Legal Assistance Center for the People – Najup

The indigenous youth awakening to their rights

Mato Grosso do Sul

Objectives and target audience

Promote legal and political training on citizen rights for the Terena youth, in Mato Grosso do Sul, raising awareness to their rights as indigenous people.


Main activities

Training workshops.

Meetings between youth and tribe chiefs (caciques).

Screening indigenous youth.



Mato Grosso do Sul concentrates the second largest indigenous population in Brazil, mostly formed by the Terena and Guarani Kaiowá peoples. Currently, there are approximately 29,000 Terenas and 40% of this population is formed by young people who are living in indigenous reservations, in the nearby towns and also in the areas that are being taken back by land reform where they’re camped waiting for the government to complete the land demarcation.

Indigenous communities face problems of various social orders, such as no access to traditional land; lack of access to a differentiated education; hunger, violence, malnutrition and high suicide rates. Regarding youth, the situation is worse due to the confinement that causes an extreme social and cultural destabilization making room for alcoholism and poor life expectancy.

In Mato Grosso do Sul there are currently over 50 indigenous camps where youth and women are concentrated fighting for the demarcation of their traditional territory.

One of the recurring demands of indigenous leaders is the presence of young people in discussions and debates related to indigenous rights, particularly with regard to the demarcation of indigenous lands.

Moreover, in the last decade, Mato Grosso do Sul has been protagonist with regard to access to indigenous youth to higher education. However, communities have it clear that there is no point for the youth to go to universities if they can´t invest the knowledge they acquired in school in their own communities.

About the organization

The Center for Community Legal Counseling – NAJUP, was created by request of the indigenous movement to promote the defense of indigenous communities and their leaders. Its mission is to offer legal advising to indigenous and other traditional communities of Mato Grosso do Sul. It works defending collective rights and offering legal and movement leadership training.


State and Federal Public Defender’s Offices.
Center for the Advocacy of Citizenship and Human Rights Marçal de Souza Tupã i.
Federal Public Ministry.
Indigenous Missionary Council.
Aty Guasu Guarani Kaiowá Council.
Terena People Council.
National Network of Popular Lawyers - RENAP.
Landless Workers' Movement - MST.

Funding Line

Violence against youth (2016)



Total Granted

R$ 38,440.00


12 months

Main Themes

Youth Rights

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