Outlining the Role of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Peasants work in a rice field in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Peasants work in a rice field in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

25 June 2019

After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UNDROP) for ten years, our research project on the rights of peasants focuses on its implementation.

At an expert seminar co-organized with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Geneva Office, several United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts, members of UN working groups and UN treaty bodies, civil society representatives and staff of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights discussed the role of UN human rights mechanisms in the implementation of the UNDROP.

‘We took advantage of the annual meeting of UN Special Procedures in Geneva to organize this seminar in order to get concrete inputs from UN Special Procedures whose mandates touch upon the promotion and protection of the rights of peasants’ explains Dr Christophe Golay, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy.

Towards a New Monitoring Mechanism

Our Research Brief The Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas and its main recommendations informed the discussions.

Several UN experts agreed to integrate the UNDROP in their work and discussed the possibility to issue a joint statement describing their role in monitoring the UNDROP's implementation before the start of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2019.

One of the recommendation of the publication calls for the creation of a new monitoring mechanism, such as a new UN Special Procedure on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

‘In another study that will be published later in 2019, we will describe the potential role and mandate of such a new mechanism, as well as the specific role of existing monitoring mechanisms, including the Universal Periodic Review, UN Special Procedures and UN treaty bodies in monitoring the implementation of the UNDROP’ concludes Dr Golay.

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