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6 Apr 2020

Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) & others

119 organizations protest displacements of rural people from their lands in the pretext of COVID-19 lockdowns & demand respect of rights of rural peoples amidst pandemic

"As COVID-19 crisis rages, 119 groups from 30 countries push urgent demands for rural peoples", 29 Mar 2020

With governments around the world rushing to contain the further spread of COVID-19...119 organizations from 30 countries...called for the assertion of the rights and welfare of rural... peoples.

In a joint statement, the groups stressed that the rural people have been among the most vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

... [T]he groups outlined a five-point demand to protect the rights of rural people amid the pandemic:

(1)   Ensure that the lockdowns and quarantines are not carried out at the expense of the food security of the people, and that the right to produce and earn a living for small farmers, fishers and other direct food producers is duly respected;

(2)   Provide immediate and substantial economic relief...and social protection... including [to] the landless rural people,... and government assistance...for the small food producers;

(3)   Ensure that no further displacements of the rural people from their lands and livelihood...in the pretext of COVID-19 lockdowns;

(4)   Allot sufficient public resources to the health sector and make reliable public healthcare services, including free testing for COVID-19 infection and treatment, available [to] the rural communities; and

(5)   Call for accountability of public officials... addressing the urgent needs of the people and in respecting human rights...