Human Rights & Poverty

Many of the issues that 'development', 'environmental', 'social justice' and 'human rights' groups work on – these are often one and the same.

Human Rights & Land Reform

Prof. Gerard Mols, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Maastricht said at a conference in 2002:

“Globalisation can be an instrument to end hunger, poverty and slavery, but at the same time it can facilitate infringements of human rights.

The forced shift from subsistence to cash crop agriculture, the loss of common land, and government policies that suppress farm income in favour of cheap food for the cities have helped bankrupt millions of peasants and drive them from their land- sometimes into slavery.

It is significant that a whole series of FAO studies has shown that small landholders produce more food per acre than larger landholders do.

Mols argued that the right to land deserves multidisciplinary attention. Human rights should be at the basis of this approach since the fight against hunger, poverty, new slavery and isolation need no other justification than the call for human rights

Read the whole text (starts on p. 3) (128kb doc)

Go to www.hrw.org and type “land reform” into the “search” slot – they have reports on South Africa, Zimbabwe and many more.

An oddball site is at www.progress.org/land

Human Rights & the environment

A good address for the start of your search for more information: www.sierraclub.org/human-rights

The relationship between, humans, wild animals and the environment: CASE STUDY: Zambia

Fair Trade

From Rigged Rules and Double Standards – Trade, globalisation and the fight against poverty:

"Trade is one of the most powerful forces linking our lives, and a source of unprecedented wealth. Yet millions of the world's poorest people are being left behind. Increased prosperity has gone hand in hand with mass poverty. Already obscene inequalities between rich and poor are widening.

World trade could be a powerful motor to reduce poverty, and support economic growth, but that potential is being lost. The problem is not that international trade is inherently opposed to the needs and interests of the poor, but that the rules that govern it are rigged in favour of the rich."

Read the full report (PDF) from www.oxfam.org

Read the New Internationalist's online issue on Fair Trade , from 2000.

The Fairtrade foundation is a small but growing movement that offers a progressive alternative to the conventional model of trade.

 

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nicolien 2015
Nicolien Wassenaar
Poverty & Income Generation Editor

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