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Honouring Struggles for Food Sovereignty and Rights: International Day of Peasant Struggles #17April2023

Since 1996, peasants and farmers across the world remember the massacre in Eldorado do Carajás, Brazil, where nineteen landless peasants were murdered for defending their rights to land protected under Brazilian law. Decades later, peasants, farmers, farmworkers, Indigenous peoples and other rural peoples organizing in La Via Campesina continue to join together in the spirit of justice and solidarity. We mark this April 17th International Day of Peasant Struggles by honouring the struggles of peasants, farmers, farmworkers and Indigenous peoples to defend our rights.

As the climate and biodiversity crises threaten the future of humankind, and peasants and farmers in many parts of the world are facing devastating droughts and catastrophic floods, the NFU is working with our allies to strengthen agroecological practices and farmer-led solutions in opposition to the false solutions promoted by agro-industrial corporations. To make this quantum leap to a more ecologically just food system, we know that we must challenge social crises of oppression and injustice and rebuild relationships with one another.

We recognize that, as farmers, we have a unique responsibility to build relationships with and honour treaties with Indigenous Peoples whose territories we rely on for our livelihoods and survival. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities resisting resource extraction in their territories and nations and support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Within Canada, we support the calls for justice from migrant workers. We recognize and seek to challenge the systemic discrimination, racism, and inequality that is inherent in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and other Temporary Foreign Worker Programs. Valuing migrant workers as human beings and as integral members of our communities whose skills and labour must be respected is at the heart of a thriving and socially just food system.

We remind the Canadian government of their international obligation to ensure that transnational corporations operating in rural communities, both around the world and at home, do not violate the rights of peasants, family farmers and Indigenous peoples.

As an organization, we reaffirm our commitment to fight for agriculture policy that aligns with the rights enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (UNDROP). As members of La Via Campesina, we are calling for our government to implement the UNDROP, which was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018. In addition to the right to save, exchange, and sell farm-saved seeds, and the right to access land and natural resources, the provisions of the Declaration enshrine the right of food producers to take part in the development and execution of all programs that affect them, the right to information relevant to all aspects of farming, the right to health including the right to refuse dangerous work, and much more. It also recognizes the need for countries to support farmers in making a transition to climate-friendly and low-input farming.

The UNDROP emphasizes peasants and farmers as people fully engaged in political action who have the right to dignified livelihoods, something we continue to struggle for in Canada and internationally.

All over the world farmers, peasants, farmworkers and Indigenous peoples are struggling against the wealth extraction and greed of transnational corporations that subordinate all life systems and relationships to profit-making. We stand with all those who fight for the health and flourishing of life for all peoples and Mother Earth.

30 years of collective struggles, hope and solidarity!

#17April2023 #LVC30Years #PeasantResistance #StopTheRepression #UNDROP #FoodSovereignty

To learn more about La Via Campesina, visit