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
Geneva, 26 July 2013 – The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Open Intergovernmental Working Group has begun a first reading of the draft of the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants. The CETIM welcomes the support accorded this process by the overwhelming majority of member states.
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 […]
Geneva, 1st September 2012 – It is with immense satisfaction that the small-scale farmers union Uniterre, representing in Switzerland the international peasants movement La Vía Compesina, and its partners in this undertaking, the Europe – Third World Centre (CETIM) and FIAN Switzerland, announce that the Human Rights Council has deemed it necessary to better protect […]
The current crisis of agricultural raw materials severely affects the poorest peoples of our planet.1 Prices on the world market for cereals are rising for a year : wheat prices increased by 130%, rice 80% and maize 35%.2 This crisis has not one single cause. This current food crisis is the result of many years […]
SEE THE INTRODUCTION IN THE FRENCH PAGE ! Mr President, We, peasants, women and men, of the International movement La Via Campesina, organised from 20 to 25 of June 2008 the International Conference on Peasant Rights in Jakarta, Indonesia. After seven years of intense discussions on the content and strategies, our spirits are high and […]