Winner of the

From Home Gardens to the Palais des Nations. Translocal Action for Rural Women’s Right to Land and Territory in Nariño – Colombia

Yira Carmiña Lazala-Silva Hernández


This thesis explores how peasant and indigenous women activists’ claims related to the human right to land and territory travel between different scales of contentious politics. It analyses how these demands become visible on a transnational scale and how such notions turn (or not) into established legal knowledge. At the local scale, it focuses on the department of Nariño, situated in southwestern Colombia. At the transnational level, it centres on advocacy practices at the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The thesis underscores the importance of historical genealogies of rights claims, especially at the local level. It underlines how human rights ideas circulate, not only down-streamed to the grassroots but also upward from local experiences to international standard-setting scenarios. The thesis shows how local claims tend to be transformed into a statistical lexicon when moving upward to the international auditing of rural women’s living conditions. Crucially, the thesis discusses the twofold effect of the human rights discourse at the local level: it is relevant for grassroots activists to oppose the State, but it also becomes a regulatory force.

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