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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8  > UNGA adopts declaration on peasants’ rights
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2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

UNGA adopts declaration on peasants’ rights

December 19, 2018
A UN declaration regarding the protection of peasants’ rights was adopted on December 17 by the General Assembly with 121 votes in favor, 8 against, and 54 abstentions (including Japan).

The document titled “Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas” is the fruit of efforts made by the international peasant movement La Via Campesina in collaboration with other civil movements. Japan Family Farmers Movement (Nouminren) as a member of La Via Campesina worked to achieve this.

The new UN declaration consists of 28 articles which include those concerning the protection of women’s rights, the right of peasants and other workers in rural areas to participate in policy-making processes, and the protection of the right to seeds.

Nouminren Vice President Majima Yoshitaka pointed out that the adoption of the declaration represents the international society’s move to recognize peasants and family farmers as key players in food production. This move has come about in association with the start of the UN Decade of Family Farming next year. He also said, “The Japanese government’s attitude toward the declaration goes against the world trend and is unacceptable. Seeking to change the government agricultural policy, Nouminren will further increase its efforts to protect family farmers and sustainable farm practices.”

Via Campesina General Coordinator (a farmer from Zimbabwe, Elizabeth Mpofu) in a comment posted on the organization’s website welcomed the declaration, saying, “This declaration is an important tool which should guarantee and realize the rights of the peasants and other working people in rural areas.” She added, “As peasants we need the protection and the respect for our values and our role in society to achieve food sovereignty.”
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