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From 21-25 November 2016, about 50 people, involved in struggles to defend the territories, forests and livelihoods of forest-dependent communities, came together in Thailand for a field visit to the Northeast of the country, followed by a 3-days meeting in Bangkok. Besides a delegation from Thailand, other participants came from Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

Ever since the integration of India's peasants into global agri-food markets, their livelihoods have become at risk. In this globalized food system where large corporations rule, small-scale farming is not economically viable because global economic rules are against it. For example, the World Bank's Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) brand of trade liberalization had forced India to open its agricultural markets to foreign agribusiness. Unlike Indian farmers, agribusiness companies receive massive subsidies in Industrial countries like the US.

Manila, 16 January 2017: 

One day after the launching of the Philippine Government’s Chairship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Davao City, more than 100 members of the newly-formed national organizing committee of the 2017 ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF 2017) trooped to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. The civil society network engaging ASEAN delivered to the Philippine Government its collective statement reflecting people’s aspirations for ASEAN. 

12 January 2017

The city of Bangkok is undergoing massive change and development, from the closing of street markets to the planning of large infrastructural projects in an effort to beautify, clear and “reclaim” the city’s streets “for the people”. As part of her internship with Focus on the Global South in Bangkok, Emma Finn researched and assessed these rapid developments. In her report below she asks, development for whom? And what are the implications for the urban poor?

Introduction

The event Songs of Disquiet, Hymns of Rage, held December 28 in Quezon City, Philippines, might have been a reunion of sorts of ‘70s and ‘80s activists, including musicians of the said era, but the ‘mini-concert’ cum conversation-with-the-artists was more than just a coming together of activist-musicians who had been a familiar, popular sight not in concert halls nor auditoriums but on the streets and makeshift stages during rallies and other protest actions against the Marcos dictatorship.

photo from sombath.org

Bangkok, 15 December 2016: On the fourth anniversary of the enforced disappearance of prominent Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, we, the undersigned organizations, condemn the Lao PDR government’s ongoing failure to adequately investigate Sombath’s disappearance. We urge the authorities to act to conduct an effective investigation with a view to determining his fate or whereabouts. In particular, we condemn the Lao PDR government’s inaction after the discovery of new video evidence made public 12 months ago.

            We the “People Go Network Forum” comprised of villagers, community based organizations, peasants, academia, nongovernmental organizations, labors, media, students, the self-employed from 109 organizations are here to review the situations in Thailand in the aftermath of the coup, especially the struggles and violence perpetuated by prejudice toward the aforementioned groups. We the people’s network are here to declare that;

International Human Rights Day 2016: Global Day of Action in Defense of the Right to Life

MANILA, Philippines - Focus on the Global South joined thousands of human rights defenders to commemorate the International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2016: Global Day of Action in Defense of the Right to Life. The mobilization was led by the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement or iDEFEND. Focus is a member of iDEFEND, a grassroots movement that defends the rights and upholds the dignity of all Filipinos. iDEFEND engages with the government, educates and organizes the public and transforms collective voices into public action.

Jakarta, December 8th: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in Jakarta, Indonesia this week (December 2-10)[i]. If signed, RCEP would grant corporations the exclusive right to bypass domestic legal systems and sue governments at international tribunals whenever they feel government regulation can limit their profits[ii].

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is currently being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asian region. It includes China, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other key trading nations such as Australia, South Korea, Japan and India.

Jakarta, December 8th: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in Jakarta, Indonesia this week (December 2-10)[i].

 

Press Conference

Organised by: The Sombath Initiative

11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok

 

More than 80 participants representing trade unions, farming communities, indigenous peoples, health networks, women’s organisations, academia and civil society organizations met on 27-28 July in K

Amsterdam/Manila, May 24 2016 – As the first round of negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the EU commences in Brussels, a new report warns that it endangers eff

The first round of negotiations for an EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement will commence next week (May 23-27) in Brussels, Belgium.

"This is a landmark ruling by the European Ombudsman that would rightfully make human rights  a core issue in any FTA negotiations.

Ever since the integration of India's peasants into global agri-food markets, their livelihoods have become at risk. In this globalized food system where large corporations rule, small-scale farming is not economically viable because global economic rules are against it.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is currently being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asian region. It includes China, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other key trading nations such as Australia, South Korea, Japan and India.

The Philippine experience

Super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan has been a wake up call to Filipinos and the bigger global community to the reality that the impacts of extreme weather events related to climate change are already being felt now, and thus the urgency for concerted response. 

October 2016

Small-scale food producers rely on access to and control over natural resources such as land, including farmland, forests, grazing land and fishing grounds, for the realization of their human right to food and nutrition, their survival and livelihoods.

However, a huge number of them face obstacles and threats to this access and control over natural resources.

Gloria Capitan, anti-coal activist from the Philippines; Mr. Kem Ley, social/political analyst from Cambodia; Melon Barcia, peasant leader from the Philippines. All felled by an assassin's gun.

Den Kamlae, land rights activist from Thailand; Sombath Somphone, development worker from Laos; Jonas Burgos, farmer and political activist from the Philippines. All forcibly disappeared.

2015 is a significant year in the history of the International Free trade regime, as its key multilateral instrument, the World Trade Organization (WTO), completes 20 years. Two decades of the WTO have raised many questions, most significantly, is the WTO relevant to small and marginal farmers in the Global South?

Highlights:

  • Marked the 20th anniversary of Focus on the Global South with a two-day International Conference on Peoples’ Struggles and Alternatives - over 120 people attended, representing almost 80 organisations from 20 different countries

Humanity and Nature Cover Image

An economy is often defined as "the wealth and resources of a country or region".

Pages

            We the “People Go Network Forum” comprised of villagers, community based organizations, peasants, academia, nongovernmental organizations, labors, media, students, the self-employed from 109 organizations are here to review the situations in Thailand in the aftermath of the coup, espe

 

Joint Organizations

July 11, 2016 - We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, are outraged at the brutal murder of independent political analyst and grassroots organiser Kem Ley yesterday morning, and call for a prompt, thorough and independent inquiry into his death.

Kem Ley, 46, was shot twice, in his chest and his head, in a heavily-frequented Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh shortly before 9.00 on Sunday morning.

Secretariat: c/o NFBM #1066-B, Emerald St., Taglesville Subd., Balanga City, Bataan

5th July 2016

Dear Friends,

5th July 2016

Translated from Filipino

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) strongly condemns the treacherous murder of our comrade Gloria Capitan of Mariveles, Bataan!

Labor Day statement of Independent Senatorial Candidate Walden Bello

 Today, I march side by side with our workers to affirm their struggle for labor rights and continue the fight for dignity for our working class.

Labor day is a celebration of what the labor movement has won over decades of struggle.

Not many people know this but the fact that it is illegal to force workers to work for more than 8 hours and that they have to be paid more if they work beyond that is something that workers—through collective action—achieved.

You may sign this statement by clicking here

Suffering the brunt of the ongoing El Nino, more than 6 thousand farmers converged along a national highway in Kidapawan in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on March 30 to demand 15,000 sacks of rice and financial subsidy promised to them six months earlier by the provincial government. They urgently need this assistance to tide them over until they are able to plant and harvest rice again.