On Friday 28 September 2018, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UN Declaration). What roles states, civil society organizations, social movements and international organizations should play in implementing the UN Declaration? What lessons can be learned from the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples?
Our expert seminar, co-organized with the Government of Switzerland, the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the United Nations in Geneva, and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, precisely aimed at debating these questions.
On 31 October 2018, at the Palais des Nations, more than 60 participants – academics, experts, diplomats, representatives of non-governmental organizations and social movements – gathered to discuss examples of good practices that could be replicated in implementing the UN Declaration, such as the recognition of the rights of peasants in national constitutions, laws, policies and programmes, increased collaboration between UN agencies, and practical tools produced by civil society and social movements.
‘The adoption of the UN Declaration is the outcome of more than ten years of work by social movements, civil society organizations, experts, and academic institutions like the Geneva Academy’ underlines Dr Christophe Golay, Special Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy and Coordinator of our research project on the rights of peasants.
‘Its implementation at the national and international levels, for example through making sure that the right to land is guaranteed for peasants and their communities, and that the right to seeds has precedence over property regimes or trade agreements, is key to ensure the rights of peasants and, ultimately, significantly improve their situation on the ground. This expert seminar is a first step towards this implementation’ stresses Dr Christophe Golay.
As human beings, peasants and other people working in rural areas, including those working in small-scale and traditional agriculture, fishing, herding and hunting activities, are entitled to all human rights. However, their vulnerability remains a particular concern. They represent 70 percent of people living in extreme poverty and 80 percent of the world’s hungry. Many are victims of multiple discrimination and human rights violations and are not effectively protected by the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions because they are not engaged in the formal sector.
Our research project aims to support efforts to strengthen the promotion and protection of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration for ten years, we focus on the implementation of the UN Declaration through publications, conferences, expert seminars, and training courses.
Asian Development Bank
The article Engendering the Right to Food? International Human Rights Law, Food Security and the Rural Woman, written by our Senior Research Fellow Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni, examines how United Nations human rights mechanisms address the role and status of rural women in the context of food security and the rights to food and land.
Hosted by the South Asian University and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) at the South Asian University campus, the New Delhi meeting brought in specialists from the region to share their views on the future of UN treaty bodies.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.
This short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.
This project analyzed how United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies and relevant UN Charter-based mechanisms and entities have addressed the implementation of the right to education and other relevant rights in armed conflict and armed violence.