Rights of Peasants

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 CETIMThe UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Protect Peasants’ Rights Campaign

Access to justice for peasants

Training sheets on peasants’ rights

Agricultural Reform in Brazil and its Social Consequences

The Europe-Third World Centre (CETIM) wishes to inform the Sub-Commission of its concerns in regard to the alarming human rights situation in Brazil, particularly for rural inhabitants. Brazil is a country of 165 million inhabitants, as such representing the fifth largest population in the world and the fifth largest national territory. Although tremendously rich in […]

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The Human Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico

According to official data, there are 8 million indigenous Mexicans (10 per cent of the total population of the country). However, various estimates from indigenous sources and research put the number of people who make up the indigenous peoples found in large areas of Mexican territory, and who have their own recognized social and cultural […]

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The Chad-Cameroon oil and pipeline project and its impact on the enjoyment of human rights

In a context of non-existent or seriously inadequate national and international legislation regulating the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs), CETIM reiterates its concern about massive violations of human rights brought about by these corporations, with cooperation from States of the North and the South alike. The oil sector provides eloquent examples of this. Considering that […]

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The Hurricane Mitch: beyond Natural Catastrophe

Between October 25th and November 2nd, Central America has suffered a natural disaster caused by hurricane « Mitch », which produced an real economic and social disaster for certain countries of the region : Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala. Added to the thousands of deaths and wounded, there are hundreds of thousands of victims who […]

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