Dear friends and colleagues
A leading UN Committee has recommended that India review all aspects of its trade negotiations - particularly those with EU and EFTA - to ensure that they do not result in a situation which undermines the rights of people within the country, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.
Meeting last month in Geneva, the Committee also noted its concern about the impact of genetically-modified seeds in India on farmers’ livelihoods.
These recommendations were made by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, an independent body entrusted with monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights around the world.
The full text of the recommendations are below - as well as in the attached document. These recommendations and concerns provide a useful basis for civil society advocacy, particularly for those working for fairer trade agreements and against the ownership of plants and life.
Paragraph 46, on page 8: ‘The Committee recommends the State party to review all aspects of its negotiations with trade agreements, including those with the EU and the EFTA, in light of its obligations under the Covenant to ensure that economic, social and cultural rights, particularly of the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups, are not undermined.’
Paragraph 29 starting on page 5: ‘The Committee is deeply concerned that the extreme hardship being experienced by farmers has led to an increasing incidence of suicides by farmers over the past decade. The Committee is particularly concerned that the extreme poverty among small-hold farmers caused by the lack of land, access to credit and adequate rural infrastructures, has been exacerbated by the introduction of genetically modified seeds by multinational corporations and the ensuing escalation of prices of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, particularly in the cotton industry.’
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