Human Rights

Solidarity call with the people of Palestine

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La Via Campesina
International Peasant Movement


La Via Campesina International -representing around 200 million farmers from 73 different countries around the world- condemns the Israeli war on Gaza and the crimes against the Palestinians that violate the international and humanitarian laws.

Since July 7th 2014, 214 Palestinians were killed, including at least 164 civilians of whom44 were children and 29 women. 1,585 Palestinians were injured of whom 435 are children and 282 are women. 1,660 homes were destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza directly displacing 9,900 persons.  22,600 were displaced people hosted at UNRWA schools. 900,000 people are without water supply due to inability to repair and operate infrastructure.

Read more: Solidarity call with the people of Palestine

Open Letter from Thailand's Assembly of the Poor

Subject: Invitation to observe and monitor the forced relocation of villagers and demolishment of the villagers’ properties in Noan Dingdaeng District, Buriram Province

Attention: Mass media, the academic, human rights activists and justice minded people

The Provincial Internal Security Operation Office of Buriram Province carried out an operation to solve the encroachment of Dong Yai Forest area following the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) Order No. 64/2557 and the NPOMC Order No. 66/2557 by a joint operation team comprising of officers from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Royal Forestry Department, administrative officers, the Public Relations unit of the Provincial Internal Security Operation Office of Buriram and police from Noan Dindaeng District Police Station.

The operation team entered the area and did the public relations operation asking the encroachers to voluntarily leave the area. It laid out the following plan:

1. July 1-7, 2014: to inform the encroachers to leave the area voluntarily.

2. July 3, 2014: to call on leaders of every encroacher group and make them understand the stipulated measures.

3. The screening of encroachers based on specified qualifications in order to provide help according to conditions and criteria is to be finished by 7 July 2014.

Read more: Open Letter from Thailand's Assembly of the Poor

The Statement of Assembly of the Poor

Stop Tyrant and Abusive Actions against the Poor in Burirum province by the Royal Thai Army 2nd Regional Command 

Thai%20royal%20army%202014.png7 July, 2014 by voicefromthais

The National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) issued the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) Order No. 64/2557 entitled Suppression and stop the encroachment and destruction of forest resources and the NPOMC Order No. 66/2557 entitle addition of government agencies for suppression and stop the encroachment and destruction of forest resources and interim policies on practices in the current situation. 

Accordingly on 28 June 2014, a fully armed force comprising of soldiers from the Royal Thai Army 2nd Regional Command, policemen and forest officers, approximately 50 persons, entered Kaobart Village, Nondindaeng District in Buriram province which is a member of Assembly of the Poor. This village has been in conflict on land and forest for a long time. The soldiers informed the villagers that the army wants to claim the land back after the harvest and wants them to dismantle their houses and leave the village. Otherwise the army will destroy their houses. On the same day the soldiers from the 2nd Regional Command took 10 leaders of the Siangsawan Village, Nondindaeng District in Buriram province, which is also a conflict area, under the detention.

Read more: The Statement of Assembly of the Poor

A victory on our path to an international declaration on the rights of peasants

Press release - La Via Campesina

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_Part_1.2.2.png(Switzerland, Geneva, June 27, 2014) On June 27th, the United Nations Human Rights Council Assembly passed a resolution authorising the continuation of the process of drafting an international declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. Bolivia is in charge of starting up informal consultations between States and civil society as well as organising the second session of of the Intergovernmental Open-Ended Working Group, which is scheduled to take place in November 2014.

The declaration project originated with the Via Campesina, and it is the fruit of ten years of work on the part of this international movement which is comprised of more than 164 organisations in 73 countries. The Via Campesina set itself the task of categorising the forms of discrimination suffered by people working in rural areas (peasants, agricultural workers, nomads and pastoralists, fishers, indigenous peoples, landless workers, etc.) and, with the support of organisations such as FIAN-international and CETIM (the Europe-Third World Centre), of defining the specific human rights applicable to their situation.

Read more: A victory on our path to an international...

The struggle for freedom and food sovereignty: a letter of solidarity to the farmers of Syria

The loss of control over processing agricultural goods, such as turning grains into flour, has made it easier for the regime to punish large regions with starvation, and will in the future make it easier for foreign powers to grab hold of Syria through its dependent state, writes Julia, a farmer and member of the international solidarity group- The 15th Garden

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_flag_revolution.jpgDear fellow farmers and peasants in Syria, dear people in Syria and those connected to its cause, – as food concerns us all, hunger and oppression feel the same to each and every person.

When we were approached to write a public letter for you, I felt rather humbled and not knowing where to start. As a farmer and as someone who has encountered the gratitude and witnessed the Sumoud of the Syrian people, I am ashamed of the hardships you are in and ashamed, knowing your strength, that you have been left to fight alone while the weakness of the world is just standing by. Who am I, or any of us out here, to write any lines to you other than those couched in deepest humility.

I am a simple farmer from the worldwide movement of the farmers and peasants, La Via Campesina, which in translation means the path of the farmer. The struggle for food sovereignty begins at our doorstep: when i work the fields on my farm i am actively engaged in the local movement against land grabbing of agricultural lands in my region and the use of poisons and pesticides. This work is not separate to my direct solidarity with Syrians, and is as necessary. Policies of land grabbing, theft, destruction and displacement happen in a 'globalized' setting, and such must be our resistance.

Read more: The struggle for freedom and food sovereignty:...

Indonesia: SPI Condemns Violence Towards Peasants, in Rembang, East Java

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_rembang2.JPG(Indonesia, JAKARTA, June 26, 2014). Indonesia has witnessed scenes of violence against peasants once again. This time it was connected with plans to build a cement factory on agricultural land, and took place on the 16th June 2014 in the Kendeng Mountains near Rembang in Central Java. Police and military officers were brutal in their treatment of hundreds of villagers, mostly women. Some of the women were even thrown out of the way by the officers, who considered them to be disrupting or blocking the access road to a ceremony marking the start of the building of a cement factory by Semen Indonesia, which is planned to occupy 55 hectares of land in the Gunem sub-district of Rembang. This violence was clearly contrary to religious teachings, cultural values and human rights.

Read more: Indonesia: SPI Condemns Violence Towards...

Open call: Join Week of Mobilization to Stop Corporate Crimes and Impunity at the UNHRC

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_semainegeneveen.jpg(Switzerland, Geneva) In June 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will discuss the adoption of a resolution to establish a legally binding instrument to enforce binding rules regarding human rights and Transnational Corporations (TNCs). As a result of ongoing violations of human rights by TNCs such as the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh that killed 1,132 factory (mostly female) workers, the 2012 Marikana massacre of 34 miners in South Africa, the ongoing destruction caused by Shell in Nigeria’s Ogoniland and by Chevron in the Ecuadorean Amazon as well as the human rights violations linked to the Cerrejon Coal mine in Colombia – along with countless others – the need for radical action to control the devastating violations by TNCs has never been more urgent.

In order to push the UNHRC to adopt this type of binding Treaty, a coalition of social movements, networks and civil society organizations is organizing a full week of mobilization. Download call here

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