On December 17th, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other Peoples Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP). This adoption was the culmination of nearly 20 years of work by the international peasant movement La Via Campesina (LVC). This work was a collaborative process with other rural movements, civil society organizations and academic partners, in particular CETIM, FIAN International and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (the Academy).
Bringing the Declaration to life
As soon as the UNDROP was adopted, it was clear to LVC, FIAN, CETIM and the Academy that the struggle for its implementation was now underway. As organizations are seeking a path forward, it became clear that a common platform to facilitate knowledge-sharing was needed. Since 2018, the UNDROP has been used as a tool in a variety of contexts: it is important that these experiences be shared to inspire others. This website was created with this aim, as a place of exchange and education of the struggles for peasants’ rights.
A tool for and by all
This website is intended for all audiences: peasant and other rural organizations, elected officials, public agencies in charge of agriculture, food or human rights, organizations defending human rights, the environment, land, civil society organizations, academics, lawyers, judges, teachers and students. Any person or collective wishing to work towards the realization of peasants’ rights will find inspiration here.
This website will evolve and expand thanks to the contributions of many. All ideas, proposals and examples of practices, struggles, successes and even failures are welcome. Please get in touch if you are interested in contributing to this work.
5 goals for one website!
To propose an information and training platform on the UNDROP
This site aims to gather knowledge on the UNDROP and make it available to anyone interested. This knowledge can come from peasants’ organizations, academic researchers, human rights organizations and many other individuals or groups. It is also the history of the struggle to obtain the UNDROP that this site proposes to make known.
In the years leading up to the adoption of the UNDROP, and since 2018, the organizations behind the creation of this site have produced training materials on the UNDROP, which are gathered on this website to make them widely available.
Collecting and disseminating legislative and policy developments and legal cases
Since its adoption, some articles contained in the UNDROP have been implemented in different contexts. Some countries have changed their constitutions and laws or policies to incorporate the rights of the UNDROP, and courts have begun to use the UNDROP to protect the rights of peasants, thus creating important jurisprudence.
This site brings together existing examples through monitoring and direct input from the people and organizations involved in the struggle for peasants’ rights. These examples are collected here to serve as models and inspiration.
Sharing strategies to fight for the rights enshrined in the UNDROP
To support the implementation of the UNDROP, peasants’ organizations and their allies have developed different strategies and methods. From lobbying institutions, to publishing open letters/opinion columns, or organizing marches, all efforts are important towards strengthening peasants’ rights. This website proposes to share these strategies and to highlight all fights for the implementation of the UNDROP.
Ensure the articulation between the different organizations and movements
With this website, we create collaborations between the different organizations and movements that support the implementation of the UNDROP. We also ensure that all these organizations and movements support and meet each other through common struggles and events.
Linking the UNDROP to other international instruments and standards
This website aims to promote mutual reinforcement between the UNDROP and other relevant international instruments, in particular those adopted by UN human rights bodies, the FAO, the Committee on World Food Security, the International Labour Organization, as well as in the framework of the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification.
It is by connecting these instruments that it becomes possible to create more coherence in international law to better protect the rights of peasants.
La Vía Campesina (LVC)
Is a transnational agrarian social movement that brings together more than 250 million peasants, small and medium farmers, landless people, Indigenous Peoples, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. La Via Campesina has more than 180 member organizations in over 80 countries. Founded on solidarity among its members and the claim of political autonomy, LVC demands food sovereignty through agroecology, agrarian reforms and the respect of peasant’s rights. LVC strongly opposes the agro-industrial model led by corporations and transnational companies that destroy societies and nature.
Is a human rights organization active in 50 countries and has been defending the right to food and nutrition since its foundation in 1986. FIAN fights for an equal distribution of resources, fair access to food and for food to be reconsidered as an essential part of our cultural identities and heritage. FIAN leads this struggle in equal partnership with the affected communities, for example with La Via Campesina, and with the actors and social movements involved in this struggle. FIAN considers that the current food and agricultural system is unjust and that it is not the lack of resources but this system that creates hunger.
Founded in 1970, CETIM is a human rights organization and a research and information center on the mechanisms at the origin of maldevelopment, a concept that challenges the dominant ideology of development based on economic growth, unbridled commodification and the predation of peoples and the environment. CETIM has published more than 170 books and several publications on these issues. Its UN consultative status allows it to support social movements in their efforts to gain access to human rights protection mechanisms and to participate in the elaboration of new international norms in this area. For several decades, CETIM has been working on the challenges of global agrifood systems. In close collaboration with La Via Campesina, it has introduced the issue of peasants’ rights within the UN and continues to fight for the peasant cause at all levels.
The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Is a center for postgraduate teaching and academic research in international humanitarian law and human rights. The Academy organizes expert meetings on these themes and actively participates in discussions on international humanitarian law, human rights, international criminal law and transitional justice, for example with its staff intervening as experts to UN bodies, notably on the rights of peasants. The Academy is a member of the Swiss Coalition of the Friends of the Declaration, and it participates in the RAISE project, supported by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and coordinated by the NGO Action de Carême, which aims to support UNDROP’s implementation in 10 countries of the Global South.