31 August 2020
Our new Research Brief The Right to Seed and Food Systems identifies international legal standards that should be taken into account by law- and policy-makers when developing normative and policy frameworks governing seeds and food systems.
This Research Brief forms part of our six-year research project on food sustainability and food systems – conducted in partnership with the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, the Centre for Training and Integrated Research in Kenya and Comunidad Pluricultural Andino Amazónica para la Sustentabilidad (COMPAS) in Bolivia and supported by the Research for Development Programme (r4d) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The project assesses the sustainability of food systems based on five pillars: the realization of the right to food, the reduction of poverty and inequality, environmental performance and socio-ecological resilience.
‘Our research and collaboration with local communities in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia highlighted the importance of recognizing and protecting the right to seeds in national laws and policies. This is key to ensure that food systems are sustainable, attuned to the human rights agenda, and contribute to global food security without neglecting or abusing the fundamental rights of peasants, including their right to seeds’ underlines Dr Adriana Bessa, Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and one of the authors of the Research Brief.
Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
The research brief highlights that the regulation of seed access and control crosscuts various domains of law as well as socio-economic actors and interests: industrial development and trade, environmental conservation, food security, human rights and cultural heritage protection.
‘In this context, it is imperative that states adopt laws and public policies that provide incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of seeds, the improvement of seed diversity and ecological farming techniques, and the empowerment of peasants, indigenous people and traditional local communities through a human rights-based approach’ explains Dr Bessa.
These laws and policies should be in line with the rights recognized in the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas – which includes the right to seeds – as well as with the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
UN Women/Joe Saade
The book analyses processes of agricultural commercialization and their impact on gender inequalities and the enjoyment of the human rights to food, land and social security in Cambodia and Ghana.
Our new Briefing The Universality of Human Rights: Developing Narratives to Overcome Polarization zooms into the main challenges that the idea of universality faces nowadays and seeks to offer some elements to devise a more consequential and effective narrative of human rights universality to overcome these challenges.
This event marks the publication of the second, fully revised and updated, edition of ‘The UN Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol. A Commentary’.
This online workshop – held in English and French – aims to raise awareness of the upcoming reform of the EU seed marketing legislation and explore pathways to align it with the right to seeds recognized by UNDROP.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.
After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration for ten years, this research project focuses on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.