Shedding a Light on the Human Rights of Small-scale Fishers: Complementarities and Contrasts between the UN Declaration on Peasants’ Rights and the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines

By One Ocean Hub Authors: Elisa Morgera and Julia Nakamura

in Brunori et al, Commentary on the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (Routledge, forth 2021)

The UN Declaration on Peasants’ Rights (UNDROP) underscores the need for a coherent interpretation and application of existing international human rights to the specific context of small-scale fisheries (SSF), including small-scale marine and continental capture fishing, small-scale aquaculture, related preparatory works and cultural practices. It complements the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication (SSF Guidelines), which were the first international instrument entirely dedicated to SSF. The two instruments originate from forums that frame issues and respective responses differently, involving individuals and specialised international bodies with distinct interests and areas of expertise (human rights and fisheries, respectively), and having garnered differing levels of intergovernmental support. The two instruments thus offer their own particular perspectives on how international law currently relates to the challenges and contributions of SSF. Against this backdrop, this Chapter will analyse and compare the contributions of the UNDROP and the SSF Guidelines to the recognition, protection, respect and full realisation of the human rights of peasants involved in SSF and to the sustainable use of natural resources in SSF, with a view to supporting the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).