Rights for Peasants

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. An international instrument can contribute to better protecting them and improving livelihoods in rural areas.

The UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas is an instrument whose objective is:

– 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

– to recognize specific rights to peasants and improve the protection of existing rights by giving them more visibility and coherence.

The CETIM is for many years firmly committed to a better protection and promotion of the rights of peasants. Together  with La Vía Campesina, the international peasant movement comprising more than 164 organizations in 74 countries, and representing over 200 millions peasants, CETIM played a leading role in the campaign for the adoption by the Human Rights Council of a United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

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.

To read the Declaration, click here.

CETIM has elaborated didactic training sheets which will be used as support for any information, awareness raising and training activity around the Declaration. You can find these sheets here.

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