In December 2018, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. UNDROP is the product of 17 years of struggle by La Via Campesina, other transnational agrarian movements and allies that included NGOs, states, UN mandate holders, and academics. It recognises the dignity of rural populations, their contributions to global food production, and their ‘special relationship’ to land, water and nature, as well as their vulnerabilities to eviction, hazardous working conditions and political repression. It reiterates rights protected in other instruments and sets new standards for individual and collective rights to land and natural resources, seeds, biodiversity and food sovereignty. This Grassroots Voices forum includes interviews and articles by activists in the UNDROP campaign: peasants from Indonesia, Belgium, France, Germany, Senegal and Argentina; a US farmworker leader; a women’s rights activist from Spain; a Bolivian diplomat; the Indian leader of a transnational Catholic farmers’ movement; an advocate for fishers from Uganda; a Swiss jurist; a Mexican indigenous rights leader; and human rights advocates from the NGOs CETIM and FIAN. They describe a new kind of people’s diplomacy and an innovative, bottom-up process of building alliances, lobbying, and authoring international law.
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