History: a UN monitoring mechanism for peasants’ rights


With massive state support, the United Nations Human Rights Council created an international monitoring mechanism last October on the rights of peasants, opening a promising new chapter in their implementation. The creation of this mechanism constitutes a crucial step in the process of implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (the Declaration), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2018.

Starting next spring, a group of five independent experts will be responsible for promoting and implementing the Declaration. It will play a critical role in identifying and promoting best practices and lessons learned, while fostering collaboration and capacity building in pursuit of these goals.

After many years, the holders of the rights contained in the Declaration and their allies finally have an international space for dialogue and political advocacy. The creation of this international monitoring mechanism on the Declaration demonstrates the growing interest in family farming, food production, the preservation of biodiversity and that of the environment at the global level. It also represents the awareness of the overwhelming majority of States of the need to reform the dominant food system, aiming to change this destructive model, focused on profit, and to promote systems centered on the human being as much as possible in harmony with its environment.

The Declaration constitutes an instrument which, if implemented across the world, will lay the foundations on which to build better public policies for food sovereignty, agroecology, climate justice and agrarian reform, as well as in terms of protection against the criminalization of peasant struggles. The ultimate goal is to build socially just societies, focusing on the well-being and dignity of all, primarily those living in rural areas.

Switzerland dragging its feet

Although Switzerland played an important role in supporting the development and subsequent adoption of the Declaration, its commitment to its implementation leaves something to be desired. This is why the “Friends of the Declaration – Switzerland” coalition looked into the measures that the Swiss Confederation should take to support the implementation of the Declaration in Switzerland and abroad. To this end, it prepared a report on national policy[1] and another on foreign policy[2]  urging the Federal Council to work with peasant organizations and their allies on the concrete implementation of the Declaration both at national and international level.

See the press release of CETIM, LVC and FIAN 

See also the position paper of « Les Ami-e-s de la Déclaration – Suisse » on 
the process of promoting and implementing the Declaration in Switzerland (in French) 


[1] UPR-2023-Switzerland-FOD-UNDROP-in-CH-National-Policy-21.9.2022.pdf 

[2] UPR-2023-Switzerland-FOD-UNDROP-in-CH-Foreign-Policy-21.9. 2022.pdf 





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