World peasant movements mobilize for UNDROP


The world organization for land-rooted peasant farmers, Vía Campesina, is launching a coordinated international campaign for full approval of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants & Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP), and for implementation of policies in line with its principles. Several events were held around the world marking the International Day of Peasant Struggle. El Salvador was one of the first countries to commit to ratifying UNDROP after it was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in September 2018. However, Vía Campesina affiliates in the Central American nation accused the government of pursuing policies contrary to its spirit, noting that in the years since then, there has been a reduction in cultivated areas of maize and beans, with a loss of at least 10,000 hectares of maize.

In Morocco, the National Federation of the Agrarian Sector (FNSA) issued a statement protesting government policies of land privatization. FNSA called upon the government to recognize “the crucial role peasants play in ensuring the food supply for our people, unlike export-oriented agriculture, which receives significant attention in official agricultural policy, marginalizing labor, negatively affecting the fertility of our agricultural land, and depleting our water reserves to meet foreign market demands.”

Via Campesina has designated April 17 as the International Day of Peasant Struggle, to commemorate the 1996 massacre in Carajas, Brazil. The incident saw the police killing of 19 members of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), a member organization of the Via Campesina network. (VC, VC, VC, Grassroots International)

Image: Vía Campesina