Violation of peasants’ rights has been portrayed in different forms and at different magnitude around the world. Throughout the last decades, peasants around the world have been victims in the process of globalization of food systems, which favor the agribusiness interests, multinational corporations, and other greedy state enterprises. With dismay, we have been witnessing government agricultural programs on agribusiness investments being linked to land and seed grabbing scandals, and criminalization of farmer saved seeds in favor or commercial and geopolitical interests.
With so many challenges and struggles, LVC with support of its allies managed to push for UNDROP as an international instrument to push and defend people’s rights over their seeds, land, water and biodiversity. In December 2018, the United Nations approved the UNDROP and since then there has been a series of initiatives by Via Campesina across the world and its allies to popularize and make use of the UNDROP in pushing for peasants’ rights.
In commemoration of the Carajás Massacre, this 17 of April – International Day of Peasant Struggles – La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa (SEAf) is launching the digital version of the LVC booklet on United National Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas in 8 African languages: Swahili (Kenyan and Tanzanian), Kikongo, Tsonga, Lingala, Shona, Luganda and Luo.
These publications aim to bridge the language gap in the SEAf region, seeing that the majority of African peasants are not conversant in colonial languages. Making this text available in some of African languages in the region is important to assure the use of it by many peasants in our grassroots and beyond, serving as a strong advocacy tool to defend peasants’ rights from the grassroots.
We will continue to defend our rights using UNDROP and other international instruments, building better societies with justice, self-determination with dignity as food producers while claiming for food sovereignty. No one can debunk the fact that peasants are essential workers of our societies, playing a very important role in feeding the world with healthy food and insist in the strongest possible terms that land, water and biodiversity are the dignity of the people.
Go to the LVC website to download the document in: (1) Swahili Kenyan, (2) Swahili Tanzanian, (3) Kikongo, (4) Tsonga, (5) Lingala, (6) Shona, (7) Luganda and (8) Luo.