Has the right to land's time finally come? This historic demand from peasant movements is gaining traction at the international level, and more and more voices are being raised in support of it, in particular within the United Nations human rights bodies.
The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on the right to food and to adequate housing, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as the Human Rights Council's Advisory Committee have all spoken out in support of the recognition of land as a human right at the international level.
And the United Nations member states are currently discussing a concrete proposal along these lines within the framework of the Human Rights Council's negotiations on the Declaration on the rights of peasants and other persons working in rural areas.
If the international community is sincere about its growing awareness of the fundamental role played by peasants and small-scale producers in food security and the right to food, then the recognition of the right to land must be a priority. There is no time to lose when large-scale land grabs are increasing while the unequal distribution of land and the lack of agrarian reform in many countries condemn hundreds of millions of peasant to survival or exile!
The recognition by the United Nations of a right to land for peasants would represent an strong political signal. It would constitute a powerful mobilization tool for the struggles of peasant organizations and would reinforce their position with their respective governments. Beyond this important symbolic element, the content of this right and the provisions regarding its implementation will also be decisive.
The CETIM is revisiting these various matters in this special issue devoted to the right to land on the occasion of its new publication.
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Find the previous newsletter of the CETIM here.