The CETIM was approached already in 2001 by La Vía Campesina to support its organizations have carried on an important information and advocacy effort at the Commission and then the Human Rights Council, with several peasant organizations delegates, from the Global North and Global South, coming to Geneva, and the presentation of a number of cases involving discriminations and human rights violations suffered by peasants and other rural workers.
After an international consultation process, La Vía Campesina adopted in 2008 a “Declaration of Rights of Peasants – Women and Men“. With the support of the CETIM and FIAN International, La Vía Campesina presented this proposal to the Human Rights Council in 2009. In 2012, a study by the Council’s Advisory Committee (its body of experts), mandated by the Council (see resolution 13/4, para 44), proved us right: it recognized peasants and other people living in rural areas as victims of discrimination and systematic violations of their human rights and recommended the adoption of a United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other peoples working in rural areas as well as the recognition of the right to land, among other rights, in order to better protect and promote their rights. And in 2013, the Human Rights Council decided to take up this issue and to create an intergovernmental working group to negotiate a Declaration.
The resolution (21/19) was adopted by 23 votes for, 9 against and 16 abstentions. Western countries votes as a bloc against the resolution, except Norway and Switzerland that abstained. Most of countries of the Global South supported the initiative. The resolution establishes that negotiations in the intergovernmental working group will be on the basis of the draft proposed by the Advisory Committee and invites states, civil society, representatives of peasants and other people working in rural areas and all interested stakeholders to contribute actively and constructively to the working group.