Oral Intervention 7th session of UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee

7th session of UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee

8-12 August 2011

Right to food

Oral intervention by Muhammad Ikhwan of La Via Campesina, the International Peasant Movement

On behalf of Foodfirst International Action Network (FIAN)

Mr. /Mrs. President,

FIAN International and La Via Campesina would like to commend the Advisory Committee for its preliminary study on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. In the light of growing conflicts over land and water and the food price and climate crisis, there is an urgent need to step up efforts to effectively protect the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

We are witnessing a dramatic new wave in land grabbing. At least 50 million hectares of agricultural land have been transferred to corporations only in the last few years alone, and each day more investors are joining the rush.

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Intervention, UN Human Rights Council, 16th session, March 15, 2011

Mr. President,

FIAN International and La Via Campesina would like to commend the Advisory Committee for its two studies on discrimination in the context of the right to food and preliminary study of “The advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas” (A/HRC/AC/6/3, recommendation 6/5) presented for the consideration of  the Human Rights Council in its 16th session.. These reports represent a major contribution to address the global food crisis. We are witnessing the record of about 1 billion people worldwide suffering undernourishment; 75 per cent of them are smallholder farmers and landless who depend mainly or partly on agriculture for their livelihoods, but lack sufficient access to productive resources. We are deeply convinced that as a long term measure to overcome hunger it is necessary to better define the needs for specific entitlements of peasants as one of the most vulnerable group to violations of human rights in general and to the right to adequate food; to identify potential gaps in the protection of these rights and entitlements; and to present proposals to address these gaps.

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La Via Campesina at the Human Right Council (*)

Mr President, High Commissioner,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by expressing my deep concerns regarding the grave situation in Libya. The shockingly violent food riots in Tunisia and Algeria are also in our thoughts, as this year the world is again entering a major food crisis.

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Peasants fight for their rights within the United Nations (UN)

MEDIA ADVISORY

(Jakarta, 1 March 2011) La Via Campesina is a global peasants' movement consisting of 150 member organizations in 70 countries and representing over 200 million peasants and rural workers. For more than a decade we have been fighting for the recognition of our basic rights within the framework of the UN convention on human rights. These basic rights are detailed in La Via Campesina’s Declaration of the Rights of Peasants - Women and Men.

The current global food crisis which has forced more than 1 billion people to into hunger and malnutrition demands both a swift response and constructive international cooperation. Therefore, this is the right time to recognize and protect the peasants’ human rights—the ones who have been discriminated against and those whose rights have been violated over centuries.

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