PBI co-organized virtual roundtable notes that Canada abstained in vote on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Published by Brent Patterson on

On October 15, Peace Brigades International-Switzerland, the PBI-Honduras Project and allies held a virtual round table on peasant rights in Honduras.

One of the speakers was Andrea Nuila who coordinates the gender and women’s rights work at the International Secretariat of FIAN International.

Her presentation referenced that Canada had abstained in the vote on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2018.

PBI-Guatemala has previously noted the Declaration aims to “protect the rights and dignity of rural workers who face extreme situations like poverty and climate change. They represent the most vulnerable communities around the world.”

PBI-Honduras has also noted that the Declaration recognizes key elements such as “the right to land, to natural resources and to food sovereignty, based on the principle of equality between men and women.”

And CIVICUS has commented: “The declaration was a long time coming and many campesino communities – who have fought costly battles corporations to protect their lands and lives from harmful mining and infrastructural projects for years – celebrated the commitment to their struggles.”

The resolution in support of the Declaration was approved by 119 votes in favour, 7 votes against and 49 abstentions.

As noted above, Canada was one of those abstentions.

Peace Brigades International has highlighted that human rights defenders, notably those who work in rural areas, need protection.

Among the campesino/peasant groups that PBI projects accompany: The Peasant Farmer Association of the Cimitarra River Valley (ACVC – Colombia), The Verapaz Union of Campesino Organizations (UVOC – Guatemala) and the National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC – Honduras).

The full text of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas can be read here.

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