The Commons

This paper summarizes the discussions that took place in a meeting of representatives from peasant, fisher folk, indigenous peoples and rural women’s organizations, and civil society organizations (CSOs),  in Bangkok Thailand, 26-28 September 2017. The main aim of the gathering was to foster learning on how to use the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT or Tenure Guidelines), with the broader goal of advancing human rights-based tenure governance in Asia.

Peasants march to commemorate 20 years since the Eldorado dos Carajas massacre. Photo by Shalmali Guttal - 2016

States shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against peasant women and other women working in rural areas in order to ensure, on the basis of equality between men and women, that they fully and equally enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and that they are able to freely pursue, participate in and benefit from rural economic, social, political and cultural development. (From the Draft UN Declaration on rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas)

India - 12th March 2018 will be remembered as red-letter day in the history of farmers’ movement in Maharashtra. At the dawn of this day, a red sea of more than 50,000 farmers, laborers, and indigenous people arrived in Mumbai with blistered feet, swollen knees, and bleeding soles from a 200-kilometer walk, yet they were enthusiastic and quite hopeful to get what they came here for. It was an unprecedented peasants’ March—the longest so far in the history of peasant marches in the State of Maharashtra.

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