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Interventions by La Via Campesina at the 19th session of UN Human Rights Council

posted Mar 19, 2012, 2:30 PM by Scott John   [ updated Mar 19, 2012, 4:25 PM ]

Intervention by Africa Mthombeni

(14th March 2012)

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), along with La Via Campesina congratulate the work of the UN Advisory Committee, especially on establishing the groundwork for the promotion and protection of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

We all know that hunger is not a natural disaster but, as stated by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Mr. Olivier De Shutter, hunger “is primarily the result of political factors that condemn small farmers, the main victims of hunger, to poverty. These factors include insufficient access to land, water and credit; poor organisation of local markets; lack of infrastructure; and lack of bargaining power against an increasingly concentrated agro-industrial sector”.

Today some 952 million people throughout the world suffer chronic hunger, 80 per cent of them live in rural areas. 50 per cent of the world’s hungry are smallholder farmers, 20 per cent are landless families who survive as tenant farmers or poorly paid agricultural laborers.

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