Owning seeds, accessing food: a human rights impact assessment of plant variety protection

Owning seeds, accessing food: a human rights impact assessment of plant variety protection

RESEARCH
• Ex ante human rights impact assessment (HRIA)
• Case studies in six communities in Kenya, Peru and the Philippines
• Assessing possible consequences of plant variety protection systems based on UPOV 91 model
• Focus on the right to food of small-scale farmers in developing countries

FINDINGS
• Negative impact on the functioning of informal seed system adversely affecting the right to food
• Traditional knowledge unacknowledged by government institutions adverse impact on farmers’/minority/women’s rights, biodiversity, right to food
• Lack of impact assessment and participation when PVP laws are drafted and implemented
• HRIA confirmed as a valuable and flexible approach to assess human rights impact

RECOMMENDATIONS
• Governments: be mindful of the needs of the most vulnerable groups and the right to food when drafting and implementing PVP laws, by undertaking HRIA, ensuring transparent and participatory processes, and identifying necessary accompanying measures
• Technical assistance providers: encourage sui generis  PVP laws that are evidence-based and mindful of specific development needs
• Civil society organisations: raise awareness of potential human rights impact and get involved in policy processes related to PVP laws

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