Protect Peasants’ Rights Campaign

Peasants are key to food security, the fight against climate change and the conservation of biodiversity security. Yet their rights are systemically violated and they are subject to multiple discrimination.

80% of the people that suffer from hunger and extreme poverty live in rural areas and most of them are peasants

Each day peasant farms disappear because of the lack of  remunerative prices or access to productive resources, and peasants are evicted from their lands or killed when they defend their rights.

A historic victory

CETIM is committed to a better protection and promotion of the rights of peasants alongside La Vía Campesina. The international peasant movement brings together more than 164 organisations in 73 countries. It represents about 200 million peasants.

After more than 17 years of struggle, CETIM and its partners see their efforts rewarded. A new international instrument was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2018. It is the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants.

This legal instrument now makes it possible to:

  • to better protect the rights of peasants and improve livelihoods in rural area
  • to reinforce food sovereignty, the fight against climate change and the conservation of biodiversity
  • adopt genuine agrarian reform and better protection against land grabbing
  • protect the right of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell their seeds
  • guarantee remunerative prices for peasant production and rights for agricultural workers.

A fundamental instrument

In September 2012, the Human Rights Council adopted by vote (23 Yes, 9 No and 15 Abs) a resolution (21/19) presented by Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, and South Africa establishing an intergovernmental working group to develop and adopt a Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

The decision of the Human Rights Council was the result of a long and joint effort by the CETIM, La Vía Campesina and FIAN International.

The 17th December 2018, the 73 Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73) in New York adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. Now that the Declaration is an international legal instrument, CETIM, La Via Campesina (LVC) and its allies will mobilise to support regional and national implementation processes.

The final vote represents the culmination of a historic process for rural communities. With 122 votes in favour, 8 votes against and 54 abstentions, the forum of UNGA representing 193 Member States, ushered in a new promising chapter in the struggle for the rights of peasants and other rural communities throughout the world.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants is an international legal instrument. It can change the lives of millions of peasants around the world. This is why CETIM, La Vía Campesina and its allies are now mobilising to support the implementation processes. And this, both at regional and national levels.

UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Didactic training sheets

Colombia: Complaint to UN mechanisms about the violation of peasants’ rights

PRESS RELEASE Geneva, May 19, 2022 – FENSUAGRO, La Via Campesina, CETIM, Friends of the Earth International, and FIAN International submitted a report to the UN special mechanisms to denounce the violations and repression against the Colombian peasantry, in particular the persecution of the National Agricultural Trade Union Federation (FENSUAGRO)[1]. The issue of access to […]

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The Rights of Peasants: A juridical and political lever to challenge the power of transnational corporations

Agriculture, and more generally, food production, has been mankind’s principal activity since its very first settlements. Under the pretence of feeding mankind, from the nineteenth century onwards, this activity has become industrialised (through mechanisation, the ‘green revolution’, the intensive use of chemicals and digitalisation), which allowed, at least initially, increases in production.

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