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.

Support our campaign at the United Nations with La Vía Campesina

  • to better protect the rights of peasants and improve livelihoods in rural areas
  • to reinforce food sovereignty, the fight against climate change and the conservation of biodiversity
  • for a real agrarian reform and a better protection against land-grabbing
  • for the right of peasants to conserve, use, exchange and sell their seeds
  • for remunerative prices for peasant production and rights for agricultural workers

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, the CETIM is currently the leader of 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 adoption of such a Declaration can contribute to better protect the rights of peasants and improve livelihoods in rural areas in the long term and at the global level. It will recognize new rights to peasants and improve the protection of existing rights by giving them more visibility and coherence.

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.

Peasants’ proposals included in the revised draft Declaration

The second session of the intergovernmental group on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas was held in Geneva from 2-6 February 2015. A revised draft Declaration was presented. The new draft takes up most of the proposals put forward by peasants' organizations at the informal consultations in November 2014. A […]

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Rights of peasants: the work must continue!

Mr Chairman, Famine and malnutrition continue to affect nearly a billion persons throughout the world, 80% of whom live in rural areas and most of whom are food producers such as small family peasants. These peasants are confronted, and without any protection, not only with globalized market rules and commodity speculation in food but also […]

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Right to food

Mr Chairman, The CETIM and the FIMARC (Fédération Internationale des Mouvements d’Adultes Ruraux Catholiques) would first like to pay tribute to Mr Olivier de Schutter for his contributions to the implementation of the right to food. During the six years of his mandate, Mr de Schutter has studied various aspects of the right to food, […]

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