The human right to food is sacred and protected under international law. Family Farm Defenders maintains the principles of food sovereignty, including the right to food, as a guide to our response to ongoing and escalating violence, destruction, and loss of life in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. Therefore, in good conscience, we must speak up now, joining the millions of voices from around the world who are calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the suffering and starvation that is being inflicted on the civilian population of Gaza.
Indonesia is in a dire situation as it becomes increasingly dependent on food imports. Especially for rice, the import of 3.3 million tons in 2023 was the largest rice import by the government in the last 25 years. Rice imports in 2023 increased by 613.61% compared to 2022. A Letter of Intent with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the late 90’s encouraged Indonesia to open its food market to foreign imports.
The “4 Je Kontre” platform in Haiti, comprising member organizations of La Via Campesina in Haiti, including Mouvman Peyizan Nasyonal Kongre Papay (MPNKP), Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP), and Tet Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen (TK), in collaboration with the Regional Coordination of Southeast Organizations (KROS), demands Ariel Henry’s resignation from power and calls for honoring the Montana agreement.
The first five agrarian courts will open in May in the cities of Cartagena, Quibdó, Popayán, Pasto and Tunja, with 65 more to come. Peasant farmers, or campesinos, have long struggled for recognition by the state. Another effort by President Petro to resolve the unequal land divide is a promise to redistribute more than 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) of land.
To find the roots of the problems that are now flourishing in the form of discontent in the countryside, one needs to point to the beginning of the establishment of international trade rules in this latest era of globalization. The WTO has become a space where the Rule of Might prevails, with a few developed countries determining the course of world trade.
A crucial message was delivered to IFAD’s Governing Council at the 8th IFAD Farmers’ Forum calling for collaboration with farmers’ organizations globally, aligning with human rights and international frameworks. The organizations call on governments to increase funding for IFAD’s essential policies and programs for small-scale producers.
The SKM has defended everyone’s right to protest and repeated their call for a one-day nationwide strike by farmers and trade unions on February 16th, especially in the rural areas. The unions calling for this national strike have demanded pensions for farmers, minimum support price for crops, withdrawal of the amendment of labour laws and more.
For more than a decade, the failure of this institution to reach a consensus on a lasting resolution for public food stocks clearly illustrates its alignment with the interests of the US, and other strong export-oriented countries. As the 13th Ministerial Meeting commences in Abu Dhabi on 26th February, La Via Campesina urges its members across countries to take to the streets and mobilize against the WTO.
The European Parliament voted by a small majority in a plenary vote in favour of the deregulation of GMO-NTGs. ECVC strongly condemns this vote, and also calls on the EU Council to maintain its opposition to the deregulation of GMO-NTGs.
In Sri Lanka, MONLAR joined the National Collective of Community-Based Savings and Credit Services Providers in denouncing the newly proposed Regulatory Authority for Microfinance and Credit, alleging that its over-reaching mandates would criminalize community savings and credit initiatives—with catastrophic consequences for rural women, fishing communities, and peasants.
The EU Mercosur trade agreement tailor-made for financial capital and transnational corporations, will lead to the destruction of peasant food systems that currently supply food to people in each region. We call on all social movements and civil society organizations to oppose it and demand that our governments halt this agreement.
It is imperative to put an end to the destruction and horror caused by an unjust and unsustainable model of monoculture forestry and unscrupulous real estate practices. This model has led to over 500 thousand hectares burning uncontrollably, resulting in the destruction of entire villages, homes, crops, animals, native vegetation, vehicles, and tools.
As the Israeli genocide war reaches Day 113, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza intensifies with each passing day. The toll on human life and well-being is devastating and continues to grow daily. The Union of Agricultural Work Committees urgently calls for heightened global support. The dire situation, marked by widespread hunger, relentless blockade, and continuous bombardment, has led to a catastrophic scenario.
Tanzania is pursuing another round of foreign agribusiness investment. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of lands are being turned into block farms to produce export crops, whose increasing demand is setting the stage for another wave of land grabs. With China looking to Tanzania as a new supply source for soybeans, the stage could be set for another wave of land grabs.
January witnessed global mobilizations to defend peasant rights against corporate food systems and Free Trade Agreements. Peasant-farmers’ dissatisfaction spurred mobilization in Germany, France, Belgium, and Spain. This edition also brings updates from Palestine, East Africa, alongside ongoing struggles in Latin America and Asia.
Small-scale farmers from across Europe answered the call for European mobilisation in Brussels, sent by ECVC and one of its Belgian organisations FUGEA on Monday, in order to drive forward concrete change for farmers on the doorstep of European policy makers.
On December 18, 2023, the Indonesian Peasants Union (SPI) commemorated the fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP). The event shed light on the ongoing struggles faced by peasants globally.
European Coordination Via Campesina calls for a European mobilisation on 1 February 2024 in Brussels to express its discontent and call for a paradigm change. Europe’s neo-liberal policies are overwhelmingly responsible for farmers’ distress. ECVC has been calling for a change of direction and is therefore taking to the streets demanding suspension of FTAs and for fair prices.
La Via Campesina welcomes this pivotal decision by the ICJ, considering it a historic victory for the rights of the Palestinian people and a crucial first step towards holding the Israeli occupation accountable for its persistent crimes and evasion of punishment. The ICJ’s binding orders include among others instructing Israeli occupation to ensure access to humanitarian aid into Gaza.
As the war waged by the Israeli occupation on the Gaza Strip enters its 106 days, La Via Campesina stands in solidarity with the people of Gaza, who are enduring an unimaginable humanitarian crisis. This war of annihilation has resulted in over 25,000 casualties, more than 62,000 injured, and over 8,000 missing – a staggering 4% of Gaza’s population. Further compounding this dire situation is the blockade at the Rafah crossing.
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