Brussels, October 3, 2017
The Peasants’ Rights Declaration process was upheld last Friday by the UN Human Rights Council. For this UN Session a delegation of European peasant farmers from the European Coordination Via Campesina joined their fellow peasants-in-struggle from other regions of La Via Campesina in Geneva to defend this process before UN representatives.
The European peasant movement salutes the global small scale food producer organizations fervently involved in this process alongside La Via Campesina. In regards to the backing of European States, so far, the government of Portugal has expressed support for this process and acknowledged the need to protect rural populations. The rest of Europe is a different story, however. The massive European abstention from this vote shows that we have come a long way, but that we are still behind the rest of the world. European peasants need the adoption of this declaration as soon as possible. Whether from Western, Central, Eastern or Northern Europe, all peasants face systematic discrimination. Existing legislation is not effectively protecting peasants’ rights in the region.
After this important step in the UNHRC, the negotiations of the Declaration will continue in 2018. ECVC asks European governments to support their rural communities and defend the rights of peasants and rural workers in the United Nations.