The control over seeds : the confrontation between human rights and intellectual property rights

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Cabrera Cornide, Javier
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During the last decades, since the 1960s, the world has assists to the growing phenomenon of the privatisations of seeds with the development of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) over seeds and plant genetic resources. This process started in the western enriched countries and rapidly the transnational corporations of these countries started to patent plant genetic resources from impoverished countries and societies. During this period the Economic, Social and Cultural rights (ESCR) recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have been developed and an international protection system has been set to respect, protect and fulfil the enjoyment of these rights by the citizens of the States. Sometimes the application of the IPRs at international and national level can have serious consequences on the enjoyment of the ESCR, especially in the enjoyment of the Right to Food. The implementation of the economic neoliberal policies, supported by the enriched countries and some international organizations, as the World Trade Organization (WTO), has affect negatively to the impoverished populations of the developing countries. In reaction to these negative effects some remarkable initiatives have arose from civil society to propose an alternative to this neoliberal model.
Second semester University: University of Coimbra.
agriculture, economic social and cultural rights, intellectual property, right to food