- Published on Friday, 17 March 2017 01:09
The International Congress on Peasants’ Rights, which took place from 7 to 10 March in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, brought together close to one hundred peasants and representatives of food producers from all over the world, along with the same diversity of human rights defenders and activists. The Congress concluded with the presentation of a Manifesto on the need for a Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, a text that was finalized with the contribution of the participants to the event. Below you can find the full text.
Almost 500 years ago, growing encroachments on peasants’ common lands by princes and churches led to rural uprisings in Southern Germany and to the drafting of the peasants’ “Twelve Articles”. This document represents the first record of demands for human rights and liberties in Europe, and included the right to equal access to lands, forests and fishing grounds. Although the feudal lords brutally crushed this revolt, peasants kept resisting and showing that the feudal nobility hadn’t defeated them. History shows that when peasants are rolled back in one place they reappear in another one. Peasant revolts are still on-going!
- Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:20
Women peasants in South East Asia and East Asia gathered in Sarawak, Malaysia from the 21-23 February 2017, to voice their opinions and provide inputs to the ongoing negotiations for a Universal Declaration for Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. The delegation comprised women peasants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, East Timor, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
- Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:41
Report from the Global Peasants’ Rights Congress from 7-10 March 2017 in Schäbisch Hall, Germany
Honoring International Women’s Day, an international delegation of women kicked off the Global Peasants’ Rights Congress last Wednesday, held in the rural region of Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, with a mystica.
In the opening of the event, Elizabeth Mpofu, General Secretary of La Via Campesina reaffirmed that “the need for a UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants is more urgent than ever.” Peasants around the world “promote a model based on Food Sovereignty and support agroecological peasant agriculture as a solution to food, climate and social crisis. In championing the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, she argued, humanity also wins.”
- Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:06
Edition no: 29 of Nyeleni Newsletter is now online.
There is growing distrust and mobilisation against Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). FTAs hurt food sovereignty because they:
- Erase the possibility of public strategies supporting local markets.
- Lower or remove tariffs on imported goods, hurting local small-scale food producers who cannot compete with large subsidised agribusiness imports.
- Harmonise standards on food safety, pesticides, GMOs and animal welfare benefitting corporations : the imposed lowest standards protect their profit margins.
- Rewrite patent laws, requiring countries to privatise plants and animals; criminalise peasants who save and exchange seeds and breeds thus damaging biodiverse food systems.
- Require that foreign investors be treated better than domestic ones, gaining more access to land and water, and powerful rights to defend themselves through investor-state arbitration that is fundamentally anti-democratic.