URGING UN SEC-GEN TO CALL ON INDIA TO REPEAL FARM LAWS AND CONSULT WITH FARMERS

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We urge the United Nations Secretary-General to call upon India to repeal the three Farm Laws as they breach International treaties signed by India. The Secretary-General to request India to fully consult farmers on any new policies as is consistent with 2018 UN Declaration on Rights of Peasants.

We the following organisations and individuals urge the Secretary-General of the United Nations to call on the Indian Government to observe its commitments to international treaties that it is a signatory to in the recent disputes between small farmers and the Indian Government. The right of every human being to an independent judicial process as guaranteed under UDHR is being eroded under the new Three Farm Laws. These are the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020’, ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020’ and “The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

In the ground breaking 2018 United Nations Declaration of Rights of Peasants, (UNDROP) http://undocs.org/en/A/RES/73/165 , there is a requirement on States to set up an independent evaluation of produce. In India, it is called Minimum Support Price. This is being removed by the Indian Government, leaving small farms to the insecurities of free markets. This will drive farmers to bankruptcy. UNDROP also insists on Governments to set up local markets and accessibility to it. These are being phased out slowly by bringing in private sector competition that will establish large warehouses at inconvenient distances adding to farmers’ transportation and storage costs. These laws are weighed in favour of large corporate takeovers of small scale farming.

A very important commitment in UNDROP is for governments to consult farmers before enacting policies and laws. The govt has failed to do this, breaching its commitments under UNDROP.  The laws favour the large corporate to drive small farms out of business with the inevitable rise in unemployment, poverty and damage to the environment (as has happened elsewhere in largescale farming). The farmers are demanding the Government withdraw all the three laws and start the reforms afresh with genuine consultation engaging all those affected by these laws.

On the 75th anniversary of the UN, we urge you to persuade the Indian Government to repeal the laws, observe its commitment under UNDROP, start any reforms with genuine consultations to be consistent with UNDROP and uphold fundamental human rights.

For more information visit: www.shrg.net/category/human-rights/issues/farmers-issue/

This petition is being supported by the following organisations: (More to be added)

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall,Ghadhar International, Indian Workers Association(GB), Panjabi Writers Association(London)