Via Campesina, which, along with allies, has managed to galvanize debate within the United Nations on the role and circumstances of the peasantry on December 2018, and by a broad majority, the United Nations General Assembly approved and adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.
1. For the purposes of the present Declaration, a peasant is any person who engages or who seeks to engage, alone, or in association with others or as a community, in small-scale agricultural production for subsistence and/or for the market, and who relies significantly, though not necessarily exclusively, on family or household labour and other non-monetized ways of organizing labour, and who has a special dependency on and attachment to the land.
2. The present Declaration applies to any person engaged in artisanal or small- scale agriculture, crop planting, livestock raising, pastoralism, fishing, forestry, hunting or gathering, and handicrafts related to agriculture or a related occupation in a rural area. It also applies to dependent family members of peasants.
3. The present Declaration also applies to indigenous peoples and local communities working on the land, transhumant, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities, and the landless engaged in the above-mentioned activities.
4. The present Declaration further applies to hired workers, including all migrant workers regardless of their migration status, and seasonal workers, on plantations, agricultural farms, forests and farms in aquaculture and in agro-industrial enterprises.
1. States shall respect, protect and fulfil the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. They shall promptly take legislative, administrative and other appropriate steps to achieve progressively the full realization of the rights set forth in the present Declaration that cannot be immediately guaranteed.
2. Particular attention shall be paid in the implementation of the present Declaration to the rights and special needs of peasants and other people working in rural areas, including older persons, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities, taking into account the need to address multiple forms of discrimination.
3. Without disregarding specific legislation on indigenous peoples, before adopting and implementing legislation and policies, international agreements and other decision-making processes that may affect the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with peasants and other people working in rural areas through their own representative institutions, engaging with and seeking the support of peasants and other people working in rural areas who could be affected by decisions before those decisions are made, and responding to their contributions, taking into consideration existing power imbalances between different parties and ensuring active, free, effective, meaningful and informed participation of individuals and groups in associated decision-making processes.
4. States shall elaborate, interpret and apply relevant international agreements and standards to which they are a party in a manner consistent with their human rights obligations as applicable to peasants and other people working in rural areas.
5. States shall take all necessary measures to ensure that non-State actors that they are in a position to regulate, such as private individuals and organizations, and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, respect and strengthen the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.
6. States, recognizing the importance of international cooperation in support of national efforts for the realization of the purposes and objectives of the present Declaration, shall take appropriate and effective measures in this regard, between and among States and, as appropriate, in partnership with relevant international and regional organizations and civil society, in particular organizations of peasants and other people working in rural areas, among others. Such measures could include:
(a) Ensuring that relevant international cooperation, including international development programmes, is inclusive, accessible and pertinent to peasants and other people working in rural areas;
Extract of the Declaration