to it, and, in accordance with the law, to incorporate their assets into the country or to remove them.  Migration will be regulated by law, taking into account these rights.
(2) The entry into the country for foreigners having no final residence papers will be regulated by law, taking into account international conventions governing this matter.
(3) Foreigners who have been granted final residence papers cannot be forced to leave the country, except when an order to this effect has been issued through a court ruling.
 
Article 42  About Freedom of Association
Everyone is free to join associations or unions with legal purposes.  No one can be forced to join any association.  The law will establish procedures for joining professional associations. Secret associations, as well as those of a paramilitary nature, are hereby prohibited.
 
Article 43  About the Right to Asylum
(1) Paraguay recognizes the right to territorial and diplomatic asylum to anyone persecuted for political reasons or crimes or for related common crimes, as well as for his opinions or beliefs.  Government authorities will have to immediately issue the respective personal and safe-conduct documents.
(2) No one who has been granted political asylum will be forced to go to the country whose authorities are persecuting him.
 
Article 44  About Taxes
No one will be forced to pay taxes or to provide personal services that had not been previously and expressly established by law.  No one will be forced to post excessive bail bonds or to pay outrageous fines.
 
Article 45  About Undeclared Rights and Guarantees
The rights and guarantees contained in this Constitution must not be interpreted to preclude others that, despite being inherent to human personality, are not specified herein.  The lack of a law of implementation is no excuse to either deny or curtail any right or guarantee.
 
Chapter III  About Equality
 
Article 46  About All Persons Being Equal
(1) All residents of the Republic are equal63 as far as dignity and rights are concerned.  No discrimination is permitted.  The State will remove all obstacles and prevent those factors that support or promote discrimination.
(2) Guarantees aimed at preventing unfair inequalities will not be considered discriminatory, but egalitarian factors.
 
Article 47  About Guarantees for Equality
The State will guarantee every inhabitant of the Republic:
1.  Equality in access to justice, for which purpose it will remove the obstacles that could prevent it;
2.  Equality before the law;
3.  Equal access to a non-elective public office, without any requirement other than being competent for the job; and
4.  Equal opportunities in the benefits of nature, in material assets, and in culture.
 
Article 48  About Equal Rights for Men and Women
Men and women have equal civil, political, social, and cultural rights.  The State will foster the conditions and create the mechanisms adequate for making this equality real and effective by removing those obstacles that prevent or curtail its realization, as well as by promoting women's participation in every sector of national life.
 
Chapter IV  About Family Rights
 
Article 49  About Protection of the Family
The family is the foundation of society.  Its comprehensive protection will be promoted and guaranteed. This comprises the stable union of a man and a woman, their children, and the community formed with any of the ancestors or their descendants.
 
Article 50  About the Right To Constitute a Family
Everyone has the right to constitute a family, in a formation and development under which a man and a woman will have the same rights and obligations.
 
Article 51  About Legal Marriages and the Effects of Marriage-Like Partnership
(1) The law will establish the formalities to be observed for the marriage between a man and a woman, the requirements for contracting it, and the causes for separation or dissolution and its effects, as well as property management provisions and other rights and obligations between spouses.
(2) A marriage-like partnership between a man and a woman, having no legal impediments to getting married and being characterized by stability and monogamy, produces a similar effect to that of a legal marriage, in accordance with the provisions established by law.
 
Article 52  About the Union in Marriage
The union in marriage by a man and woman is one of the fundamental factors in the formation of a family.
 
Article 53  About Children
(1) Every parent has the right and obligation to care for, to feed, to educate, and to support his children while they are minors.  The laws will punish those parents who fail to comply with their duty to provide their children with food.
(2) Children who are no longer minors must provide assistance to their parents if necessary.
(3) The law will regulate the assistance that should be given to large families and to women who are the head of the family.
(4) All children are equal before the law.  This makes it possible for every child to investigate who his parents are.  It is hereby forbidden to make any statements about the affiliation in personal documents.
 
Article 54  About the Required Protection for a Child
(1) Families, society, and the State have the obligation of guaranteeing a child the right to a harmonious, comprehensive development, as well as the right to fully exercise his rights by protecting him against abandonment, undernourishment, violence, abuse, trafficking, or exploitation.  Anyone can demand that a competent authority comply with these guarantees and punish those who fail to comply with them.
(2) In case of conflict, the rights of the child will prevail.
 
Article 55  About Maternity and Paternity
Responsible maternity and paternity will be protected by the State, which will promote the creation of the necessary institutions to this end.
 
Article 56  About Youth
The State will promote conditions conductive to the active participation by the young people in the political,socioeconomic, and cultural development of the country.
 
Article 57  About Senior Citizens
Every senior citizen has the right to receive full protection by his family, society, and the State.  State organizations will promote the well-being of senior citizens by providing them with social services to meet their needs for food, health, housing, culture, and leisure.
 
Article 58  About the Rights of People with Special Needs
(1) Families, society, and the State will guarantee health care for special persons, as well as education, recreation, and professional training so that they may be fully integrated into society.
(2) The State will formulate a policy for the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and integration into society of physically disabled and psychologically or sensorial impaired individuals, who will be entitled to receive the specialized care they need.
(3) These individuals are entitled to enjoy the rights guaranteed by this Constitution to every inhabitant of the Republic, with equal opportunities, in order to compensate their disadvantages.
 
Article 59  About Family Property
Family property is hereby recognized as an institution of a social interest that will be regulated by law. Family property will consist of the family house or estate and its furniture and working tools, which cannot be subjected to any attachment.
 
Article 60  About Protection against Violence
The State will promote policies that aim at preventing violence within the family and other causes that undermine family solidarity.
 
Article 61  About Family Planning and Maternal-Child Health Care
(1) The State recognizes the right of everyone to freely and responsibly determine the number of children they plan to have, as well as the time span between one child and another.  Through a coordinated effort with the appropriate organizations, they are also entitled to receive education, scientific guidance, and adequate services.
(2) Special plans will be implemented to ensure reproductive health and maternal-child health for low-income groups.
 
Chapter V  About Indian Peoples
 
Article 62  About Indian Peoples and Ethnic Groups
This Constitution recognizes the existence of Indian peoples, defined as ethnic groups whose culture existed before the formation and constitution of the State of Paraguay.
 
Article 63  About Ethnic Identity
The right of Indian peoples to preserve and to develop their ethnic identity in their respective habitat is hereby recognized and guaranteed.  They also have the right to freely apply their systems of political, socioeconomic, cultural, and religious organization, and to voluntarily observe customary practices in their domestic coexistence as long as they do not violate the fundamental rights established by this Constitution.  Indian customary rights will be taken into account when deciding conflicts of jurisdiction.
 
Article 64  About Property Owned by the Community
(1) Indian peoples have the right, as communities, to a shared ownership of a piece of land, which will be sufficient both in terms of size and quality for them to preserve and to develop their own lifestyles.  The State will provide them with the respective land, free of charge.  This land, which will be exempt from attachments, cannot be divided, transferred, or affected by the statute of limitations, nor can it be used as collateral for contractual obligations or to be leased.  It will also be exempt from taxes.
(2) The removal or transfer of Indian groups from their habitat, without their express consent, is hereby prohibited.
 
Article 65  About the Right to Participate
The right of Indian peoples to participate in the political, socioeconomic, and cultural life of the country in accordance with their customary practices, the Constitution, and the national laws, is hereby guaranteed.
 
Article 66  About Education and Assistance
The State will respect the cultural heritage of Indian peoples, especially regarding their formal education.  At their request, the State will also defend them against demographic decline, the degradation of their habitat, environmental contamination, economic exploitation, and cultural alienation.
 
Article 67  About Exemptions
Members of Indian groups are exempted from the obligation to provide social services, civil or military, as well as from discharging those public duties established by law.
 
Chapter VI  About Health
 
Article 68  About Health Rights/ the Right to Health
(1) The State will protect and promote human health as a fundamental right of each person and in the best interests of the community.
(2) No one will be deprived of public assistance to prevent or treat diseases, pests, or plague or of aid in case of disasters or accidents.
(3) Everyone must observe the health measures established by law, within a framework of respect for human dignity.
 
Article 69  About the National Health System
The State will promote a national health system to implement comprehensive health actions through policies that will result in concerted actions and in the coordination of related programs and resources from the private and public sectors.
 
Article 70  About the Regulation of Social Welfare
The law will establish social welfare programs by implementing strategies based on health education and community participation.
 
Article 71  About the Drug Trafficking, Drug Addiction, and Rehabilitation
(1) The State will repress the production and illegal trafficking in narcotic substances and other dangerous drugs and act against the laundering of money obtained through these activities.  Similarly, it will also fight the illegal consumption of these drugs.  The laws will regulate the use of these drugs for medical purposes.
(2) Preventive education programs and rehabilitation programs for addicts will be established with the participation of private organizations.
 
Article 72  About Quality Control
The State will implement quality control procedures for food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and biological products throughout the production, import, and marketing stages.  It will also enable low-income sectors to have access to basic medical supplies.
 
Chapter VII  About Education and Culture
 
Article 73  About the Right to Education and its Goals
(1) Everyone has the right to a comprehensive, permanent education, conceived as a system and process to be realized within the cultural context of the community.  The system is designed to promote the full development of human personality, to foster freedom and peace, to promote social justice, solidarity, cooperation, and integration of all peoples, the respect for the human rights and the principles of democracy, to confirm the commitment to the fatherland and to strengthen the cultural identity.  It also seeks to promote the intellectual, moral, and civic growth of the individual, as well as the elimination of any educational programs of a discriminatory nature.
(2) The elimination of illiteracy and the implementation of job training programs are permanent objectives of the educational system.
 
Article 74  About the Right to Learn and the Freedom to Teach
(1) The right to learn and to have equal access opportunities to the benefits of humanistic culture, of science, and of technology, without any discrimination, is hereby guaranteed.
(2) The freedom to teach, without any requirement other than having ethical integrity and being competent for the job, as wellas the right to have a religious education and ideological pluralism are also guaranteed.
 
Article 75  About Educational Responsibility
(1) The responsibility for education rests with society, especially with each family, municipal government, and with the State.
(2) The State will implement programs to provide nutritional supplements and school supplies to low-income students.
 
Article 76  About the Obligations of the State
(1) Elementary education is mandatory.  It is free in public schools.  The State will promote secondary, technical, agricultural, industrial, and higher or university education, as well as scientific and technological research.
(2) It is an essential responsibility of the State to organize the educational system, with participation of the distinct educational communities. The system will encompass the public and private sectors, as well as activities conducted both inside and outside schools.
 
Article 77  About Teaching in a Native Language
(1) Teaching in the early school career will be in the official language of which the student is a native speaker.  Students will be taught to understand and to use both official languages of the Republic likewise.
(2) Ethnic minorities, whose native language is not GuaranĂ­ may chose either of the two official languages.
 
Article 78  About Technical Education
The State will promote job training through technical education programs in order to develop the human resources required to achieve national development.
 
Article 79  About Universities and Higher Education Institutes
(1) Universities and higher education institutes will be primarily designed to train professionals, to conduct scientific and technological research, and to engage in extension programs.
(2) Universities are autonomous institutions.  Therefore, they will establish their own bylaws and forms of government and will draft their own study plans in accordance with the national education policy and development plans.  Freedom of teaching is hereby guaranteed.  Universities, whether public or private, will be created by law.  The law will also determine which professions require that an individual must have an university degree in order to practice them.
 
Article 80  About Funds for Scholarship and Aid
The law will provide for the allocation of funds for scholarships and other types of aid, seeking to promote the intellectual, scientific, or artistic skills of individuals, preferentially of those having meager resources.
 
Article 81  About the Cultural Heritage
(1) Necessary measures will be adopted for the preservation, salvage, and restoration of objects, documents, or places having a historical, archeological, paleontological, artistic, or scientific value, as well as their respective physical surroundings, which are part of the cultural heritage of the nation.
(2) The State will define and register those items within the country, and, if necessary, it will take steps to repatriate those located abroad.  The appropriate organizations will be charged with safeguarding and redeeming the various forms of unwritten culture and of the collective memory of the nation, in cooperation with individuals seeking the same objective.  The inappropriate or misleading use of these assets, their destruction, deliberate alteration or removal from their original locations, or their sale for export purposes are hereby prohibited.
 
Article 82  About Recognition of the Catholic Church
The role played by the Catholic Church in the historical and cultural formation of the Republic is hereby recognized.
 
Article 83  About Cultural Dissemination and Tax Exemptions
Objects, publications, or activities playing a significant role in cultural and educational dissemination will not be affected by municipal or fiscal taxes.  The law will regulate these exemptions and will establish a system of benefits for introducing and incorporating into the country the necessary elements for the promotion of the arts and scientific and technological research, as well as for their dissemination both domestically and abroad.
 
Article 84  About the Promotion of Sports
(1) The State will promote all sports, especially those of an amateur nature that enhance physical education, by providing them with economic support and tax exemptions to be established by law.  It will also support national participation in international competitions.

Article 85  About a Minimum Share of the Budget
(2) Resources allocated in the National Budget for education will not be lower than 20 percent of the total amount assigned to the central government administration, loans and donations excluded.
 
Chapter VIII  About Labor
 
Section I  About Labor Rights
 
Article 86  About the Right to Work
(1) Every inhabitant of the Republic has the right to a legal job, freely chosen, which he performs under decent, fair conditions.
(2) The law will protect every form of work.  The rights attributed to the worker by law are inalienable.
 
Article 87  About Full Employment
The State will promote policies aimed at promoting full employment and professional training for human resources, and it will give preference to Paraguayan workers.
 
Article 88  About Nondiscrimination
(1) No discrimination will be permitted against workers for reasons of race, sex, age, religion, social status, and political or union preference.
(2) Special protection will be given to the work of physically or mentally handicapped individuals.
 
Article 89  About the Work of Women
(1) Workers of both sexes have the same labor rights and obligations, but maternity will be subject to special protection and will include health care services and the appropriate leave, which will not be less than 12 weeks.  A woman may not be removed from her work during pregnancy or during her maternity leave.
(2) A law will establish a system of paternity leave.
 
Article 90  About the Work of Minors
Priority will be given to the rights of working minors to guarantee their normal physical, intellectual, and moral development.
 
Article 91  About the Hours of Work and Rest
(1) The maximum duration of a regular work schedule will not exceed eight hours daily, 48 hours weekly of daytime work, except for those legally established otherwise for special reasons.  A law will establish more favorable schedules for unhealthy, painful, or nighttime jobs, or those carried out in rotating shifts.
(2) Annual and other types of leave will be remunerated in accordance with the law.
 
Article 92  About Remuneration for Work
(1) A worker is entitled to a remuneration that will assure him and his family a free and decent life.
(2) The law will establish an adjustable basic vital salary, an annual year-end bonus, family allowances, and salaries above the basic pay for hours of hazardous or risky work, overtime, night and holiday work.  Equal work basically merits equal pay.
 
Article 93  About Additional Benefits to Workers
The State will establish a system of incentives for companies that motivate their workers through benefits additional to their salaries. Such perquisits will be independent of the respective salaries and other legal benefits.
 
Article 94  About Job Security and Severance Pay
The right to job security is guaranteed to every worker within the limits established by law, as well as his right to receive severance pay in case of dismissal without legal cause.
 
Article 95  About Social Security
(1) A mandatory comprehensive social security system for employees and their families will be established by law.  Its extension to every sector of the population will be promoted.
(2) Social security services may be public, private, or mixed, but in every case they will be supervised by the State.
(3) The financial resources of the social security system will not be diverted from their specific goals and will be made available for those purposes.  This will not preclude lucrative investments that could cause these funds to increase.
 
Article 96  About Union Freedom
(1) Every public and private worker has the right to organize unions without any prior authorization. Members of the Armed Forces and the police are excluded from this right.  Employers have the same freedom to form organizations.  No one can be forced to join any union.
(2) To have a union recognized/For a union to be recognized and to operate all that is required is its registration/that it be registered at the respective administration office.
(3) Democratic practices established by law will be observed in the election of union officials, as well as in union operational procedures.  The law will also guarantee job security for union leaders.
 
Article 97  About Collective Agreements
(1) Every union has the right to promote collective actions and to conclude agreements on the terms under which work will be performed.
(2) The State will favor conciliatory solutions to labor conflicts and social agreements.  Arbitration will be optional.
 
Article 98  About the Right to Call a Strike or a Lockout
(1) Every worker of the public or private sector has the right to call a strike in case of conflicts of interests.  Employers also have the right to call a lockout under the same conditions.
(2) The right to call a strike or a lockout does not apply to members of the Armed Forces or of the police.
(3) The law will regulate the exercise of this right so that it may not affect essential public services.
 
Article 99  About Compliance With Labor Provisions
Compliance with labor provisions and with safety and health conditions at the workplace will be supervised by authorities created by law, which will also establish sanctions for those violating these provisions.
 
Article 100  About the Right to Housing
(1) Every inhabitant of the Republic has the right to decent housing facilities.
(2) The State will establish conditions conductive to the implementation of this right and will promote housing projects of social interest specially designed for low-income families through adequate methods of financing.
 
Section II  About Public Functions
 
Article 101  About Public Officials and Employees
(1) Public officials and employees are at the service of the country.  Every Paraguayan has the right to hold a public office and job.
(2) The law will regulate the various areas in which these officials and employees can provide their services, including the judicial, the diplomatic and consular professions, the areas of scientific and technological research, civil services, military and police. This will not preclude others.
 
Article 102  About the Labor Rights of Public Officials and Employees
Public officials and employees are entitled to the rights established under the Labor Rights Section of this Constitution, under a standardized system for the various careers and within the limits established by law and safeguarding acquired rights.
 
Article 103  About a Retirement System
(1) The law will regulate a retirement system for public officials and employees within the framework of the national social security system. Care will be taken that the self-supported, state-owned organizations created to this end will allow those who are contributing to the system, as well as those who are already retired, to administer these funds under the supervision of the State.  Anyone providing some kind of service to the State will be eligible to join the system.
(2) The laws will guarantee the updating of retirement annuities to conform to benefits given to public officials and employees on active duty.
 
Article 104  About the Mandatory Declaration of Assets and Income
Public officials and employees, including those holding an elective office, those working for state-owned, binational, self-
supported or decentralized companies, and, in general, those who are regularly receiving remuneration from the State , must sign a sworn statement declaring their assets and income by no later than 15 days after their installation and within 15 days after stepping down.
 
Article 105  About the Prohibition of Earning Two Wages
No individual may hold or receive simultaneously, as a public official or employee, more than one salary or remuneration, except for that which he may obtain through a teaching job.
 
Article 106  About the Responsibility of Public Officials and Employees
No public official or employee is exempt from liability for his actions.  He will be held personally liable for any transgression, crime, or minor offense he may have committed while in office.  This will not relieve the State from its collateral responsibility.  The State, however, has the right to demand the reimbursement of payments made because of the official's wrongdoing.
 
Chapter IX  About Economic Rights and Agrarian Reform
 
Section I  About Economic Rights
 
Article 107  About Free Competition
(1) Everyone has the right to engage in any legal economic activity of his choice within a system of equal opportunities.
(2) Competition at the market is hereby guaranteed.  The creation of monopolies and the artificial increase or decrease of prices that distort free competition will not be permitted.  Usury and the unauthorized trading in harmful items will be punishable under criminal laws.
 
Article 108  About the Free Circulation of Goods
Goods that are produced or manufactured locally, as well as those foreign goods that have been legally introduced into the country, may freely circulate within the Republic.
 
Article 109  About Private Property
(1) Private property622 is hereby guaranteed.  The content and limits of it will be established by law, taking into account its socioeconomic function, and in order to make it accessible to everyone.
(2) Private property is inviolable.
(3) No one may be deprived of his property, except by virtue of a court ruling.  Expropriation for reasons of public use or social interest will be permitted, however, by law on a case-by-case basis.  The law will guarantee that, prior to expropriation, just compensation is given to the owner in amounts established either by mutual agreement or through a court ruling, with the exception of unproductive latifundia earmarked for agrarian reform.  Expropriation procedures will be established by law.
 
Article 110  About Copyrights and Intellectual Property Rights
Every author, inventor, producer, or businessman will be entitled to the exclusive ownership of his work, invention, brand, or commercial name, in accordance with the law.
 
Article 111  About the Transfer of State-Owned Companies
Whenever the State decides to transfer a state-owned company, or its shares in such a company, to the private sector, it will give preferential option of purchase to the workers and sectors that are directly linked with the company.  A law will regulate the way in which this option will be established.
 
Article 112  About the State Domain
(1) The State has the right of domain over all deposits of hydrocarbons and solid, liquid, or gaseous minerals that are naturally embedded in the territory of the Republic, with the exception of rocky, earthy, or calcareous substances.
(2) The State will grant concessions to individuals or companies, whether public or private or mixed, national or foreign, for the prospecting, exploration, research, or exploitation of deposits for a limited period of time.
(3) The law will regulate an economic system that should adequately consider the interests of the State, the concessionaires, and the owners of land that may be affected.
 
Article 113  About the Promotion of Cooperatives
(1) The State will promote cooperative enterprises and other forms of association for the production of goods and services based on solidarity and social benefit.  The State will guarantee the free organization and autonomy of these enterprises.
(2) The principles of cooperativism, as instruments for national economic development, will be disseminated through the education system.
 
Section II  About Agrarian Reform
 
Article 114  About the Objectives of Agrarian Reform
Agrarian reform is one of the fundamental factors for achieving well-being in rural areas.  It consists of the effective participation by the peasant population in the socioeconomic development of the nation.  To this end, equitable systems of distribution, ownership and tenancy of land will be adopted; credit and technical, educational, and health assistance will be organized; the creation of agricultural cooperatives and similar associations will be fostered; and the increase production, industrialization, and rationalization of the market will be promoted for the integrated development of the agricultural sector.
 
Article 115  About the Bases for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development
Agrarian reform and rural development will be implemented on the following bases:
1.  The adoption of a tax system and other measures designed to stimulate production, to discourage latifundia owners, and to guarantee the development of small and medium-sized rural property, in accordance with the characteristics of each zone;
2.  The rationalization and standardization of land use and farming practices to prevent soil degradation, as well as the promotion of intensive, diversified agricultural activities;
3.  The promotion of small and medium-sized agricultural companies;
4.  The planning of peasant settlements; the awarding of plots of land to the beneficiaries of the agrarian reform transferring it into their property; and the planning of the required infrastructural facilities for making the settlement permanent,especially roads, education, and health;
5.  The establishment of systems and organizations to ensure fair prices to primary producers;
6.  The granting of low-cost loans for agriculture without the participation of any middleman;
7.  The defense and preservation of the environment;
8.  The creation of agricultural insurance;
9.  Support for peasant women, especially for those who are heads of families;
10.  Participation by peasant women in agrarian reform planning on an equal footing with peasant men;
11.  Participation by the subjects of agrarian reform in the respective process, and the promotion of peasant organizations charged with defending socioeconomic and cultural interests;
12.  Preferential support for Paraguayan citizens in agrarian reform plans;
13.  Education for the farmer and his family to prepare them for becoming active agents of national development;
14.  The creation of regional centers for the study and classification of soils for the purpose of raising the most suitable crop in each region;
15.  The adoption of policies to promote the people's interest in agricultural activities by creating professional training centers in rural areas; and
16.  The promotion of internal migration, in response to demographic and socioeconomic demands.
 
Article 116  About Unproductive Latifundia
(1) In order to progressively eliminate unproductive latifundia, the law will take into account the natural qualities of the land, the needs of the population engaging in agricultural activities, and sound recommendations for a balanced development of agricultural, forestal, and industrial activities as well as the sustainable exploitation of natural resources and the preservation of the ecological balance.
(2) The expropriation of unproductive latifundia within the framework of the agrarian reform will be established by law on a case-by-case basis; the respective law will establish the method and terms of payment.
 
Chapter X  About Political Rights and Duties
 
Article 117  About Political Rights
(1) Citizens of either sex have the right to participate in public matters, directly or through their representatives, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the law6271.
(2) The access of women to public functions will be promoted.
 
Article 118  About Suffrage
Suffrage is a right, a duty683, and a public function of a voter.  It is the basis of a democratic, representative democracy.  It is based on universal, free, equal, and secret voting, as well as on a publicly supervised vote count and a proportional representational system.
 
Article 119  About Suffrage in Intermediate Organizations
The same principles and rules of suffrage will be applicable to elections in intermediate, political, union, and social organizations.
 
Article 120  About Voters
(1) Every Paraguayan citizen, 18 years old and residing in the national territory, is eligible to vote.
(2) Citizens can not only elect, but also be elected without restrictions, other than those established in this Constitution and the law.
(3) Foreigners with permanent residence papers will have the same rights in municipal elections.
 
Article 121  About Referendum
A legislative referendum, approved by law, can be either binding or nonbinding.  A law will regulate this institution.
 
Article 122  About Matters That Cannot Be Submitted to a Referendum
The following matters cannot be submitted to a referendum:
1.  International relations, treaties, conventions, or agreements;
2.  Expropriations;
3.  National defense;
4.  Limitations to real estate property;
5.  Tax, monetary, and banking systems; loan agreements; the national General Budget; and
6.  National, departmental, and municipal elections.
 
Article 123  About Popular Initiative
Voters are hereby given the right to propose draft laws to Congress through popular initiative.  A law will establish the procedures as well as the number of voters who must sign such proposals.
 
Article 124  About the Nature and Functions of Political Parties
(1) Political parties are legal organizations falling under public law.  They must reflect pluralism, participate in the formation of elective officials, provide guidance for national, departmental, or municipal policies, and participate in the civic training of citizens.

Article 125  About Freedom of Association in Political Parties and Movements
(2) All citizens have the right to freely organize themselves in political parties and movements, to democratically participate in the election of officials to the post defined in the Constitution and the law, and to have a voice in national politics.  A law will regulate the formation of these organizations to ensure their democratic nature.
(3) The legal status of political parties and movements can be revoked only through a court decision.
 
Article 126  About Prohibitions Affecting Political Parties and Movements
In discharging their functions, political parties or movements cannot:
1.  Receive economic aid, directions, or instructions from foreign organizations or states;
2.  Establish structures which, directly or indirectly, may entail the use of, or a call for, violence a s a method of political action; and
3.  Be constituted with the intention of forcibly replacing the system of freedom and democracy, or of endangering the existence of the Republic.
 
Chapter XI  About Duties
 
Article 127  About Compliance with the Law
Everyone must comply with the law.  Free criticism of the law is permitted, but it is not allowed to advocate disobedience.
 
Article 128  About the Preeminence of General Interest and the Duty to Cooperate
In no case will the interests of individuals prevail over general interest.  Everyone must cooperate in promoting the good of the country by providing services and carrying out functions defined as public duties, which this Constitution and the law may establish.
 
Article 129  About Military Service
(1) Every Paraguayan must be prepared for and must complete his services for the armed defense of the Fatherland.
(2) To this end, mandatory military service is hereby established.  A law will regulate the conditions under which this duty will be discharged.
(3) Military service must be based on full respect of human dignity.  In time of peace, it will not exceed 12 months.
(4) Women will not be required to provide military service but as aides, if necessary, during an armed international conflict.
(5) Those who declare conscientious objection will provide services to benefit the civilian population, in aid centers designated by law and operated under civilian jurisdiction.  The law implementing the right to conscientious objection will be neither punitive nor impose burdens heavier than those imposed by military service.
(6) Personal military service, not determined by law or which is set up for the benefit or profit of private citizens or organizations, is hereby prohibited.
(7) The law will regulate the contribution of foreigners to national defense.
 
Article 130  About the Men That Rendered Services to the Fatherland
(1) Veterans of the Chaco War and of other armed international conflicts that may be waged in the defense of the Fatherland will enjoy honors and privileges, pensions to enable them to lead a decent life, with preferential, free, and complete health care, as well as other benefits established by the law.
(2) The economic benefits to which a veteran is entitled will be inherited by his widow or by his children if the latter are minors or handicapped.  These benefits will also be extended to the heirs of veterans who already passed away before the promulgation of this Constitution.
(3) The economic benefits awarded to the men that rendered services to the Fatherland will not suffer restrictions and will be immediately implemented without requirements other than an adequate certification.
(4) Former Bolivian prisoners of war who, since the signing of the peace treaty, have permanently resided in the Republic will be entitled to the same economic benefits and health care services granted to the Chaco War veterans.
 
Chapter XII  About Constitutional Guarantees
 
Article 131  About Guarantees
The guarantees established in this chapter, which will be regulated by law, are designed to enforce the rights contained in this Constitution.
 
Article 132  About Unconstitutionality
The Supreme Court of Justice has the power to declare any legal provision or decision by the courts unconstitutional, in the manner and within the scope established in this Constitution and the law.
 
Article 133  About Habeas Corpus
(1) This guarantee can be petitioned by the affected party using tangible means, either personally or through another person, without the need for a power of attorney and before any court of first instance within the respective judicial district.
(2) Habeas corpus may be:
1.  Preventive: Whereby any person facing the imminent danger of being illegally deprived of his freedom may request the court to examine the legitimacy of the circumstances that, in his opinion, are threatening his freedom; he may also request the court to halt these restrictions.
2.  Restorative: Whereby any person who has been illegally deprived of his freedom may request that the circumstances ofthe case be corrected.  The judge
will order that the detainee be brought before him, as well as a report by the public or private agent who made the detention, within 24 hours, of the filing of the Habeas Corpus petition.  If the affected agent failed to comply with the court order, the judge will report to the petitioner's place of detention and, after evaluating the merits of the case, order the release of the petitioner as if he had been brought before the judge and the report had been filed.  If there is no legal cause for the deprivation of freedom, the judge will order the petitioner's immediate release; if there is a written order by a court authority, he will refer the case files to the judge who ordered the detention.
3.  Generic: Whereby anyone may demand the correction of circumstances that, despite not falling within the above categories, may restrict freedom or threaten personal security.  Similarly, this guarantee may also be applied to cases of physical, psychological, or moral abuse against individuals who have been legally deprived of their freedom.  The law will regulate the various types of Habeas Corpus, which will be applicable even in a state of exception.  Habeas Corpus proceedings will be brief, summary, and free of charge.  A judge may ex-officio begin these proceedings.
 
Article 134  About Amparo
(1) Anyone who considers himself seriously affected by a clearly illegitimate act or omission, either by governmental authorities or individuals, or who may be in imminent danger that the rights and guarantees of this Constitution or the laws may be curtailed, and who in light of the urgency of the matter cannot seek remedy through regular legal channels, may file a petition for Amparo before a competent judge.  Proceedings will be brief, summary, and free of charge, and will include actions in those cases established by the law.
(2) The judge is empowered to safeguard rights, guarantee, or immediately restore the legal situation that existed prior to the violation.
(3) If the subject matter is an electoral issue, the electoral courts will have jurisdiction over the case.
(4) A petition for Amparo cannot be filed in relation to a case that is already being heard by the courts, against actions taken by judicial organizations, or in the process of discussion, approval., and promulgation of the laws.
(5) The law will regulate the respective proceedings.  Court ruling in Amparo cases will not be final.
 
Article 135  About Habeas Data
Everyone may have access to information and data available on himself or assets in official or private registries of a public nature.  He is also entitled to know how the information is being used and for what purpose. He may request a competent judge to order the updating, rectification, or destruction of these entries if they are wrong or if they are illegitimately affecting his rights.
 
Article 136  About the Competence and Responsibility of Judges
(1) No competent judge may refuse to hear in the actions or remedies described in the previous articles.  If he does so without legal cause, he will stand trial, and if appropriate, he will be removed from office.
(2) In his ruling, the judge must also pass judgment on the responsibilities of those officials who committed the illegal action, and if there is prima facie evidence of the perpetration of a crime, he will order the suspension or arrest of those found to be responsible as well as any appropriate preventive measure aimed at ensuring a more effective compliance with these responsibilities.
(3) Additionally, if it falls within his jurisdiction, he will order the respective pretrial inquest and will hear the opinion of the prosecuting attorney.  If it does not fall within his jurisdiction, he will refer the case files to a competent judge. 
 
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