The violations of peasants' rights are on the rise because of the implementation of neoliberal policies promoted by the World Trade Organisation, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), other institutions and many governments in the North as well as in the South. The WTO and FTAs force the opening of markets and prevent countries from protecting and supporting their domestic agriculture. They push for the deregulation in the agriculture sector.
Governments of developed countries and transnational corporations are responsible for trade dumping practices. Cheap subsidised food floods local markets thus forcing peasants out of business.
The WTO and other institutions force the introduction of food such as GMOs and the unsafe use of growth hormones in meat production. Meanwhile, they prohibit the marketing of healthy products produced by peasants through sanitary barriers.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has implemented structural adjustment programs (SAPs) leading to massive cuts in subsidies for agriculture and social services. Countries have been forced to privatize state companies and to dismantle support mechanisms in the agricultural sector.
National and international policies directly or indirectly give priority to transnational corporations or food production and trade. TNCs also practice biopiracy and destroy genetic resources and biodiversity cultivated by peasants. The capitalist logic of accumulation has dismantled peasant agriculture.
II. Violations of Peasants' Rights
Millions of peasants have been forced to leave their farmland because of land grabs facilitated by national policies and/or the military. Land is taken away from peasants for the development of large industrial or infrastructure projects, extracting industries like mining, tourist resorts, special economic zones, supermarkets and plantations for cash crops. As a result, land is increasingly concentrated in a few hands.
1)- States neglect the farm sector and peasants receive inadequate income from their agriculture production.
2)- Monocultures for the production of agrofuels and other industrial uses are promoted
in favor of agribusiness and transnational capital; this has devastating impacts on forests, water, the environment and the economic and social life of peasants.
3)- There is an increasing militarization and a number of armed conflicts in rural areas with severe impacts on the full realization of civil rights of peasants.
4)- As they lose their land, communities also lose their forms of self‐government, sovereignty and cultural identity.
5)- Food is increasingly used for speculation purposes and The peasants' struggle is criminalised.
6)- Slave labor, forced labor and child labor are still found in rural areas.
7)- Women's and children's rights are the most affected. Women are victims of psychological, physical and economic violence. They are discriminated in their access to land and productive resources, and marginalized in decision making.
As a result of these violations of peasants' rights, today millions of peasants live in hunger and suffer malnutrition. This is not because there is not enough food in the world, but because food resources are dominated by transnational corporations. Peasants are forced to produce for export instead of producing food for their communities.
8)- The crisis in the agricultural sector causes migration and the massive displacement and disappearance of peasants and indigenous people.