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Briefing on Collective Rights

Policy Briefing on Collective rights in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas

Peasants, indigenous people, fisherfolk and nomads have long claimed that recognizing human rights exclusively as individual rights disregards the essential role that community relationships play in the management and use of communal resources, the protection of community members’ rights, as well as the preservation of the individual’s subjectivity and identity.

This briefing note introduces the collective rights as recognized in the draft of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other persons working in rural areas. The legal status of rural and peasant communities in domestic systems and international human rights law is further described together with an analysis of the collective rights that the Declaration aims to recognize. Finally, this brief discusses the most prevalent arguments in favor of and against incorporating collective rights into the Declaration.