UN holds the first Intergovernmental Working Group on the Rights of Peasants

Press release – La Via Campesina

(Jakarta, 13 July 2013) The international peasant’s movement La Via Campesina will be attending the upcoming United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group on the human rights of peasants held in Geneva from 15 to 19 July 2013. La Via Campesina and other social movements took the initiative to promote the rights of peasants in the United Nations in 2001 because of peasants’ long history of discrimination and violations of their basic rights. The international peasant’s movement has continued to pursue the recognition and further protection of those rights until it was formally recognised and admitted by the UN Human Rights Council during the course of 2008-2012.

A highly significant Resolution of the UN Human Rights Council in 2012 (A/HRC/RES/21/19) stipulated the process to discuss a new instrument for the rights of the world’s estimated 1.2 billion peasants and other people working in rural areas. The Resolution is crucial in light of peasants’ key role for food production — and also in the wake of contemporary challenges such as growing conflicts and grabbings over land and water, and also price of food and climate crises.

The Resolution also established the process of an Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) on the human rights of peasants. The IWG was established to take the initiative of the Rights of Peasants further. This will urge national governments to establish substantial mechanisms and programmes, and to establish cooperation among national governments in the international sphere.

La Via Campesina urges all farmers and civil society organisations to join the efforts to make the human rights of peasants a reality. This will also need lobbying work to convince delegates of governments to step up in this matter (of UN member states).

We are calling our members to support the process and to push governments to realise a new international human rights legal instrument for peasants and other people working in rural areas. Peasants’ rights and, moreover, food sovereignty need to be realised together!


On the issue of peasant’s rights and repression
: read the Nyeleni Newsletter!

Read UN Documents on the rights of peasants

1. Preliminary study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas – A/HRC/16/63 (download here in EN, ES, FR)

2. Final study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas – A/HRC/19/75 (download here in EN, ES, FR)

3. UN resolution on Promotion and protection of the human rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas – A/HRC/RES/21/19 (download here in EN, ES, FR)

4. Please check official information, Resolutions, studies related to the upcoming UN Intergovernmental Working Group on the human rights of peasants (15-19 July 2013) by following this link (available in English, Spanish and French): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RuralAreas/Pages/FirstSession.aspx

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