FIAN- 25 years supporting the struggle for Human Right to Adequate food (english) 13.09 small-1


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

FIAN- 25 years supporting the struggle for Human Right to Adequate food (english) 13.09 small-1

  1. 1. right to adequate food FIAN - 25 years supporting the struggle for the human
  2. 2. Published by FIAN International Designed by Ewa Garcia Folmer Printed on recycled paper in Germany at Integra, Walldorf September 2011 Photographs by Tom Henning Bratlie (Cover/Back) Mohan Dhamotharan (p.3), James Rodrigues, (p.9), Roman Herre (p.4, 11), FIAN International (p.5, 8, 17), Sebastian Rötters (p. 6), FIAN Philippines (p. 10), FIAN India (p. 12), FIAN Belgium (p.14), FIAN Nepal (p.15) Contents of this publication may be quoted or reproduced, provided that the source of information is acknowledged. The publishers would like to receive a copy of the document in which this report is used or quoted. Produced with financial assistance from the European Commission (EC) 2 FIAN International was founded in 1986 and was the first international human rights organization to cam- paign for the realization of the right to food. FIAN is a grassroots oriented not-for-profit organization, independent of any government, political ideology or religion. It has consultative status with the United Nations. FIAN’s work is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in particular. FIAN’s vision is a world free from hunger, in which every person can fully enjoy their human rights in dignity, particularly the right to adequate food.
  3. 3. Hunger is increasing. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that the number of undernourished people has es- calated dramatically over the last few years and that almost one billion people suffer from hunger today. People who go hungry do not just lack food. They lack control over basic resources like land, water, seeds or income – just as they lack political power and access to justice. In the majority of cases, hunger can be attributed to a violation of the hu- man right to food - one of the most widely violated human rights. As the cases in this publication demonstrate, those responsible for violations – national govern- ments in the North and in the South, supranational organizations and private companies – can be clearly identified and held accountable. This is the work of the Food First Information and Action Network – FIAN International. Hunger in the World A Human Rights challenge 3
  4. 4. FIAN 25 years supporting the struggle for the human right to food 4 “Wepioneeredthedefenseofeconomic,social andculturalrightsashumanrights,whilemost oftheotherhumanrightsorganizationswere limitedtocivilandpoliticalrights,” recalls Rolf Künnemann, one of the founders. Over the past 25 years FIAN International has formalized its role, expanding from a basement headquarters to a network of national offices in 18 countries, both in the North and in the South. FIAN´s individual members throughout the world join the effort to denounce right to food violations. FIAN was granted consultative status to the United Nations in 1989. This has enabled the organization to influence the human rights protection system in favor of vulnerable groups including peasant farm- ers, the landless and women. Twenty-five years ago FIAN International took its first steps to defend the basic right of all people to permanent and unrestricted access to adequate, nutritious and culturally appropriate food that enables them to live with dignity. FIAN’s mandate has always focused on support- ing the struggle of those fighting against unjust and oppressive practices that prevent them from feed- ing themselves and their families. This long-term view is reflected in the organization’s strategy. “Ourobjectiveistoachieveconcretesolutionsin theformofrealpolicychangestosecurepeople’s accesstotheresourcestheyneedinorderto feedthemselvesbothnowandinthefuture,” states FIAN’s Secretary-General Flavio Valente. In order to support those struggling to realize their right to food FIAN rigorously reports on human rights violations and helps to build the capacity of individuals and communities to defend their rights against complicit governments and corporations. The brain-child of a group of committed activists, FIAN remains the only international human rights organization working exclusively to promote the right to food.
  5. 5. FIAN has contributed to the elaboration of UN General Comment No. 12 on the Right to Food in 1999, now the most authoritative legal interpretation of the right to food. The organiza- tion was also a key player in the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food by the FAO member states in 2004, and in the adop- tion of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In all these achievements, FIAN has closely net- worked with other non-government organizations (NGOs) and social movements, and in doing so has expanded spaces for civil society at different levels. Margret Vidar, legal officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), emphasizes FIAN’s contribution to the current standard prac- tice at FAO where NGOs can speak on equal footing with governments: “WhenIjoinedFAOin1996,theorganization wasmuchlessopentoNGOinputsthanitis now,and(…)FIANhasplayedapartinchang- ingthisaspectofFAO”. 5 Ohoto: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré FIAN also pioneers discussion on issuesrelated to the right to food through collaboration with other civil society organizations, most promi- nently in the annual publication Right to Food and Nutrition Watch which tackles critical topics such as the increasing production of agrofuels, the trend of landgrabbing and debates over governance of the world food system. Jean Ziegler, Vice-President of the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee, believes the Watch “givesavoicetothemillionsof peoplewhostruggleeverydaytoprovidefood totheirfamilies,withdignity.” Just as hunger has many different faces the struggle for the right to food has numer- ous dimensions. As Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food declares “FIANisdoingmuchmorethanjust combatinghunger.Tobeabletofeedyourself isahumanright”.
  6. 6. The right to adequate food “Therighttoadequatefoodisrealizedwhenevery man,womanandchild,aloneorincommunitywith others,hasphysicalandeconomicaccessatall timestoadequatefoodormeansforitsprocure- ment”.--General Comment No. 12 of the Commit- tee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1999). In collaboration with others, FIAN engages to intervene in decision-making processes that affect peoples’ realization of their right to food. To do so it strives to influence powerful actors and educate communities and individuals about their rights. In drawing international attention to violations of these rights FIAN aims to protect, encourage and contri- bute to the efforts of those claiming their right to food. The case stories in this booklet highlight the diversity of the violations, which range from being denied access to a safe and clean source of water; via the eviction from traditional lands to make way for mining companies; to the failure of governments to implement social security programs and enforce legislation that prevents landgrabbing. These cases also illustrate that those most affected by hunger and malnutrition are often the most vul- nerable. They face higher risks of oppression due to their marginalization on the basis of ethnicity, health, gender or age. to marginalization on the basis of ethnicity, health, gender or age. 6
  7. 7. Governments in the global North and South, supranational organizations including the World Bank and private companies are among those who frequently violate the right to food. Many of these violations stem from systemic injustices perpetu- ated by unfair land, trade and investment policies. The combined efforts of those whose rights are violated and supporting organisations like FIAN have contributed to the advancement or suc- cessful resolution of cases. Yet, even when a court rules in favour of the people or a long awaited policy is finally adopted, close monitoring of the proper implementation of the right to adequate food is needed - until having daily food and living in dignity has turned from a dream into reality. Tofindoutmoreaboutthefollowingcases,goto www.fian.orgfordocumentaries,photos,blogs andreports. 7
  8. 8. 8 The Guarani-Kaiowá, an indigenous people of Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil, endure health and social ills including malnutrition, alcoholism and even youth suicide. These preventable tragedies are the consequence of eviction from traditional lands to make way for agrofuel monocultures including sugar cane and ethanol. Among the first victims of violations against the right to food are children. Between 2005 and 2008, 34 indigenous children under five died of nutrition-related causes in the Mato Grosso do Sul, while another 600 were identified as malnourished. Meanwhile the Brazilian government has been negligent in enforcing the demarcation of indigenous lands in response to constitutional provisions that protect the Guaranis’ rights to land and natural resources. This process is a vital formal step in the communities’ legal battle to reclaim their land. Plantation owners have resisted the mapping of the sites by anthropologists, threaten- ing physical harm and lawsuits. FIAN has supported the struggle of the Guarani for many years in a wide variety of ways. European FIAN sections cooperated on the case of the Guarani-Kaiowá in a three-year long campaign to raise awareness of their struggle. During this time, a delegation of the Guarani-Kaiowá travelled through Germany, Sweden, Norway and Belgium. Local FIAN volunteers welcomed the delegation, facilitated public appearances and media cover- age and expressed solidarity. A film crew travelled to Brazil to make a documentary showing to a wider audience the dire living conditions expe- rienced by the Guaraní and the abuses carried out by the agribusiness transnational companies managing the plantations. Only unrestricted access to their ancestral territory will satisfy the Guarani-Kaiowà’s right to adequate food.“Thisisourfoodbasket”, says community leader Carlitos of Paso Pirajú as he points to the land.“Onlytheearthcanguaranteeourfood.” BRAZIL Fuel vs. food – spreading the word of the indigenous Guaraní-Kaiowa
  9. 9. GUATEMALA How goldmining can destroy access to water and violate indigenous rights In Guatemala the Marlin Gold Mine has a profoundly negative effect on local indigenous communities’ access to food and water. The mining activities use massive amounts of water and con- taminate remaining reserves. Toxic levels of heavy metal have been identified in samples of blood and urine of members of the local population. Community consultations in 2005 revealed that more than 90 per cent of the population in Sipacapa rejected the Marlin Mining project. In 2010 the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Indigenous People, James Anaya, and an expert committee from the International Labour Organi- zation declared that the government had granted the license to mine without the free and informed consent of the affected communities. In May 2010, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted precautionary measures in favour of the members of 18 indigenous communi- ties in the Guatemalan Western Highlands. These measures include the temporary suspension of activities of the Marlin Mine, operated by Canadian corporation Goldcorp. Human rights defenders, including members of the community, have been suppressed violently for speaking out against the mine. A leader of the movement opposing the mine was shot at her home on July 7, 2010. This brutal criminal act and others have largely been ignored by authorities. Since 2004, FIAN repeatedly visited the Marlin Mine area, engaged with local authorities and launched appeals supporting the people’s struggle against the mine. Together with interna- tional human rights groups and networks, FIAN conducted joint fact finding missions, contribut- ing to the international visibility of the case. In concert with other European organizations FIAN has openly questioned the policies of Scandinavian public pension funds as shareholders of Goldcorp. Both Norway and Sweden are bound by inter- national human rights treaty obligations and must ensure that State Pension Funds are not investing in organizations involved in human rights violations. In a report presented in August 2011 that summa- rizes the results of a joint mission to Guatemala, FIAN and partners ask the state of Guatemala to implement the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission and to pro- tect human rights defenders from harassments and criminalization, as well as to guarantee the people´s human right to water. 9
  10. 10. In the Philippines many farmers do not have access to land and are working as tenants or share-croppers despite the existence of a public policy for land redistribution. The 1988 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) states that private agriculture holdings exceeding five hectares of land should be redistributed to landless farmers. Although share tenancy is contrary to public policy under the CARP, 300 coconut farmers on the 1,716-hect- are Hacienda Matias on the Bondoc Peninsula are employed as share-croppers. This obliges them to give up to 70 per cent of their harvest to the landowner, an exploitative arrangement resulting in the impoverishment of families and the violation of their right to food. In 2004 the affected communities mobilized and petitioned the Philippine State for land redistribu- tion. In response the Department of Agrarian Re- form commenced the land redistribution program, issuing a Notice of Coverage to the landlord and undertaking an initial survey of the property. The landlord has since attempted to avoid the directive while employing individuals to harass and evict the peasants, causing serious injuries in one case. Criminal charges have been filed against several peasants, resulting in their imprisonment. In 2004 FIAN Philippines launched community education programs on the right to food, which included the implementation of agrarian reform programs. Meanwhile it continually pressed the government at different levels to fulfill the right to food of the petitioners. These activities were complemented by the initiatives of local NGOs and letter campaigns launched by FIAN Interna- tional. FIAN also addressed the case in a parallel report to the United Nations. In March 2010, despite resistance from the land- owners, nine evicted farmers were reinstated by the government after the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board judged their evic- tion illegal. The survey of Hacienda Matias was resumed. FIAN Philippines will monitor the case until the distribution process is finalized. PHILIPPINES The struggle for Agrarian Reform – vital for the right to food 10
  11. 11. FIAN Germany’s work in relation to cases of landgrabbing in Cambodia demonstrates how thorough research of violations of human rights can attract media coverage and influence the conduct of large companies. Crop-land and agricultural infrastructure has be- come attractive as an investment opportunity both for individuals and institutions. Off-shore farming in the wake of the food crisis and the boom in agrofuels are important drivers behind foreign land investment. A frequent consequence of this activity, known as ‘landgrabbing’, is the displace- ment of local communities. Cambodia is a prime target for landgrabbers. For generations farmers in this largely rural country have maintained a traditional lifestyle growing fruit and rice and gathering resources from forests. In 2006 bulldozers shattered the peace in the Koh Kong Province to make way for sugar cane, depriv- ing the local communities of the land and natural resources essential to meet their right to food. The Thai firm Khon Kaen Sugar Industry, a manufacturer and distributor of sugar and molasses and a top ethanol producer, is one of the investors. With partners from Cambodia and Taiwan, Khon Kaen had acquired a 90-year 19,100 ha conces- sion in Cambodia to produce sugar destined for the European Union. In response to the forced eviction of villagers in the district of Sre Ambel FIAN Germany and other civil society organizations revealed connections between Khon Kaen and a Ger- man investment bank. DWS Investment, fund manager of Deutsche Bank Group, has invested at least 270 million Euros in companies directly acquiring agricultural land. A minimum of three million hectares of agricultural land is owned by these companies in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. When widespread media cover- age followed, including a prime time exposè on German television, DWS offloaded its shares in Khon Kaen Sugar Industry. CAMBODIA Say ‘no’ to landgrabbing – holding German investment fund managers accountable 11
  12. 12. INDIA Gaining access to water – postcard campaign influences Indian government Access to safe water is an essential precondi- tion of the right to food. For several years, the 300 inhabitants of the village Ghaneshpur in the Rae Bareli district of the state of Uttar Pradesh, struggled for access to safe water. The local well, which should have provided safe water to the villagers, was contaminated. Skin diseases, tape worms and diarrhea commonly re- sulted from drinking the yellowish, salty water. The villagers had to make long treks to a nearby village to collect water. The three-hour round trip to the well took its toll on domestic and farm labour, as well as the education of children. In 2009 FIAN Norway launched a postcard campaign demanding access to clean water for the residents of Ghaneshpur. Hundreds of Nor- wegian citizens participated in the ‘Blue October’ campaign for the right to water. As a part of an international fact-finding mission to India later that year representatives of FIAN Norway and FIAN Uttar Pradesh personally delivered signed post- cards to the Director of the Water Board of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Srivastava. He immediately ordered testing of the water and subsequently organized a 900-foot deep tube well, which now provides water that is free from contaminants and can be used for farming, cooking and drinking. FIAN is monitoring the case to ensure that clean water continues to be supplied by the Uttar Pradesh Water Department. Mr Hemraj, 70 year old agricultural labourer and leader of the community, expressed joy. “Atlast wegotdrinkingwaterandmygrandchildren willnotsuffer.ThankstoFIANandallthosewho accompaniedusonourlongstruggle.” 12
  13. 13. 13 COLOMBIA Peasant community succeeds before Constitutional Court A Constitutional Court decision in favor of 123 families evicted from the rural area of Las Pavas in the township of Buenos Aires, Colombia, is a major victory for the peoples’ struggle for the right to food. Evicted by the police in 2009 at the request of two palm-oil producing companies, the community of Las Pavas has been fighting tirelessly since 1997 when they peacefully occupied unused land and started farming. Without any alternative means of subsistence, the families persisted in a year-long struggle to formalize their possession of these lands. The community repeatedly suffered criminalization and harassment, including forced evictions, attacks by paramilitary groups, and the destruction of crops and food. In response, the families organized to form the Buenos Aires Peasant Association (ASOCAB) and filed complaints requesting a reversal of the judicial decision that ordered their eviction in 2009. FIAN and various Colombian organizations sup- ported the families of Las Pavas in their struggle. FIAN initiated two Urgent Actions, asking its in- ternational membership to write to the Colombian President to take the necessary steps to formalize the families’ possession of the land. In 2009 FIAN, with other organizations, sent an Amicus Curiae brief to the judge in charge of the case, offering information to assist the court in deciding the matter. Finally, in May 2011, the Colombian Constitu- tional Court found that the actions leading to the forcible eviction of the families of Las Pavas had been illegal, and ordered a reassessment of the question of land possession. Provided the reassessment is carried out legally the peasant community will eventually be granted their right to the land - and their means to feed themselves will be guaranteed. Las Pavas community leader Misael Payares Guerrero acknowledges the role of FIAN and other supporters: “Weneedinternationalsup- porttodefendourrights,becausewewanta wayoflifewhererespect,notonlyforpeople, butalsofornature,takesprecedence.”
  14. 14. UGANDA Evictees struggle to get access to justice and land In August 2001 the Ugandan army evicted over 2,000 people from their homes and land in the Mubende district of Uganda. They were carrying out the orders of the government, which had leased the residents’ land to Kaweri Coffee Plantation, a subsidiary of the Germany-based Neumann Kaffee Gruppe. Sixty-two year old Elias Mbabazi remembers. “On the day of the eviction I was at home. Soldiers literally stormed our land, fired some shots in the air and drove us out. They then demolished our house, where we had been living for 17 years. We found shelter in the woods nearby. Our livestock ran away and our farmland was destroyed. Two of my children died as a consequence of this forceful eviction.” For more than 10 years the Ugandan authorities and Neumann Kaffee Group have obstructed ju- dicial processes and avoided negotiations towards an out-of-court settlement that would compensate those displaced. FIAN has supported the Mubende peoples’ strug- gle since 2002, appealing not only to the Ugandan State to respect its human rights obligations but also to the extraterritorial obligations of Germany as the home country of Neumann Kaffee Group. FIAN activists organized attention-grabbing street actions to apply public pressure on the responsible actors in this case. In 2008, a ‘sym- bolic eviction’ under the slogan “Coffee To Go” was performed outside the Neumann offices in Hamburg. In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the eviction, FIAN activists in various European cities protested and carried out re-enactions of events in front of Ugandan embassies. In 2009 FIAN and the evictees filed a complaint with the German Federal Ministry citing that Neumann violated the OECD-Guidelines for multinational companies. In 2011 the OECD case was closed without resolution. International pressure has contributed to the resumption of court proceedings in Uganda, but ten years after the eviction the offenders remain exempt from punishment. Should this impunity continue, FIAN will support the evictees in bring- ing their case to the African Commission for People’s and Human Rights. 14
  15. 15. NEPAL Education on the right to adequate food helps HIV/AIDS affected women HIV/AIDS is widespread in Accham in Far West- ern Nepal. The disease is usually contracted by male migrant workers who travel to India - a com- mon practice, as many people own little or no land on which to grow food. Employment opportunities in the local area are scarce. Once affected by the disease many families are compelled to sell land and other assets in order to afford medication and food. This has pushed many households further into hunger and malnutrition. Widows are left with the responsibility of feeding their families without income, land or employment opportunities. Being HIV-infected themselves, they have to struggle with physical weakness and social stigma. They often are rejected from their extended family circle and deprived of their right to property. Nutritious food and health care is vital to the effec- tive treatment of HIV/AIDS. Yet those affected have limited capacity to either earn money to purchase food or to produce enough for self- sufficiency. The State of Nepal is obliged to fulfil the right to food of all its citizens, through means including social security programs. FIAN Nepal has supported local organizations in the development of programs that aim to educate and ‘sensitize’ affected communities about the right to food and the special requirements of HIV/AIDS sufferers. One outcome has been the formation of a ‘struggle committee’. Meanwhile, in response to pressure from FIAN and supporters, the local government of Accham has approved a district-level policy establishing an HIV/AIDS Victim Food Support Fund, which has provided affected single women 100 Nepalese Rupees (1 Euro) per month since 2010. Although the amount is far from sufficient, the initiative has encouraged affected groups in neighboring districts to advocate for a similar policy and has triggered lobbying towards the adoption of such a policy at the national level . 15
  16. 16. Thepositiveimpactsidentifiedinthesecaseswouldnot havebeenpossiblewithouttheparticipationofactivists, membersandsupportersofFIANandotherlike-minded organizationsworldwide. FIANInternational’snetworkconsistsofindividualsand groupsfromAsia,Africa,EuropeandtheAmericas,who jointheireffortsinmakingtherighttofoodareality. Becomepartofthisglobalnetworkandtakeastand againstviolationsoftherighttoadequatefoodand relatedhumanrights. Get informed:• SubscribetotheFIANnewsletter• SubscribetoFIANRSS/newsfeeds• PleasebecomeafriendofFIANonFacebook• FollowFIANonTwitter• Get involved: ParticipateinFIANUrgentActions• BecomeamemberofFIAN• BuildupalocalFIANgroupwhereyoulive• GET serious: DonateonlineviaPayPal: ACT NOW 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. FIAN SECTIONS FIAN Austria Schwarzspanierstraße15/3/1 1090Wien Austria phone: +43-01-2350239 FIAN Belgium RuevanElewijck35 1050Bruxelles Belgium phone: +32-26408417 FIAN Brazil Rua19,N.35- Ed.DomAbel-Sala03 Centro-CEP74030-090 Goiânia-GO Brazil phone: +55-6230924611 FIAN Germany BriedelerStraße13 50969Köln Germany phone: +49-2217020072 FIAN Ghana P.O.Box2062 Accra Ghana phone: +233-244656632 FIAN International Secretariat Willy-Brandt-Platz5 69115Heidelberg P.O.Box102243, 69012Heidelberg Germany Phone:+49-6221-65300-30 Fax:+49-6221-65300-33 FIAN International Secretariat - Geneva office MaisondesAssociations 15,RuedesSavoises 1205Genève Switzerland phone:+41-223280341 FIAN Honduras ColoniaTepeyac, BoulevardLasMinitas ApartamentosVista HermosaNo.17 Tegucigalpa Honduras Mailingaddress: ApdolPostal5303 phone: +504-2139258 FIAN India SanjayK.Rai 7/37B,(TopFloor),Janpura-B. NewDelhi-110014 India phone:+91-1124374437 FIAN India / Andhra Pradesh T.RaviKumar 5-20/BAshoknagar,Kothur Khammam-507003 AndhraPradesh,India phone: +91-9866035859 FIAN India / Karnataka c/oJohnBoscoyTulip 9thCross,Bhagyanagar Belgaum-590006 India phone: +91-8312484491 FIAN India / Rajasthan c/oHEDCON/GRAVIS 67/145,PratapNagarHousing Board,Sanganer 303906Jaipur,India phone: +91-1412792994 18 FIAN WORLDWIDE
  19. 19. -B. desh r ing FIAN India / Tamil Nadu 11P.T.RajanRoad,5Street Madurai-625002 TamilNadu,India phone: +91-4524220353 FIAN India / Uttar Pradesh c/o SanjayK.Rai A-8,SarvodayNagarIndira Nagar Lucknow-226016 UttarPradesh,India phone: +91-5222349556 FIAN India / West Bengal c/oIMSE,195JodhpurPark Kolkata-700068 India phone: +91-3324128426 FIAN Mexico Huatusco39,Col.RomaSur, Deleg.Cuauhtémoc C.P.06760MéxicoD.F. México phone: +55-51116256 FIAN Nepal P.O.Box11363 Kathmandu Nepal phone: +977-15011609 FIAN Netherlands DeWittenstraat25 1052AKAmsterdam Netherlands phone:+31-681243351 FIAN Norway Kirkegata5 0153Oslo Norway phone: +47-95493248 FIAN Philippines 91MadasalinStreet, SikatunaVillage QuezonCity Philippines phone: +63-23743986 FIAN Sweden HammarbyAllé93 12063Stockholm Sweden phone: +46-86439347 FIAN Switzerland MaisondesAssociations 15,RuedesSavoises 1205Genève Switzerland phone:+41-223280340 FIAN CO-ORDINATIONS FIAN Burkina Faso 11BP963CMS Ouagadougou11 BurkinaFaso phone: +226-70734522 FIAN Ecuador LaIslaN27-24 yJoseValentin, SectordeLasCasas Quito Ecuador phone:+593-22237622 FIAN France 15RueGeorgesJacquet F-38000Grenoble France phone: +33-438210508 FIAN Zambia Plot339,OffKuduRoad KabulongaExtension Lusaka Zambia mobile:+26-60966425784 ForFIANcontactsinother countries,pleasecontactthe FIANInternational Secretariat. 19