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

AUTHORS

Picture of Adriana Bessa

Adriana Bessa

Senior Research Fellow

Adriana Bessa's research areas include the rights of traditional local communities, the draft declaration on the rights of peasants and the right to food.

Picture of Christophe Golay

Christophe Golay

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

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

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