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The Declaration on the Rights of Peasants: A long overdue debt

FIAN International joins Vía Campesina and other allies to celebrate the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants approval at the U.N.

An overdue debt was partially amended today when the United Nation Assembly formally approved the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. Today´s session, where the proposal faced one last day of formalities, marked a milestone in an advocacy process that started almost two decades ago.

The Declaration grants recognition to the peasant rights to land, seeds, biodiversity, among others, allowing them to engage more effectively in the struggle against hunger.

Although the U.S and the U.K. presented a fierce opposition to the initiative from its beginning, the support from almost all nations from Africa and Asia managed to tip the balance favorably. The decisive moment took place just a couple of weeks ago, when 119 States Members firmly stood behind the proposal, helping it to move to this closing stage.

Such an achievement is the result of the relentless efforts by the peasants especially from the Global South who conceptualized, developed and pushed forward a project to make visible their struggles against the destruction of their livelihoods and their lives.

The approval of this new instrument signals a breakpoint, in a moment when the need to expand the narrow scope of human rights is more felt than ever. The Signatory States have shown their concern over the particular conditions of discrimination suffered by peasant farmers, landless, rural workers, indigenous peoples, livestock herders, and small-scale fishers and their communities in all rural areas of the world.

Therefore beyond today´s historic victory, tomorrow we should continue to strengthen all struggles of those actively demanding to put an end to the intersecting structural oppression caused by the predominant economic model across the world.

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Read the final version of the resolution  here

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