The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants: An Overview

(This is a translated version of a forthcoming paper in Natur & Recht)

ABSTRACT. On 17 December 2018 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNROP). This paper traces the history of the Declaration and analyses the rights enshrined in it. It is argued that despite the UNROP containing internationally accepted standards in human rights, the document moreover contains precise provisions on labour rights and environmental rights. In several aspects it also goes significantly beyond these, particularly as regards women’s rights or the rights of migrants. Moreover, in the context of seeds, a new right is formally established: the right to seeds, which, in its present form, even challenges intellectual property laws and associated patenting. It is concluded that the UNROP is a comprehensive document that makes extensive use of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

KEYWORDS: United Nations, peasants’ rights, women’s rights, Human Rights Council, La Via Campesina

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