Briefing No°15: The Right to Seeds in Europe

The United Nations (UN) Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas and the Right to Seeds in Europe

The publication The Right to Seeds in Europe focuses on the steps that the European Union (EU) and EU member states shall take, via the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UN Declaration), to better protect this right in Europe.

It starts with an analysis of the protection of the right to seeds and intellectual property rights in international law, their potential tensions, different monitoring mechanisms and unequal implementation. It then presents the UN Declaration, outlines its definition of the right to seeds and related states’ obligations, and explains why it shall prevail over other international instruments, including those protecting intellectual property rights, as well as national and regional laws and policies.

The publication notably underlines that the EU and EU member states shall ensure that their laws and policies, as well as the international agreements to which they are party, do not lead to violations, but to a better protection of peasants’ right to seeds; shall modify their normative framework so that peasants’ seed systems not only exist, but fully operate and thrive as production and conservation systems; ensure the full and meaningful participation of peasants in decision-making on matters relating to seeds; guarantee the right of peasants to maintain, control, protect and develop their own seeds and traditional knowledge; make sure that agricultural research and development is oriented towards the needs of peasants; and support the establishment and growth of strong and independent organizations of peasants

AUTHOR

Picture of Christophe Golay

Christophe Golay

Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Dr Christophe Golay's expertise relates to economic, social and cultural rights, the right to food and the rights of peasants.

NEWS AND EVENTS

Pumpkin seeds News

New Publication Outlines Concrete Recommendations to Implement the Right to Seeds in Europe

20 May 2019

Our new publication The Right to Seeds in Europe focuses on the steps that the European Union (EU) and EU member states shall take, via the implementation of the UN Declaration, to better protect this right in Europe.

Read more >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Peasant in in Yangambi, DRC. News

The Geneva Academy Participates in a Major Project on Implementing the Rights of Peasants

8 March 2022

The project aims at implementing the rights of peasants in 10 countries of the Global South: Philippines, India Nepal, Kenya, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Bolivia and Mexico.

Read more

Scavengers Burning Trash, Tondo Garbage Dump, Manila Philippines News

New Research on the Right to a Healthy Environment

22 March 2022

This project forms part of our research cluster on sustainable development that aims to explore the linkages between sustainable development, the protection of the environment, climate change and the branches of international law that protect the rights of the most vulnerable.

Read more

Plastic pollution Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

12-16 September 2022

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.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

14-18 November 2022

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.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Completed in April 2019

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.

Read more

Session of a UN Treaty Body Project

Treaty Bodies Individual Communications Procedures

Started in January 2019

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Implementing the Treaty Body Review 2020 – Where do we stand

published on May 2022

Felix Kirchmeier, Chloé Naret, Domenico Zipoli

Read more