Sunday, November 25, 2018

#25Nov: Breaking the silence, ending the violence. Resist patriarchy, Resist capitalism!


25 November 2018, Negombo, Srilanka:


We the peasant women of La Via Campesina coming from Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia and assembled here in Negombo, Srilanka this week for the Global Meeting of Women Articulation, unanimously condemn all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls everywhere.

We say this while we realise that much remains to be done – to ensure that the violence that has occurred and is still occurring today in our countries, in our homes, in our organizations, rooted in patriarchy, taking the form of rape and commodification of women, is erased from our society, our territories, our bodies and lives.

On this 25th of November and every day, the peasants of La Via Campesina say:

“Let us put an end to violence against women, break the silence, resist and confront patriarchy and capitalism. We are against all types of violence that still affect many women in rural and urban areas. We must overcome barbarism, fascism and the lack of respect for the most fundamental rights. We must fight today and every day as a working class. We understand that capitalism is the main source of inequality and that many forms of violence emerge from these inequalities. That is why this struggle is such a class struggle.

Our proposal and our tools for transformation come from the land in which we women are anchored. It comes from the land cultivated in agroecology to achieve food sovereignty; from the collective research we carry out for the construction of equality in our spaces of action and study; from the marches and struggles in which, women participate to build the NEW WOMAN AND THE NEW MAN that will build the new society.

It is clear to us that the only way to end machismo is to confront oppression and exploitation and that only women and men organized in our popular, peasant, urban, fishing and forest peoples’ movements can carry out this struggle for the construction of equality.

We peasants of the world of Via Campesina, present in the 81 countries of the world, say YES to equality, and END to violence against women. We want and commit ourselves daily to building a life without violence, discrimination and exploitation against women.
The society we want is free of violence against women!

Contact for interviews:

ES: Nury Martinez |Fensuagro Colombia| +57 310 772 0098

FR: Ehaibi Torkia| 0026 93116634

EN: Anuka de Silva|Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform|Sri Lanka|+94 71 588 3723

Download our materials here: https://cloud.viacampesina.org/s/j9JXXsNwYBq8LWd

You can also tag us on:

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Twitter @via_campesina @via_campesinaSP and @viacampesinaFR @viacampesinaFR ]

Saturday, November 24, 2018

“Resist patriarchy, resist capitalism”, proclaims global peasant women’s meeting in Sri Lanka




This article by Tanya and Vysakh, first appeared on People’s Dispatch on 23 November

Global Meeting of Women Articulation, organized by La Via Campesina, an international peasant movement, began on November 22 in Negombo, Sri Lanka. This international meeting aims to reflect on different challenges faced by peasant women and women in general. Over 60 peasant women leaders from 20 different countries across the globe joined the conference.

La Via Campesina (LVC) [the peasants’ way] operates in 81 countries with the objective of bringing together millions of peasants, small farmers, landless people, rural women, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers. It aims to defend peasant agriculture against corporate driven agriculture and to build food sovereignty globally. It is committed to the struggle for the liberation of its people and the continuous transformation of their reality. Strengthening and promoting popular peasant feminism is one of the central agendas of LVC.

The principle objectives of Vía Campesina’s peasant women’s meeting are to realize collective study and political training as a way to advance organizational consciousness, and to leverage and strengthen organizational tasks for the LVC women articulation (refers to organising in Latin America) at the regional level as well as internationally. The meeting also aims to be a platform to share experiences of women’s struggle in different regions, and to exchange organizational and formative work processes with the women members of LVC in different regions and finally to construct an action plan for international articulation.

“We are developing the strategies with La Vía Campesina, the biggest peasant movement and it is a way forward for us. Recently, the peasant rights declaration was approved by the third committee of the United Nations [it is yet to be adopted by the UN and is expected to happen in December]. It is La Vía Campesina who first fought for these declarations and peasant rights and for those working in the rural areas”, said Elizabeth Mpofu, representative of the Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum, Zimbabwe.

The event began with the Mística ceremony [a ceremony in which the four elements: earth, water, fire and wind are honoured]. Peasant women from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe associated with different local and regional social organizations shared the experiences and problems they live through every day. Lack of equal rights, political power, decision making rights, educational access leading to exclusion of women; feudal mentality of men; differential wages; violence against women; etc. were some of the key challenges brought out and emphasized in the conference.

“All the lessons that we learn by traveling and coming together with our compañeras [fellow comrades] from different countries have led us to the realization that this is a globalized effort, that we cannot do it regionally. So, this is why we do it and this is why we will continue to do it”, said Rosemary Martinez, president of Sin Fronteras Organizing Project, Texas, highlighting the importance of the event.

The event will culminate on November 25, with a solidarity demonstration to mark the International Day to Combat Violence against Women.



La Via Campesina
on Thursday
EN| #LaViaCampesina - Peasant women leaders from Asia, Americas, Africa, Middle East and Europe are meeting in Srilanka this week to study and deepen their commitments to strengthen popular peasant feminism within the movement and in their territories. Here is glimpse from the first day
ES| #LaViaCampesina Las lideresas campesinas de Asia, América, África, Medio Oriente y Europa se reunen en Sri Lanka esta semana para estudiar y profundizar sus compromisos para fortalecer el Feminismo Campesino y Popular dentro del movimiento y en sus territorios. Aquí fotos del primer día.
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L’image contient peut-être : 9 personnes, personnes souriantes, personnes debout, enfant et plein air
L’image contient peut-être : 8 personnes, personnes souriantes, personnes debout et plein air
L’image contient peut-être : 9 personnes, personnes souriantes, personnes debout et plein air
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

UNITED NATIONS: Third Committee approves the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas



PRESS RELEASE | LA VIA CAMPESINA

19 November. Monday, [NEW YORK]

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the UN General Assembly voted in favour of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, through the Resolution no. A/C.3/73/L.30.

The resolution was approved by 119 votes in favour, 7 votes against and 49 abstentions. It is a significant leap forward in a campaign led by La Via Campesina, the world’s largest peasant movement supported by many organizations across the world, including FIAN and CETIM.

The UN Declaration aims to better protect the rights of all rural populations including peasants, fisherfolks, nomads, agricultural workers and indigenous peoples and to improve living conditions, as well as to strengthen food sovereignty, the fight against climate change and the conservation of biodiversity. The endorsement of the UN Declaration also constitutes an important contribution to the international community’s effort to promote family farming and peasant agriculture.

Bolivia, the chair of the process, stressed upon the importance of the UN Declaration in realising more resilient, sustainable and inclusive societies:

“We believe this is a major step towards public policies that recognize not only the rights and needs of peasants but also their contributions to the well-being and quality of life of the societies they nurture through their daily work. We are sure that this instrument will play a central role in human rights as well as in the eradication of hunger and poverty, in line with Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and the Decade of Family Farming, without leaving anyone behind.”

Since its adoption at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in late September, La Via Campesina and its allies’ focus has been to make sure that this UN Declaration is adopted by the UN General Assembly. La Via Campesina delegates who have been present in New York since the beginning of the Third Committee session expressed their satisfaction after the voting results.

“In this historic moment, in which financial capital and corporations are deepening their offensive to monopolize food and concentrate land and natural goods, at the cost of our lives, the adoption of the Declaration of Peasant Rights in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly is a strategic victory, not only for peasants but for the peoples of the world as a whole. We will continue on this long path of struggle and unity, for rights and social justice, convinced that full democracy is only possible through Agrarian Reform, the social function of land and the full enjoyment of the rights of peasants”, said Diego Monton La Via Campesina (CLOC)

The Committee’s approval of the UN Declaration was marked by some debate but it benefitted from a consistent support from Africa, Asia and Latin America regions. Some negative reactions came from Europe and other regions, with the US delegation rejecting the text as they have longstanding concerns about the UN Declaration, which sought to expand upon existing rights, singling out the human rights of peasants above those of other groups, and also on the collective rights stipulated in the contents. The European countries were divided in their response.

“In the Third Committee, where all the UN countries participate, we have witnessed a great diversity of positions in Eastern and Western Europe. For those who supported us, we thank them greatly. Your votes in favor put human values in the human rights, giving hope for millions of peasants, men and women, across the continent. For those who abstained or voted against, we wish to tell you that peasants and small family farmers in your countries cannot be left behind”, said Ramona Duminicioiu from La Via Campesina Europe.

“After December’s UNGA approval, we will start a new chapter of the Rights of Peasants and we are demanding that all UN countries commit themselves to implementing the Declaration. We are determined to contribute to a better society, to fight climate change, to end hunger, to provide diverse and nutritious food for everyone”, she added.

Zainal Arifin Fuat, from La Via Campesina Asia,  said that this declaration is a landmark moment in the peasants struggle.

“The Declaration acknowledges the prominent role that peasants play in solving multiple crises facing us today – food, environmental, social and economic. Peasants are essential to food security and sovereignty and the realization of the right to food, particularly in developing countries where they provide up to 80% of the food locally consumed. This UN Declaration will also contribute to the humanity’s efforts to end poverty, hunger and achieving our sustainable development goals. In Asia, we believe that if our rights are recognized and further protected, people will be able to develop rural areas and then avoid the rural-urban migration that creates insoluble problems”, he added.

“The scramble for resources that is going on in the African continent and elsewhere has put peasants in an extremely vulnerable position. The ongoing attack on peasant seed systems have repercussions that go beyond those who produce the food. It indeed affects everyone. For 17 years we have been patiently campaigning for an international instrument that can protect our rights as peasants and to guard our food systems from being dismantled to favour a few. It is a proud moment today for millions of peasants worldwide, who never give up when faced with adversity”, said Elizabeth Mpofu, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina

“The power of the peasant movement is being felt at the highest level of international governance: for this, we must acknowledge the hard work and passion of so many peasants worldwide. The solidarity of peasants internationally is a testament to how closely we and our issues are linked, regardless of where we live. However, today is only a stepping stone on the long path of human rights justice for rural people. We must carry forward this momentum and put the declaration into action at every level of society,” said Jessie MacInnis, La Via Campesina North America

The UN Declaration will be formally ratified by the UN General Assembly on December 2018, following the decision taken by the Third Committee this afternoon.



Editor’s Note:

Information Note on UN Declaration can be downloaded here

Full text of the Resolution and Declaration is here

For more information, visit www.viacampesina.org

Press Contact:

Ramona Duminicioiu (English, French) : +40 746 337 022 , ramona@ecoruralis.ro

Jessie MacInnis: (English) : +1 (902) 292-1040 , jessiemacinnis@gmail.com

Diego Monton (Spanish) : +54 9 261 561-5062 , diegomonton@gmail.com

Reblogged from https://viacampesina.org/en/

Saturday, November 17, 2018

South Asian Peasant Movements and Civil Society urge their Governments to vote in favour of the UN Declaration

17 November 2018: In a letter sent on Saturday to Mr Syed Akbaruddin, Premanent Mission of India to the United Nations and copied to the Prime Minister and President of India, the Indian Farmers’ Movements and Civil Society organisations have urged the Government of India to fully support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, which will be discussed at the 73rd session of UN General Assembly in New York.

On a similar note, the Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation also sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, seeking support for the UN Declaration.

Here is the full text of the letter from India;



Shri. Syed Akbaruddin

Ambassador

Permanent Mission of India to The United Nations

New Delhi, November 2018

Re: Requesting Support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas at the United Nations General Assembly

Respected Shri Akbaruddin,

We are representatives of peasant organizations, civil society, activists, NGOs, and citizens from all corners of India. We are writing to request your full support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas which will be discussed at the 73rd session of UN General Assembly in New York.

The resolution to adopt the UN Declaration was recently passed at the 39th session of UN Human Rights Council after six years of intense talks (A/HRC/39/L.16)[1], with an overwhelming majority – 33 votes in favour of the Declaration. India has always been very supportive of the process and we fully appreciate that.

As you are well aware, the process was initiated by the Human Rights Council in September 2012 (UN Human Rights Council Resolution 21/19) — and the intergovernmental working group was formed following a report of the Advisory Committee recommending the adoption of a new international instrument in the form of a United Nations declaration to address the multiple human rights violations and discrimination suffered by peasants and other people working in rural areas. In 2012, a study[2] by the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee (its body of experts), recognized peasants and other people living in rural areas as victims of discrimination and systematic violations of their human rights and recommended the adoption of a United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other peoples working in rural areas as well as the recognition of the right to land, among other rights, in order to better protect and promote their rights.

Therefore, this is an immensely important initiative for millions of peasants and other rural workers throughout the world.

Inclusive by design, the Declaration concerns not only peasants, but also fisher-folks, nomadic pastoralists, agricultural workers and Indigenous Peoples. The United Nations Declaration can undoubtedly contribute to better protecting the right to a decent livelihood in rural areas. It will also reinforce food security, solutions to climate change, and the conservation of biodiversity.

The UN General Assembly has a crucial role to play in ensuring the adoption of this declaration. This UN Declaration will reinforce the human rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. It would represent an important contribution to the efforts of the international community in favour of family farming, peasants and other peoples working in rural areas. This adoption will be in line with the initiatives of the United Nations General Assembly which, while recognizing the important contribution of family farming to feeding humanity (production of more than 80% of the world’s food), declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming and recently launched the decade of Family Farming from 2019-2028. The declaration will reinforce existing human rights standards.

As this UN Declaration will be voted on during the 73rd session of UN General Assembly, we urge India to vote in favor. We deeply appreciate that India has been supportive of this process so far. We would be grateful if you could encourage other Member States to support this Declaration.

CC

Smt Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs

Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice

Sincerely,

Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)
Adivasigal Gothra Maha Sabha
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Delhi
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Haryana
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Himachal Pradesh
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Punjab
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Madhya Pradesh
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rajasthan
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Uttar Pradesh
Environment Support Group, Bengaluru
Focus on the Global South
Housing Land Rights Network
Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM)
Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
IT For Change
Jai Kisan Andolan
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene (KRRS), Karnataka
Katch Sarpartra Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, Tamil Nadu
Kerala Coconut Farmers Association, Kerala
MIJARC, India
New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (SICCFM)
Tamilnadu Organic Farmers Federation
Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam (TVS) Tamil Nadu
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), New Delhi
Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi, Tamil Nadu
Vanagam-Nammalvar Ecological agriculture training and research centre, Kadavur

Notes :

[1] http://undocs.org/A/HRC/39/L.16

[2] https://www.cetim.ch/legacy/en/documents/G1210803.pdf




Here is the scanned copy of the letter sent by the Bangladesh union;


Sunday, November 4, 2018

India: Youth camp by Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha (KRRS) in images

Amritabhoomi, the agroecology school of La Via Campesina recently hosted a youth training camp from Sep 21st to 23rd, in the southern State of Karnataka, India. Lots of debates and discussions were held on issues around agraran crisis and responses by social movements. Youth training is one of the most important programs of KRRS and Amrita Bhoomi. Young people, the future of the movement get an opportunity to come together, learn, debate, and become better leaders.

IN A GROUP DISCUSSION




TALKING ABOUT WOMEN FARMERS WITH KAVITHA KURUGANTI AND KAVITHA SREENIVASAN OF MAKAAM. ALL THE YOUNG FARMERS AGREED THAT WOMEN MUST OWN LAND EQUALLY.


Dr.VASU OF JANASHAKTI SPEAKING ON LEADERSHIP

KP SURESH TALKING ABOUT THE AGRARIAN CRISIS



GROUP WORK : YOUTHS PRESENTING ABOUT THE ACHIEVEMENTS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE FARMER’S MOVEMENT




SINGING THE ANTHEM OF KRRS



SINGING SONGS OF STRUGGLE IN THE EVENINGS



TAKING AN OATH OF COMMITMENT TO THE FARMER’S MOVEMENT AT PROFESSOR NANJUNDASWAMY’S MEMORIAL STONE