Experts Gather to Discuss the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Panelist at the expert seminar on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants Panelist at the expert seminar on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants

5 November 2018

On Friday 28 September 2018, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UN Declaration). What roles states, civil society organizations, social movements and international organizations should play in implementing the UN Declaration? What lessons can be learned from the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples?

Our expert seminar, co-organized with the Government of Switzerland, the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the United Nations in Geneva, and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, precisely aimed at debating these questions.

On 31 October 2018, at the Palais des Nations, more than 60 participants – academics, experts, diplomats, representatives of non-governmental organizations and social movements – gathered to discuss examples of good practices that could be replicated in implementing the UN Declaration, such as the recognition of the rights of peasants in national constitutions, laws, policies and programmes, increased collaboration between UN agencies, and practical tools produced by civil society and social movements.

‘The adoption of the UN Declaration is the outcome of more than ten years of work by social movements, civil society organizations, experts, and academic institutions like the Geneva Academy’ underlines Dr Christophe Golay, Special Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy and Coordinator of our research project on the rights of peasants.

‘Its implementation at the national and international levels, for example through making sure that the right to land is guaranteed for peasants and their communities, and that the right to seeds has precedence over property regimes or trade agreements, is key to ensure the rights of peasants and, ultimately, significantly improve their situation on the ground. This expert seminar is a first step towards this implementation’ stresses Dr Christophe Golay.

Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants Expert Seminar Lessons Learned Indigenous People

About our Research Project on the Rights of Peasants

As human beings, peasants and other people working in rural areas, including those working in small-scale and traditional agriculture, fishing, herding and hunting activities, are entitled to all human rights. However, their vulnerability remains a particular concern. They represent 70 percent of people living in extreme poverty and 80 percent of the world’s hungry. Many are victims of multiple discrimination and human rights violations and are not effectively protected by the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions because they are not engaged in the formal sector.

Our research project aims to support efforts to strengthen the promotion and protection of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration for ten years, we focus on the implementation of the UN Declaration through publications, conferences, expert seminars, and training courses.


Democratic Republic of the Congo: North Kivu, Rutshuru Territory. Seeds multiplication field (peanuts). The ICRC supports local farmer associations. News

Peasants’ Right to Seeds and Intellectual Property Rights

9 March 2017

Our new Research Brief The Right to Seeds and Intellectual Property Rights summarizes key findings linked to the recognition of peasants’ right to seeds in the context of the current negotiation of a UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas at the UN Human Rights Council.

Read more

Panelists during the side event on human rights and the fight against corruption News

Panel Discusses Human Rights and the Fight against Corruption during the Human Rights Council

21 September 2017

The discussion notably showcased experiences and best practices, highlighted that a detailed analysis of how corruption violates human rights is lacking, and analysed a human rights-based approach to fight corruption. Panelists also stressed the need for more precise definitions and methodological approaches to counter human rights violations linked to acts of corruption.

Read more


First Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform: Connectivity of Human Rights Mechanisms

3 June 2019, 09:00-18:00

The first Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform will focus on the connectivity of human rights mechanisms.

Read more

Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

7 October - 24 November 2019

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en œuvre.

Read more

Versova Beach, Mumbai, India Training

The Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

1-5 July 2019

This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.

Read more

 Chittagong (Bangladesh) ship breaking yard Project

A Practitioners' Guide on Human Rights and Countering Corruption

Started in January 2015

This research project, aims via the drafting of a practitioners’ guide on human rights and countering corruption, to clarify the conceptual relationship between human rights, good governance and anticorruption, demonstrate the negative impact of corruption on human rights and provide guidance and make practical recommendations for effectively using the UN human rights system in anti-corruption efforts.

Read more

A participant to a Geneva Academy event takes note on a computer Project

The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

Completed in January 2014

The digital age offers unique opportunities to strengthen human rights implementation and monitoring and has transformed the means through which human rights are exercised. Equally, the digital age poses unique challenges in ensuring that states and businesses respect and protect our rights in the digital forum. The full extent of the human rights implications of the digital age remain unknown.

Read more