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Land grabbing shows the urgent need to protect peasants' rights

posted Mar 19, 2012, 2:12 PM by Scott John   [ updated Mar 20, 2012, 12:24 PM ]

(Geneva, 11 March 2012)

It's a red alert now.

The government of Saudi Arabia currently owns 1.6 million hectares (ha) of land in Sudan and Indonesia. In Madagascar around 1.3 million ha were leased, bought or transferred to private corporations of South Korea.

The High Level Group of Experts of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) estimates that between 50 and 80 million ha of land in poor and developing countries have been negotiated, acquired or leased by international investors.

Large-scale land transactions are undermining food security, livelihoods and the environment of local populations. Along with a history-long discrimination against rural people, this wildly spreading global phenomenon has been the reason why there have been so many reports of human rights violations in rural areas recently, especially with regards to land rights.

While the United Nations Human rights Council is planning to discuss a declaration of the rights of peasants in the coming days, FIAN International together with La Via Campesina has organised a parallel event to the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday (8/3).

The event, entitled "Land Grabbing and the Urgent Need to Protect the Rights of Peasants", is acting as a warm up event for the current session of UN Human Rights Council. The objective is to lobby and connect parties who are supportive to the peasants´ rights initiative. State members, Advisory Committee members, as well as experts and NGOs are invited to participate in the event.

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