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UN Human Rights Chief welcomes adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

NEW YORK/GENEVA (18 December 2018) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas.

“Globally, peasants feed the world but their own enjoyment of their human rights is challenged, including their own right to food,” High Commissioner Bachelet said.

“In many places around the world, peasants face dire situations that are aggravated by an imbalance of power in economic relations. Policies that could promote peasants’ rights are largely absent, and in some cases have suffered due to austerity measures. Women are particularly vulnerable, given widespread unlawful discrimination restricting their access to, use of and control of land, as well as unequal payment for their work. Peasants and other people working in rural areas are also especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and environmental destruction.”

“I hope this Declaration will serve to enhance States’ commitment at all levels to uphold and protect the rights and dignity of peasants and other people working in rural areas. They play a critical role in preserving our culture, environment, livelihood and traditions, and must not be left behind as we implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Bachelet added.

The Declaration builds on existing international standards relevant to the rights of more than a billion people, including peasants, rural workers, small farmers, fishers, herders and others, providing detailed guidance to States on ensuring the protection of their rights.


For more information and media requests, please contact: Rupert Colville - + 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org or Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org or Marta Hurtado - +41 22 917 9466 / mhurtado@ohchr.org

2018 is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70thanniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org. 

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