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Authored by Dr Christophe Golay, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy, our new Research Brief The Right to Land and Other Natural Resources details the content of this right, states’ obligations, as well as accountability mechanisms for its enforcement at national, regional and international levels. The Research Briefs also presents the Colombian case where peasant organizations are using the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) to protect peasants’ right to land.
‘The UNDROP has been adopted to rebalance power relations in rural areas and addresses a number of fundamental questions, including the right to land and other natural resources, a right that is central for billions of people. This right must now be implemented at national, regional and international levels’ underlines Dr Golay.
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The UNDROP recognizes the right to land and other natural resources for non-indigenous people and communities for the first time in international human rights law. It also provides that this right can be exercised individually and/or collectively.
On 17 December 2019, a number of UN special procedures and members of UN treaty bodies called for more accountability mechanisms to ensure UNDROP’ implementation. They committed to protecting the rights enshrined in the UNDROP, and they underlined that special measures shall be taken by states and other stakeholders to protect human rights defenders of land, environment and natural resources – who are the first victims of criminalization, intimidation and attacks against their physical integrity and life – and that their safety must be prioritized and protected via all available mechanisms.
In 2019 and 2020, the UN Human Rights Committee and the Interamerican Court on Human Rights referred to the UNDROP to protect the right to land in two important cases.
‘All human rights mechanisms should follow these examples, and make duty bearers accountable in cases of violations of the right to land and other natural resources. Civil society organizations and lawyers can also be instrumental in supporting peasants and other people working in rural areas in their claims, and in convincing human rights mechanisms to take steps to protect the rights enshrined in the UNDROP’ stresses Dr Golay.
This Research Brief is a summary of an upcoming Guide aimed at supporting the land community in UNDROP’s implementation, published with the International Land Coalition (ILC).
This guide focuses on the steps that states and international and regional organizations shall, and that social movements and civil society organizations should take to better promote and protect the right to land. It will be launch on 17 December 2020 to mark the second anniversary of UNDROP’s adoption by the UN General Assembly.
Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
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As the EU is revising its legislation on seed marketing, the Geneva Academy is inputting this process to ensure that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and its article 19 on the right to seeds are taken into account.
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A new Research Brief on Regulating Business Conduct in the Technology Sector: Gaps and Ways Forward in Applying the UNGPs depicts the prominent gaps in regulatory approaches to business conduct in the technology sector with regard to the UNGPs.
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This online bilingual workshop, held in English and Italian, aims to raise awareness about the upcoming changes to the European Union (EU) seed marketing legislation and what this reform means in the Italian context.
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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.
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 project examined how IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the UN Charter, as well as from universal and regional treaties.
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.