At the global level, there are currently some 1.2 billion peasants and together with their families they represent one third of humanity. In absolute terms, there are more peasants today than ever before in history.
Peasants and other rural workers are key to food sovereignty and the realization of the right to food, in particular in developing countries where they provide up to 80% of the food consumed at the local level.
Peasants play a key role in the fight against climate change and the conservation of biodiversity
Yet peasants and other people working in rural areas are among the most vulnerable and discriminated-against group. They are victims of multiple violations of their human rights and suffer disproportionately from hunger and poverty. 80% of those victims of hunger in the world live and work in rural areas.
The CETIM works for several years in favor of the rights of peasants. lt provides its support to organizations representing peasants and other rural workers in the Global South for the access to the UN human rights protection mechanisms. The CETIM is also strongly involved to their sides in the campaign for the adoption of a United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and oher people working in rural areas, offering its support so that they are able to participate in the negotiations and present their proposals.
A Declaration on the Rights of Peasants
On 17 December 2018, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Others Working in Rural Areas. Alongside La Via Campesina, CETIM was strongly involved in the process that led to the adoption of this indispensable tool. In particular, it offered its support to peasants to enable them to participate in the negotiations and to make their proposals heard.
The adoption of the Declaration is a historic moment. It is the result of a 17-year struggle for the recognition of the rights of this particularly vulnerable population. If respected and implemented, this instrument will be useful, not only for peasants, but for humanity as a whole.
One year after the adoption of this indispensable tool, a joint declaration was signed by nine special rapporteurs and experts and four members of the UN treaty bodies. This document stresses that farmers must participate “in all decision-making processes that affect their lives, lands, resources and livelihoods” and repeatedly urges states to play a key role in implementing the Declaration.
In October 2023, the United Nations Human Rights Council, with an overwhelming majority of Member States in favour, took another historic step. It voted in favour of Resolution 54/9 to create a follow-up mechanism to the Declaration. A Working Group of experts is now responsible for promoting and implementing the Declaration.
Download for free the e-book edited by CETIM “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants“
Protect Peasants’ Rights Campaign
Access to justice for peasants
Training sheets on peasants’ rights
I. History of a genocide and of an ecocide1 When, in 1492, Columbus landed on the island he named La Española (Haiti and Santo Domingo), he found a veritable orchard populated by a large indigenous population living in peace. The deforestation of the island to make room for crops of the conquerors and physically eliminating […]
[During its sitting on 21 May 2012, the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs took note of the fact that the two-year suspension of the CETIM’s consultative status would end in July 2012. During the same sitting, Turkey (which had requested this sanction against the CETIM) declared that it would not oppose the restitution of its status […]
Mr. President, I am Henry Saragih, general coordinator of La Via Campesina. La Via Campesina is global movement and organisations of peasants based in many countries including in Senegal, India, Switzerland, France, Spain, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Mali, and many more. We have about 200 millions member which participated actively in La Via Campesina. On behalf […]
I am Henry Saragih, general-secretary of La Vìa Campesina. I am coming here, on behalf of La Vìa Campesina and the CETIM to congrulate for the works of the Advisory Committee on establishing the groundwork of promotion and protection of rights of peasants. As now come into official report of the Advisory Committee, the peasants […]
Thank you Mr. President, On behalf of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Solar Cookers International, Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP) and CETIM, I would like to thank Mrs. Catarina de Albuquerque for her work in identifying and promoting best practices in access to safe drinking water. […]