(Geneva, September 24, 2015) A delegation of La Via Campesina peasant men and women from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe have come to Geneva for the 30th session of the Human Rights Council, which is soon to vote on continuing its work to complete an “international declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas”.
For many years, La Via Campesina, with the support of NGOs, has called on this UN body, denouncing the fact that peasants and rural populations are victims of human rights violations on every continent, though exclusion, land grabbing, repression of peasant leaders and the effects of agrochemicals on health.
“The world food crisis, International Year of Family Farming, Year of Soil 2015 and work towards achieving the millennium development goals have created an increased awareness of the fundamental role played by farmers and peasants and the unquestionable need to strengthen their rights with the appropriate instruments” says Geneviève Savigny, peasant in France.
Since the Office’s decision in 2012, which created the mandate for an open-ended intergovernmental working group to draft a declaration on the rights of peasants, the process has received growing support from the 47 states in the Human Rights Council. La Via Campesina now expects more support in the next vote, above all from the most reticent European and (industrialised) states.
“This matter is urgent, as every day thousands of farms disappear, peasant men and women are displaced from their land, transnational companies attempt to mercantilise food, privatise seeds, swamp us with genetically-modified products and pesticides, and speculate on the hunger of the people, while at the same time unemployment and migration continue to rise” claims Diego Monton, peasant in Argentina.
“It is peasants who feed the world and combat global warming. We are determined in our struggle. We are building hope!” recalls Ndiakhate Fall, peasant in Senegal.
“For this reason, this declaration is not only for peasant men and women, it is also a necessity for all the world’s peoples” makes clear Zainal Airifin Fuat, peasant in Indonesia.
We call on the world’s governments to listen to the voice of the people and support this declaration. We invite allies, trade unions, peasants, indigenous peoples and social movements to join this process.
Ndiakhate Fall – CNCR/ Sénégal tel +221775508907
Zainal Arifin Fuat – Indonesian Peasant Union / Indonesie +627991890 – +6201311155365
Diego Monton – MNCI-CLOC-LVC / Argentine Amerique Latine +5492615615062
Geneviève Savigny – Coordination Européenne Vía Campesina – France Europe +33625551687
Staff Coordination : Uniterre-Switzerland-Valentina Hemmeler Maïga, firstname.lastname@example.org