Nyeleni newsletter - Now is the time for food sovereignty!
Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. (…) Declaration of Nyeleni.
Newsletter no 30 - In the spotlight 1
The UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas
The international peasant movement La Via Campesina (LVC) has been championing the recognition of the rights of peasants in the international human rights system since 2001. After eight years of internal discussion, LVC presented in 2009 its own declaration on the rights of peasants – women and men– in which they succinctly expressed their aspirations and demands . Shortly after, in 2010, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) mandated its Advisory Committee to elaborate a study on ways and means to further advance the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas . The study recommends “(a) to better implement existing international norms, (b) to address the normative gaps under international human rights law, and (c) to elaborate a new legal instrument on the rights of people working in rural areas” (Par. 63). In September 2012, the HRC passed a resolution establishing an inter-governmental working group with the mandate to elaborate a draft UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas.
Relevance of the declaration
Rallying for the rights of peasants, small-scale fishers, pastoralists and other people working in rural areas In countries like Indonesia or Colombia, peasants have historically faced deep entrenched discrimination and pervasive violence. The call for recognition of the rights of peasants has been able to capture the attention of people on the ground in these countries and has been instrumental in helping them assert their rights. It has also strengthened their organization and mobilization capacities as well as their initiatives towards policies and laws which protect and promote their rights. In recent years, several laws and policies specifically addressing the situation of peasants have been passed in Indonesia. Peasant and rural people’s mobilizations and demands have been at the top of the national agenda in Colombia after decades of disastrous neglect.
 See : http://viacampesina.net/downloads/PDF/EN-3.pdf
 Final study of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee (on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas), UN doc. A/HRC/19/75, 24 February 2012.
 See the joint statement of La Via Campesina together with the World Forum of Fisher People, the International Indian Treaty Council, the International Union of Food Workers and other CSO on the outcome of this session at http://www.eurovia.org/the-time-is-ripe-for-the-recognition-and-protection-of-peasants-rights/