Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Declaration of the Vía Campesina International Youth Meeting Puy de Cinca, Aragon, Spain 24-30 September 2009

We, male and female youth peasants representing 9 different regions including the Africa-1, Africa-2, Caribbean, Europe, Central America, North America, South America, South Asia and South East Asia, with different nationalities, communities, cultures, languages and religions - are meeting in this first La Vía Campesina International Youth Camp in Puy de Cinca, Aragon region, Spain from September 24-30, 2009.

We, La Vía Campesina youth present here, are facing discriminations, inequalities, injustice and miseries that are undergoing all over the world due to the feudalism, neoliberal capitalism and neo-colonialism. This discriminatory system is imposing the corporatization of agriculture and the commodification of food for mongering profit and making the life of the peasants miserable and compelling them to abandoning farming. Resulting then in the rise of the expulsion of young peasants to the city or to other countries in order to survive.
1. Neoliberal capitalism and its policies affect the life and livelihood of peasants, small farmers, fisher folks and food growers all over the world including the peasant/indigenous youth.
2. The neo-colonialism is facilitating the illegal land grabbing and land concentration by richer countries and the large corporations in the weak and poor countries around the world which is forcing peasants, youth and the land holders to be displaced from their own land and to migrate to urban areas within their own countries or to aboard.
3. The feudalist system that prevails in some part of the world allows a palm-full of landlords to hold a large area of agricultural land and denies the access to the land for farmers, agricultural workers, poor and landless people and compels them to slavery.
4. The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and so on, which with the help of World Trade Organization (WTO), Regional Trade Agreement (RTAs), Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), are enforcing neo-liberal and neo-colonial policies in favor of the richer countries and Multinational Companies (MNCs)

5. The imperialist impulse of control over nation-states trough the militarization generating the forced displacement of peasant-indigenous families.
6. The criminalization and violence towards social movements, especially farmer organizations.
7. The exploitation of natural resources along with the land, air, water, forest resources and the biodiversity for benefit of a few profit mongering transnational corporations (TNCs).
8. The intellectual rights among which the most important is the patenting of seeds and life in general.
9. The introduction of GMOs, that are displacing the diversity of species in favor of a monoculture that destroys identity, culture and rights by expulsing peasant/indigenous communities.
10. the dependence on multinational and the destruction of biodiversity trough the usage of the technological package of production being imposed.
11. The use of arable land for non-agricultural purposes and a non-food corporate agricultural for agro-fuel, paper, rubber, etc.
We, young peasants/indigenous, organized in defense of life, are a present reality building the future. The identity of the youth is key for the development of humanity.

1. A pro-peasant and pro-people agricultural policy that guarantees the peoples' fundamental right of food sovereignty and creates an attractive environment for the young farmers to maintain producing good quality and healthy food.
2. An agricultural policy that recognizes the agriculture as a dignified profession and ensures the identity of the peasants and farmers, especially the rural youth and the youth peasants.
3. A comprehensive agrarian reform based on biodiversity, ecological agriculture, sustainable, organic and independent of the agriculture technological packages. Therefore, eliminating the use of agro-toxics / agro-chemicals and walk towards agro-ecological farming.
4. Enhancement of co-operative agriculture to save the peasants and small farmers and to struggle against the exploitation of TNCs and corporate agriculture.
5. An immediate stop to the violence against the farmers, especially women farmers, and the criminalization of the peasants' movement.
6. End the criminalization of social protest and the persecution of the peasent/indigenous movements.
7. A return to their land to those who have been expelled, evicted and displaced by military force, paramilitaries, transnational corporations and their owns state and secure their rights.
8. The elimination of all kinds of discrimination based upon the gender, sexual orientation, raze, caste and religion in all aspects of life and work including agriculture.
Long Live: Agricultural Revolution.
Long Live: La Vía Campesina.
Long Live: Youth Peasants' Unity.
Globalize the Struggle. Globalize the Hope.


1. Implement the campaign: “Young Peasant in Struggle for the Land in resistance to the Transnational Neoliberalism”.
2. Formalization of the campaign at the CLOC meeting in October 2010.
3. Create an international youth commission of La Vía Campesina with focus on gender.
4. April 2010 – International Youth Commission of La Vía Campesina meeting
5. Impulse the political-ideological formation / technical within the youth movement of La Vía Campesina.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

La Via Campesina youth from South East and East Asia mobilise!

La Via Campesina - South East Asia and East Asia held it’s second youth assembly in Dili, Timor Leste on March 25-29, 2009. Youth leaders from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippine, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Timor Leste shared and discussed the youth situation and the role of youth in the country and our commitment to struggle for food sovereignty.

The youth spent a few days in Timor Leste where they lived and learnt from the community of Uma Kaduak village, district of Manatutu. There we Shared the local food, culture, and planted trees together for their future.

La via campesina youth shared experience of struggle in each country and learnt the worries of Timorese youth, and their current situation. The use of 100.000 ha of fertile land for sugar cane plantation for agrofuel, the promotion of a heavy oil power plant project, the development of hybrid seeds on more than 3000 ha in Maliana district, the distribution of hand tractors to the farmers, the shift from environmentally friendly agriculture into mechanization, migration of the youth from villages to foreign countries to become low wage workers.

Similar problems also occur in other countries. In Australia, farm sizes have become much larger and the number of farmers is decreasing sharply, in Japan young people migrate to the cities in search of work and if they do not find work they become homeless in the cities. The struggle for agrarian reform in Philippine, Thailand and Indonesia increase the peasant rights violation in these countries. Our struggle to defend our rights as peasants is becoming stronger and stronger, we are heading towards the adoption of an international convention on the rights of peasants. The ASEAN human rights body will be our opportunity to introduce peasant rights in the region.

The crisis in the world threatens people mental and physical well-being. Over the past three years, more than 3000 farmers committed suicide in South Korea because of their heavy debt and because cheap imported food is flooding the markets. In Australia an estimated 1, 5 million people under the age of 18 are considered obese. This means that about 20-25% of Australian children are overweight.
WTO and the liberalisation of agriculture had caused the prices of agriculture product drop. This has increased hunger and poverty and as a result million of farmers suffer in many countries. Trade liberalisation and the Economic Partnership Agreements and Free Trade Agreements hit farmers who are losing their livelihood. Transnational Corporations promote GMO seed and chemical fertilizers, which makes peasants very dependent on buying their products. As a result we also lose our local seeds. A dam construction in the Mekong river is affecting more than one million people in six countries. The dam is blocking the river and causing the destruction to the rivers' ecosystem. Fisher folk are losing their livelihood along the river.

Faced with this harsh reality, the young women and men of la Via Campesina, with strength and passion :

• We express our solidarity with Timorese youth on their struggle to strengthen the national youth and agrarian reform.
• We commit ourselves to build alliances between youths and to organize exchanges among the youth in various countries in the region.
• We struggle to have access to agricultural land and to create jobs for youth to stay in the countryside in order to ensure food and the future of our planet.
• We reject all forms of neo-liberalism policies which do not stand for the people.
• La Via Campesina youth will organize various actions during the April 17th on the occasion of the international day of peasant’s struggles.

Dili, March 30th, 2009

Globalize struggle,
Globalize hope!!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Declaration of the Via Campesina Second Youth Assembly

Tuesday, 21 October 2008
The countryside is our life
The earth feeds us
The rivers run in our blood
We are the youth of the Via Campesina
Today we declare the beginning of a new world
We come from the four corners of the world
To stand together in the spirit of resistance
To work together to create hope
To talk together about our struggles
To learn from each others work
To be inspired by each others songs, music and stories
To build solidarity between our movements
To unite as a strong force for social change.
From here we go forward to the four corners of the world.
We carry with us a spirit of revolution,
The conviction that another world is possible,
And the dedication to fight for our way of life.
We will fight until we win, until youth all over the world
Are able to live in the countryside, as campesinos, with peace and prosperity.

When the state tries to repress us, we will unite in solidarity and continue the struggle.
When a compañera falls, we will pick her up.
When it gets cold, we will embrace each other so that the fire of our struggle will warm our hearts.
And each day we will place our bodies, our minds and our hearts on the line and fight for life, and fight for La Via Campesina
From the 16th to the 17th of October 2008, young people from more than forty countries and five continents, peasant farmers from different peoples and cultures, members of the Via Campesina, met in Maputo (Mozambique) to celebrate our second Via Campesina World Youth Assembly.

We, the Via Campesina youth present here are facing the inequalities and miseries that are taking over the world. We feel that we are the present and the future of the agricultural model that can sustain the world. However, we share common problems that are making that difficult.

The greatest of our problems is the neo-liberal, capitalist system that, with its mechanisms of repression, extortion and propaganda, has extended inequality and injustice throughout the world.

This system has imposed an industrial agriculture that is causing rural areas to be abandoned, that is causing migration between regions, and is obstructing access to land and natural resources. At the same time the system is encouraging genetically modified organisms, food insecurity and new forms of colonization such as agro-fuels… These problems particularly affect young people, women and workers.

Faced with this harsh reality, the young men and women of la Via Campesina, with strength and feeling, opt for a new social model based on food sovereignty for people through integral land reform. For this we propose:
• Access to land and favorable agricultural policies that support the return of young people to the countryside, in order to ensure food and the future of our planet.
• The struggle and action against the neo-liberal model, imperialism, occupying forces, free trade agreements, agricultural policies imposed by the WTO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the multinationals, consumerism, genetically modified organisms and the criminalization of social organizations, and unemployment-provoked migrations.
• Solidarity between the regions as social movements that are implementing alternative models in the face of the neo-liberal model, according to principles of complementarity and cooperation by overcome social inequality.
• Comprehensive political training for young people. Popular education. Training in peasant farming and agro-ecology.
• Improving communication between young people from different organizations and the creation of alternative communication networks as a political and social tool for transforming the dominant model.
• Deepening and advancing the debate about migrations, wage laborers and the working class in general.
• Articulating the relationships and political, social and cultural alliances between young people in the countryside and the city, with a view towards the unity of the youth of the world for .social change and winning food sovereignty.
We have created the following action plan for making these proposals real:
1. Create a provisional Youth Committee during the 5th Conference in order to make the work of coordination more dynamic.
2. To organize at least one regional youth gathering in autumn 2009.
3. To hold an international camp in the Spanish State in autumn 2009.

We are also going to work on the following aspects:
• Encourage political and technical training in each region. Produce and distribute ideological training material linked to the Via Campesina's demands. Creating a list of schools for political training at an international level.
• Improve communication between our organizations, create alliances with other organizations that fight for the same objectives as la Via Campesina, and open and share the content of this assembly with other friendly organizations and young people.
• We commit ourselves to develop and strengthen our space as youth in the national, regional and international organizations of the Via Campesina, which is why we ask for incporporation of a male and female youth to serve on the ICC.
• Organize specific actions against the neo-liberal model and in favor of food sovereignty during the coming meetings, gatherings or assemblies of the Via Campesina Youth.
For all these reasons, the youth, female and male of the Via Campesina commit ourselves to continue to struggle for food sovereignty and the rights of family farmers around the world.
As Neruda said, you can cut down the flowers, but you cannot stop spring
Alerta, alerta, alerta, que camina
la juventud en lucha de la Vía Campesina

Globalicemos la lucha, globalicemos la esperanza!!!!!
Globalize the struggle, globalise hope!!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Youth Commission Meeting

Result of the Youth Commission Meeting hold in Maputo,
on March 14th and 15th 2008

Participants were:
Ayuni Kinezuka NOUMINREN Japão
Deolinda Carrizo MOCASE Argentina
Delia Patricia Medina Hernandez COCOH Honduras
Facunda Alcantara CONAMUCA Rep Domin
Kalissa Reiger NFU Canada
Zé Mateus (Zona Centro) UNAC Mozambique
Aichatou Sani PFP Niger
Teresa Alexandra Sambane (Zona Sul) UNAC Mozambique
Rajabo ALIFA (Zona Norte) UNAC Mozambique
Diamantino Nhampossa CCI Mozambique
Isabelle Dos Reis staff Via Campesina França
Luis Muchanga staff UNAC-VC Mozambique
Sheila Mandhlate staff UNAC-VC Mozambique
Francisco Mazivile staff Via Campesina Mozambique
Maria Gorete Staff / Convidada MST Brasil

General objective: Affirming the fundamental role of youth in the construction of another society, which has as principles: values of humanity and equality, where there is no concentration of wealth and no exploitation of people – men, women and youth-, a society based on justice, solidarity, food sovereignty and preservation of natural resources/goods.

Specific objectives

1) Define/re-affirm the role of youth in peasants’, indigenous, afro-descendents’ struggles, at the organizational level inside la Via Campesina and inside member organizations

2) Analyze of international context, new challenges and the ways capitalism is advancing regarding youth people

3) Socialize and evaluate work at regional level, regarding the agreements of the 1st Assembly

4) Exchanges of regional experiences on specific topics

5) Elaborate international proposals and common strategies that allow the staying and/or return of youth to the countryside, in order to consolidate peasant-based agriculture

6) Develop articulations between youth of La Via Campesina and youth from other allied social movements and urban collectives, in order to reach common strategies

7) Define agreements and engagements by the Youth of La Via Campesina, for the next 4 years


1st moment : Analysis of International Context, built by the youth themselves
How does capitalism affect youth in the countryside?
This must be a collective construction of what we think about the world and what we want it to be, from the youth’s perspective.
Young farmers should be the protagonists of their own history.

Specific questions that each region should work at (before the assembly)
1 – Economical, social, cultural and political aspects in each region
2 – The agrarian and agriculture issue in the region
3 – What is the situation of youth inside this context in the region
4 – Challenges put by the context to young farmers in the region
(Bearing in mind the following aspects: free-trade agreements, trade, the consequences of it on the youth from the countryside, concentration of food production in the hands of transnational companies (identify them, get statistics on the degree of “occupation” by these companies), agrofuels, monocultures)

Plenary : 25 minutes per region – Total : 3 h30

2nd moment : what has been done at regional level since the 1st assembly
1) Presentation of the process and the results of the 1st Assembly (responsibility : SOUTH AMERICA) – Plenary, 10 minutes
2) Presentation by each region of experiences and progresses done at regional level since the 1st Assembly; balance on coordination at regional level among youth (what have been our progresses? How did we do it?), evaluation of collective participation degree (Responsibility : EACH REGION)
Plenary, 8 regions, 15 minutes by region, total : 2 hours

3rd moment : exchange of experiences on specific topics
These are exchange of experiences workshops between delegates from all the regions.

General questions (related to the issues below) to the regions, to orientate the debate/exchanges:
- What are the concrete experiences?
- How has been/is being done the building up process of the experience?
- Were the objectives reached?
- What are the remaining challenges and limits?
It is important to bring some pictures/illustrations (to show to the others and to set up an exhibition during the 5th Conference)

(6 groups of 25 persons) – Workshops of 3 hours
 Experiences of political training / Alternative Education / Experiences of existing alternative schools: how to consolidate these schools, how youth from all regions can use it? (Responsibility of coordination : SOUTH AMERICA)
 Experiences in agro-ecology : concrete experiences in each region in agro-ecology, exchanges done with other organizations and movements… (Responsibility of coordination : AFRICA)
 Alternative ways of commercialization, to turn Food Sovereignty effective, in a neoliberal globalization context (Responsibility for coordination : EUROPE)
 Experiences of alternative communication in the regions (community radios, cultural programs, “griots”, etc.), from the youth perspective ; approximation strategies towards local communication organs (responsibility for coordination : CENTRAL AMERICA)
 Experiences of articulation countryside-city and alliances with social movements who defend life and the construction of a sovereign society / identify common banners that can unify the youth (Responsibility of coordination : NORTH AMERICA)
 Access to land for the youth : situation in each region, integral agrarian reform, juridical aspects, occupations, political lobby, etc (Responsibility of coordination : CARABEAN, EAST AND SOUTH EAST ASIA)

The SOUTH ASIA region is requested to join one of the groups.

There will have a systematization group: 1 hour meeting
Then socialization of all the groups in plenary: 1 hour and 30 minutes

4th moment : from the moments 1, 2 and 3 : definition of agreements at organizational level and at political level
Working groups (6 groups of 25 persons), 3 hours
The methodology should be define in each group
Working groups to define the working lines and the agreements that we assume as youth / Define the agreements and engagements of youth of Via Campesina for the next 4 years
- Debate on the organicity of youth inside La Via Campesina, how are we going to organize ourselves?
- References in the work with the youth at regional level inside La Via Campesina? How to keep a follow up process of the agreements taken by the 2nd assembly? Define referent persons by region, to follow up the decisions.
- How to elaborate/What are our common proposal at international and strategic level that allow the youth to stay or to return to the countryside, in order to consolidate family-based agriculture

Socialization in plenary and elaboration of the final document: 2 hours

5th moment: approbation of the Final Document
Reading and mistica : 1 hour

Closing ceremony: reading of the declaration of the Youth and the Women assemblies ; mistica/cultural event together with the Women Assembly

TOTAL WORKING TIME (without considering yet the misticas, coffee breaks, etc): 17 hours and 10 minutes

Notes :
Mistica will be very important
There should have a methodology and systematization group for the whole assembly

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

La Via Campesina Message

NOUMINREN Youth Assembly

La Via Campesina congratulate the youth gathering of NOUMINREN as this is important occasion for our struggle as the farmer. NOUMINREN has actively involved in our struggle against neoliberalism and fight for farmer rights.

We see that the WTO, one of the main instruments of trade liberalization has been dying and has reached deadlock. But Free Trade Agreement and Economics Partnership Agreement/ FTA-EPAs are becoming the new face of people's exploitation.
Transnational corporations are definitely behind this strategy. TNCs are attempting to control natural resources such as land, sea, sky, water... They want to control those resources in order to be able to control all people needs.

The global warming, hunger, poverty increase all over the world, disaster hits most part of Asia which is most of the victim is the peasant, women and children. In developed country food are processing into energy while the food is need to feed human being.
We can see how important the role of youth as our “seed of hope” the neoliberal policies will only benefit few people while many will be in suffer. While G8 country will have summit in Hokkaido July this year, this is our opportunity to struggle and demand for food sovereignty, national policy should made for the interest of the people, without any intervention from other country. Food Sovereignty should be put in the heart of the negotiation.

La Via Campesina will be in Hokkaido with Japanese people and farmer and will be with the Japanese youth as our seed of hope. I wish you success with NOUMINREN Youth general assembly.

Globalize Struggle! And Globalize Hope!

In Solidarity,

Henry Saragih,
General Chairman of Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI)
General Coordinator of La via Campesina


Monday, November 26, 2007

La Via Campesina South East Asia and East Asia Youth Forum Declaration

La Via Campesina Regional South East Asia and East Asia held the Youth Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand on October 20-25, 2007. Youth leaders from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, Japan and Timor Leste shared and discussed the youth situation and the role of youth in the community and the commitment to struggle for food sovereignty. The situation of Agriculture in the world is in crisis, in developing countries or even in developed countries like Japan and Korea are facing difficulties because the number of farmers is decreasing every year. Young people are forced to leave home for jobs in the city and abroad only to find unstable, insecure and low wage jobs. Youth who are interested in farming do not have land to till; do not have adequate farming knowledge and their production can not compete with foreign production. There is no hope for young people in the rural areas.
Our natural resources, and local wisdom lost as a result of the introduction of new technologies which are only for the benefit of the TNCs, ignore the rights of the people, especially women and children. The introduction of monocultures increases global warming and contract farming causes the heavy indebtedness of the poor peasant families.

WTO has caused a drop in the price of agricultural products, and thus hunger, poverty and suffering of millions of farmers in many countries. The open market and the EPA/FTAs hit the local farmers and lead to the loss of their livelihoods. The degradation of the environment is a result of chemical waste and extensive use of chemical inputs in farming.

La Via Campesina youth spent a few days with Thai youth and spent most of the time learning by doing; learning from the community in Mae Ta and Kang Tse Ten. We learnt how the local people collect food and preserve the natural resources of the forests and rivers. How the local culture has been respected and used for the sovereignty of the people.

The education system does not prepare youth to solve the problems of real life. Youngsters with higher education end up as employees in factories or working for TNCs promoting hybrid seeds, GMOs or chemical pesticides which are poisoning the people and environment.

We, La Via Campesina youth, have a strong commitment to struggle at all levels, and we commit to:

1. Oppose the model of neoliberalism promoted by WTO, EPA/FTA, IMF, World Bank.
2. Encourage youth to return home and do farming and spread the food sovereignty concept to young people and preserve and protect natural resources by implementing a genuine agrarian reform.
3. Oppose monoculture, seed monopoly and contract farming, since this leads to disaster, heavy indebtedness of poor peasant families and the loss of farming land.
4. Promote organic farming and to building the farmer-consumer alliance in the community.
5. For Asian peoples agriculture is our livelihood; and our culture and dignity is not a commodity.
6. Protect the rights of people to have access to natural resources and their use for the sovereignty of the people.
7. Strengthening the youth alliance and making the voice of youth heard.
8. Promote gender equality and recognition of women’s role in the community.

Now its time for food sovereignty!

Youth form south east asia and east Asia committed to realize food sovereignty

Chiang Mai Thailand, October 25, 2007

LVC Youth: Solidarity and Struggle