Thematic Booklet No. 3: “Peasants’ Dignified Lives and Livelihoods”

This booklet was first published on La Via Campesina’s website, on January 23rd, 2023. You can find it here.

This is the third of four thematic booklets—part of the popular education materials to be used as a crucial step in reconnecting those who inspired and created United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in the Rural Areas (UNDROP). The booklet focus on how are dignified lives and livelihoods protected by UNDROP, and what are the obligations of our states, and gives examples of selected experiences by peasants from different countries. It therefore outlines the UNDROP articles that most closely relate to the peasant struggle against discrimination and towards dignified lives and livelihoods in the context of food sovereignty. These include the right to development, the right to adequate living conditions, the right to water, the right to social security, and the right to physical and mental health, among others.

The ongoing struggle against capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism threatens the dignity of peasants and other people working in rural areas. In today’s globalized world, we fight together against corrupt, right-wing governments, capitalist agribusiness and the corporate food system, and all heteropatriarchal systems of oppression.

To live a dignified life means to be valued, respected, and treated ethically no matter your age, ethnicity, gender, physical and/ or mental ability, or socioeconomic status. To protect dignity and life is a key organizing principle of food sovereignty, and was a key reason for developing the UNDROP. UNDROP elaborates on all the rights peasants require in order to live with dignity.

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