The groups, which organized the “International Fact-Finding Mission to Defend Land and Life against Hengfu’s Operations in Cambodia,” are asking the intervention of UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Hilal Elver and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) director general Jose Graziano de Silva on the land grabbing of more than 13,000hectares by Chinese concessionaire Hengfu Group Sugar Co., Ltd. The mission’s executive summary was submitted to them on Oct. 13, 2018 during the first day of the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) Annual Forum of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, which will hold its 45th plenary session in Rome, Italy on Oct. 15-19, 2018.
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), both based in the Philippines, launched the petition early this year to gather the support of the international community in urging the governments of China and Cambodia to act upon the issue. The petition is endorsed by around 350 organizations from different countries, some of which will also spearhead parallel actions in their respective countries on Aug. 9, 2018.
“We welcome EU’s efforts to verify the present exploitive situation in Cambodia. There has been global clamor against the rampant state-perpetrated human rights violations in the country, and the EU’s pressure may finally push the government to divert from corporate-driven development to finally meeting the demands of its people especially to land,” said Roy Anunciacion, global secretariat coordinator of PCFS.
Farmers, farm workers, indigenous peoples and all peoples of the world are intensifying the struggle for land – against repression and the neoliberal policies that goes along with it – in return, to defend our basic rights and advance our interests for food sovereignty and genuine progress. Likewise, the Kuy people are undertaking efforts in the past many years to thwart Hengfu’s actions amid worsening repression, and PCFS would like to convey its commendation and fervent support. We encourage the farmers and peoples of the world, their organizations and advocates, to voice our unity with the Kuy people of Cambodia in their struggle for the advancement of their inherent right to self-determination – on their land, territory, resources, and development according to their needs and interests.