Human Rights Series

102 pages, ISBN 978-2-88053-107-2

Number 16 (2014)

The recognition of the right to land, a historic demand by peasant movements throughout the world, is gaining momentum at the international level. This publication takes stock of this major issue of our times, fundamental not only for all peasants but also for the rest of humanity, at a time when we are rediscovering the importance of peasants for food security and the fulfillment of the right to food, the conservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change. Whereas hundreds of millions of peasants are still deprived of access to land or survive on tiny plots, others are daily evicted, and land grabbing is increasing. The recognition of a right to land for peasants is more relevant than ever.

This publication is the result of major research and inquiry, and the fruit of close collaboration with La Vía Campesina. It presents the main issues regarding land in rural areas, in particular from the perspective of agriculture and the right to food, and explains why a recognition of the right to land is necessary. Four peasant organizations (from Colombia, France, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe), members of La Vía Campesina, present their struggles for the right to land as well the practices of their governments in land management at the national level. The text also analyzes in detail the content of existing instruments and presents specific examples of jurisprudence that plead in favor of a recognition of the right to land, at the international, regional and national level. Finally, several issues related to the content and implementation of the right to land are revisited, on the basis of the proposals formulated within the framework of the negotiations regarding the Declaration on the rights of peasants at the United Nations Human Rights Council.


I. What's at Stake on the Land

   A) Famine and Malnutrition in the World and their Causes

   B) The Consequences of Currently Favored Industrial Agricultural Production

II. Peasant Struggles for the Right to Land and State Practices in Land Management

   A) France

   B) Indonesia

   C) Zimbabwe

   D) Colombia

III. Right to Land in International and Regional Norms

   A) At the International Level

   B) At the Regional Level

IV. Examples of Jurisprudence in Conflicts Related to Land and Territories

   A) At the International Level

   B) At the Regional Level

   C) At the National Level

V. Toward a Recognition of the Right to Land for Peasants

   A) The United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

   B) From Private Property to the Social Function of Land

   C) Secure Tenure


full text
cover (2 pages)
full text
cover (4 pages)
To civil society organisations:

Your opinion of our human rights publications is valuable to us! It enables us to constantly improve the quality of our work and better meet your expectations. Thank you for taking a few minutes to give us your opinion by completing the survey, and indicating us in particular the initiatives and activities during which you have used our publications.