The UN Declaration on peasants' rights (UNDROP): Is article 19 on seed rights adequately balancing intellectual property rights and the right to food?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of World Intellectual Property. 2020, 23, 1-22 10.1111/jwip.12152
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2018. One provision that caused opposition by certain states was Article 19 on the right to seeds. The article discusses whether the right to seeds is implicitly recognized by Article 15.1(b) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on “benefits of scientific progress…,” seen in light of ICESCR Article 11.2(a) on “improving methods of production…” as well as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Article 14.2(g), on rural women's right to appropriate technology. Moreover, the positive protection of farmers' breeding efforts is covered by the wording of ICESCR Article 15.1(c). Other treaties and soft‐law sources also direct states to improve peasants' livelihoods, including seeds. States can legislate to serve peasants' interests and strengthen their rights when adopting IPR legislation. The article shows how this can be done, for instance by introducing exclusions and limited exceptions to IPRs. States have a policy space when implementing IPR legislation that should be utilized to promote the right to food and the livelihood of peasants.
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
JournalJournal of World Intellectual Property
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