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.
Alarmingly, land grabbing by landlords and transnational corporations in the rural communities [of the Philippines] is often accompanied by militarization and brutal violations of the human rights. The political killings related to land conflicts in the country continue and worsen with blatant impunity.
“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.
Joint statement endorsed by 67 international, regional and national organizations to mark the “Day of the Landless”
The Kisan Long March serves as a noteworthy example to many farmers around the world in the collective assertion of people’s food sovereignty. Such people-based reforms on food production systems and agriculture – an effective loan waiver program, compensation to recover from natural disaster-related losses, restoration of tribal people’s rights over forest lands, and the end of all corporate grabbing of farmers’ lands, among others – are very possible to be won as long as we strive for the strengthened unity and empowerment of our social movement.