Defending Peasants' Rights

DEFENDING PEASANTS’ RIGHTS: A BODY OF KNOWLEDGE FOR THE DEFENSE OF OUR RIGHTS

Photographer Daniel Alfonso León
Photographer: © Daniel Alfonso León, Colombia 2009

This 17th of April, on the occasion of the International Day of Peasants’ Struggle, VIA Campesina, FIAN International and CETIM invite organizations and individuals to contribute to “Defending Peasant rights’, a blog that raises visibility over the increasing body of knowledge for the defense of the rights of peasants, male and female, worldwide. It is a space to gather different types of resource materials such as: declarations, documents and studies claiming peasants’ rights; existing constitutional rights, national laws and policies; rulings of courts protecting peasants’ rights; legal expert opinions and academic works; and UN treaties, declarations, principles and guidelines recognizing peasants’ rights.

The blog is available in English, Spanish and French. We are making an open call to organizations and individuals around the globe to send us any of the documents enlisted above that will contribute to complementing the body of knowledge for the defense of peasants’ rights. All materials will continue to be published in their original language in the respective blog and can be used as long as the source is mentioned. We hope that these materials will be useful for grassroots and social organizations, NGOs, scholars and journalists, for the defense of peasants’ rights on the ground, as well as for legislative and policy making processes at national and international level.

All entries in English, Spanish and French or questions regarding the content of such, can be emailed to nuila@fian.org

Advertisements

Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 20 on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights

16829420186_a02f772da6_z

In 2009 the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights issued a General Comment on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee’s interpretation is that States parties must immediately ‘adopt the necessary measures to prevent, diminish and eliminate the conditions and attitudes which cause or perpetuate substantive or de facto discrimination.’ The Committee adds that ‘the exercise of Covenant rights should not be conditional on, or determined by, a person’s current or former place of residence; e.g. whether an individual lives or is registered in an urban or a rural area, in a formal or an informal settlement, is internally displaced or leads a nomadic lifestyle. Disparities between localities and regions should be eliminated in practice by ensuring, for example, that there is even distribution in the availability and quality of primary, secondary and palliative health-care facilities.’ General Comment No. 20 on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights.

Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment 15 on The right to water

In 2002 the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights issued a General Comment on the right to water. According to its General Comment, states parties should, among others, take steps to ensure that rural and deprived urban areas have access to properly maintained water facilities and that access to traditional water sources in rural areas are protected from unlawful encroachment and pollution.

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 24 on Women and health

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued in 1999 a General Recommendation on Article 12 (women and health) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The Committee recommended that States implement a comprehensive national strategy to promote women’s health throughout their lifespan and allocate adequate budgetary, human and administrative resources.

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 12 on the Right to Food

In 1999, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued a General Comment on the Right to Food. According to General Comment No. 12 the right to food implies three types of obligations – the obligations to respect, to protect and to fulfill:

-The obligation to respect existing access to adequate food requires States parties not to take any measures that result in preventing such access.
-The obligation to protect requires measures by the State to ensure that enterprises or individuals do not deprive individuals of their access to adequate food.
-The obligation to fulfill (facilitate) means the State must pro-actively engage in activities intended to strengthen people’s access to and utilization of resources and means to ensure their livelihood, including food security. Finally, whenever an individual or group is unable, for reasons beyond their control, to enjoy the right to adequate food by the means at their disposal, States have the obligation to fulfill (provide) that right directly. This obligation also applies for persons who are victims of natural or other disasters.

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 23 on Women in political and public life

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued a General Recommendation on women in political and public life in 1997 at its sexteenth session.

4577711713_142a68fd43_z

The Committee encouraged States to take all approriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right to vote and to be eligible, to participate in the formulation of government policy  and hold public office and other public functions, and to participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life. CEDAW General Recommendation No. 23 Political and Public Life

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 19 on Violence against Women

In 1992 the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued a General Recommendation on violence against women.

Referring to Article 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Committee recommended that States parties should ensure that services for victims of violence are accessible to rural women and that where necessary special services are provided to isolated communities.