Human Rights and the Commons: Exploring Approaches to the Governance of Land and Natural Resources beyond Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. The Case of Peasants

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Stefania Errico Honorary Research Fellow, Coventry University, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience ( cawr), Coventry, United Kingdom,

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Priscilla Claeys Associate Professor, Coventry University, cawr, Coventry, United Kingdom,

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Worldwide, 2.5 billion people today depend on lands managed through customary, community-based tenure systems. Although land and natural resources are recognised as essential elements for the realisation of many human rights, international human rights law does not recognise a human right to land, except for indigenous peoples. With the recent adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people working in rural areas (undrop), the right to land is now recognised for new categories of rural workers. This article explores the governance of land and natural resources beyond the case of indigenous peoples’ rights. It argues that undrop contains key and mutually reinforcing elements of the human rights and collective action approaches to the governance of land and natural resources, and therefore has the potential to ensure the social and environmental ‘viability’ of the commons.

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