Declaration: La Via Campesina International Youth Coordination Meeting

We, the young men and women peasants and farmers of La Via Campesina, have met in Brech, France from March 14th to 16th, 2011 to organize ourselves, exchange with each other and build hope for young peasants and farmers everywhere.  We have come from many different nationalities, cultures, religions and languages, but here we speak the same language and we come together with the same spirit of respect for mother earth and to defend our rights.  Now we will continue to construct a global movement of youth who are working to promote Food Sovereignty in our local communities, our nations and around the world.

The youth of La Via Campesina are facing injustices of many kinds.  From racism, illiteracy and poverty, to social and gender discrimination and loss of culture, we are immersed in a world of misinformation, manipulation and criminalization.  Our struggle is one of great dimensions.  As youth all over the world have been systematically displaced from the countryside, our food system has lost its integrity and legitimacy, polluting the land, poisoning our people and robbing us of our rural cultures.  We, the young peasants and farmers of La Via Campesina, who are building ecological alternatives on our farms and in our countryside, are living in resistance to this system.  We are building Food Sovereignty already in our lives, now we must continue to organize and build our movement.  

Since Maputo, we have continued our work and our struggle.  During the process of Aragon and Quito, we have decided to focus our actions on 4 specific themes:

1. Promotion of Food Sovereignty to counter the Neo-Liberal Model

2. Agrarian Reform and Access to Land

3. Migration and Human Rights

4. Training with a Political and Agro-ecological focus

To reach our objectives, we’re aware that we will have to improve our communication and training.

We have created the following framework for activities:

1. The Youth Campaign

2. Training and Education

3. Internal Coordination

4. Financing

In Brech, we also developed an action plan for this year and next year. We have decided to change the name of our campaign to make it more accessible to all. We intend to voice our name and slogan, “For the Land! The youth of La Via Campesina are fighting!!”

Among other activities this year, we want to finalize a booklet of the situation of our young farmers, our difficulties, our needs and our alternatives. We will also write a text introducing ourselves and explaining our struggles.  To support our training process, from local to regional and international level, each region will undertake a training camp and include a member from another region to promote the exchange of knowledge between us.

We have now established our place in La Via Campesina to organize ourselves, communicate and learn from our colleagues around the world.  We are actively participating in the meetings with the International Coordinating Committee.  Now, we must strengthen our participation by integrating ourselves into the general work of La Via Campesina as a coordination, organizing our work and building our priorities.  The voice and view of the youth is critical for our movement and must be included in all aspects of the work of La Via Campesina.

To be more effective, we need to strengthen our communication by publishing content on to the Via Campesina website and by sharing our regional and local experiences in a bimonthly newsletter.

Finally, to further strengthen ourselves and our struggle, we are planning our next international meeting of youth of Via Campesina in 2012.  We hope to combine this with a resounding action for young farmers in the world!


For the Land! The Youth of La Via Campesina are fighting!

Pour la Terre! les jeunes de La Via Campesina en lute!

Por la tierra! la juventud de La Via Campesina lucha!