The rights and seed systems of peasants and Indigenous Peoples are under attack from laws on intellectual property rights and seed marketing and increasingly undermined by biotechnology, digitalization and increasing corporate control over food and technology. This has far-reaching consequences for the right to food and rapidly declining biodiversity. It is therefore critical that states and multilateral institutions take action to realize the right to seeds as part of a transition toward healthy, sustainable and just food systems.
This briefing paper argues that seeds should be dealt with as a human rights issue. It explains recent normative developments toward the recognition of a right to seeds. A specific emphasis is placed on the centrality of recognizing and protecting peasants’ and Indigenous Peoples’ distinct seed systems for the realization of the right to seeds. This would in turn help to ensure sustainable food production, improved nutrition, and addresses the existential challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Download the briefing Time for Human Righs-based Seed Policies