Rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas

India - Woman drying chilies - (c)Mohan Dhamotharan
In absolute terms, there have never been more peasants in the world than there are today: the number is currently estimated to be about 1.2 billion at the global level.  While peasant farmers, landless, rural workers, indigenous peoples, livestock herders, small-scale fishers, and their families represent about half of the world's population and constitute the backbone of our food systems, paradoxically, they are also disproportionately affected by hunger.

Peasants are in an increasingly dire situation

According to the UN, close to 80 percent of the people suffering from hunger and chronic malnutrition live in rural areas.  Moreover, peasants are victims of historic and persistent discrimination and other human rights violations such as arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial killings in many countries.

Access to productive resources is crucial for peasants who are consequently those most affected by land grabbing.  Peasants around the world also face increasing constraints from natural resource degradation and climate change.  Price volatility, lack of proper support for peasant agriculture, dumping of agricultural products on local markets, weather-related events and increasing pressures on natural resources put peasants in an increasingly dire situation.

FIAN's Work

Peasants, particularly women, need clear recognition of their right to land, to seeds, to information and technology, to freedom to determine prices and markets for agricultural production, to biological diversity, and to preserve the environment.

FIAN advocates for peasants' rights in an effort to overcome one of the major root causes of hunger. While it is urgent to better implement existing international norms for peasants and other people living in rural areas, we also contribute to addressing the normative gaps under international human rights law, and to elaborating new legal instruments regarding the rights of peasants.  One of these instruments is the declaration on the rights of peasants, which is being discussed in a working group of the UN Human Rights Council. 


Latest News

Policy Brief | 23-11-2017
Natural Resources Peasants' Rights

The Human Right to Land

Position Paper

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Press Release | 06-11-2017
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New strategy to empower the people, dismantle corporate influence

Convening in Nepal, FIAN representatives the world over identified the current struggles for the right to food and nutrition and strategized about building people’s power.

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News | 06-10-2017
Peasants' Rights

A new step forward

La Vía Campesina, FIAN International and CETIM and its partners are pleased to announce the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of a new resolution on peasants' rights by a large majority. After several years of intensive work, this is an important milestone victory for the defense of the rights of the rural world.

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Press Release | 19-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Land Grabbing Peasants' Rights Brazil

Caravana Matopiba urges Brazilian authorities to take action, warns foreign investors

While uncovering the appalling living conditions of affected communities, the delegation points to the involvement of international capital from Europe, Canada and the US in large-scale land acquisition.

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Press Release | 12-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Land Grabbing Peasants' Rights Brazil

Caravana Matopiba uncovers alarming human and environmental costs of agribusiness

During its visits, the delegation observed high levels of agrochemical pollution, diminishing natural resources, land grabbing, as well as significant impact on the health of traditional communities, resulting from increasing soy plantations.

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Press Release | 12-09-2017
Agrarian Reform Agrofuels Climate Change Extraterritorial Obligations

The World Food Crisis: The Way Out

With the world still trapped in a multifold crisis, this year’s Right to Food and Nutrition Watch will take stock of the past decade and present thought-provoking discussions and alternative solutions for finding our way out.

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Press Release | 04-09-2017
Indigenous Peoples Land Grabbing Natural Resources Peasants' Rights

International mission to measure human rights impact of land grabbing kicks off

An international delegation will travel across the Brazilian region of MATOPIBA to document the social, economic, environmental and human rights impact of large-scale land acquisitions.

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Press Release | 17-07-2017
Extraterritorial Obligations Global Governance Peasants' Rights Seeds

After G20 fail, people mobilize in Basque Country

After disheartening for-profit, market-based solutions by G20, hundreds of delegates of La Via Campesina (LVC), representing 200 million people, kick off discussions on pressing issues affecting the world’s population.

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Press Release | 22-05-2017
Global Governance Land Grabbing Peasants' Rights

One step closer to UN declaration

Intensive negotiations at the UN Human Rights Council conclude with deepened understanding of rural peoples’ rights and with the UN Intergovernmental Working Group gearing up for a 5th session.

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Press Release | 15-05-2017
Peasants' Rights

UN negotiations decisive for rural world’s future

The fourth session of the UN intergovernmental working group on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas kicks off today.

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