- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2010 at 11:30 AM
Bread for the World shows that a fundamentally different trade and economic policy oriented in human rights is possible and very necessary. Many rich countries subsidize their farmers so their foodstuffs can be produced below the real costs and sold cheaply on the world market.
HUMAN RIGHTS BEFORE TRADE RULES
2010 Ecumenical Campaign – Stop Unfair Trade
[This article published in: Zeit-Fragen, Nr. 12, 3/22/2010 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.zeit-fragen.ch/ausgaben/2010/nr12-vom-2232010/menschenrechte-vor-handelsregeln/.]
The number of people who suffer in hunger and malnutrition has dramatically risen once again, from 854 million in the 2008 ecumenical campaign to around 1 billion today. However the current food production would be enough to feed all people. The 2008 crisis year was a very good harvest year worldwide. This shows a simple production increase cannot defeat worldwide hunger. Even if future production must increase because of population growth, it is more important to produce and consume fairer and more sustainably. Sustainable agriculture must be promoted today. In Switzerland, the sale of local, seasonable and biological food as well as fair trade products represents an important step.
The international trading system that is closely connected with production and consumption must agree with the rules of fairness to permanently combat hunger worldwide. In the 2010 campaign, Bread for the World brings initiatives of fair trade and proposals of alternative economic systems in the discussion. Bread for the World emphasizes the importance of the local market and shows that a fundamentally different trade- and economic policy oriented in human rights is possible and very necessary.
WE CAN DO SOMETHING
The campaign is directed to every person as a consumer. We have to demand that things we buy are produced under socially just and ecologically sustainable conditions. Through our individual shopping decisions for fair trade products, we convince businesses and retailers that the origin and manufacturing conditions of goods and services interest us. Fair trade products should be part of our budgets and a foregone conclusion in our environment and our workplaces.
Therefore the campaign calls us to do our utmost for socially- and environmentally-friendly products and services in our environs. In the 2007 ecumenical campaign “High Tech – No Rights?,” we showed that sustainably producing products like computers, bringing them to market and preferring them in our shopping is important for fighting hunger and poverty. This is true for goods and services, as for example trips abroad. The aspect of sustainability should be taken into account.
WHEN INTERNATIONAL TRADE PRODUCES HUNGER
Global fair trade rules are vital for the survival of people in cou9ntries in the South. Unfortunately there are many examples that demonstrate that international trade impairs the right to food of many people. Many rich industrial countries subsidize their farmers so their foodstuffs can be produced below the real production costs and sold cheaply on the world market.
On account of these cheap imports from abroad, small farmers in the South lose the possibility of selling their products on the local markets. They cannot compete with the so-called “dumping prices” from the North. For example, the import of rice to Haiti rose around 150% between 1992 and 2003, which led to the extensive destruction of the local market. The bulk of the imported rice (95%) was transported to Haiti from the US at dumping prices. In the meantime the number of starving persons in Haiti’s giant rice areas is greater than ever. The 2008 food crisis struck people very intensely here. In Africa, this kind of trade drives many people into hunger. In Cameroon, cheap chicken imports from Europe contribute to the destruction of local markets. In Ghana, imported tomato paste replaces a large part of fresh local tomatoes. The local market share in Ghana tomatoes fell 30% in the last years. As a result, many small farmer families had to stop their production and become dependent on cheap imported food. This endangers the food security of these families, particularly when – as in 2008 – a general rise in the price of food occurs.
The current rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are far from just. While the rich countries protect their own markets, they exert pressure on the poor countries to force them to open their markets. They use the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, bilateral agreements and binding rules of the WTO to gain unrestricted access to these markets.
The negative effects on Haiti, Cameroon and Ghana are only examples that current trade rules violate the right to food. Additional factors are price speculations in the food sector and the strategies of the World Bank and the IMF in which countries of the South are forced to repay their debts. Affected countries are urged to give up their national grain elevators and instead produce flowers or coffee for export instead of food for their own population. The money earned this way serves debt repayment and makes the countries dependent on food imports.
HUMAN RIGHTS MUST TRUMP TRADE RULES
The special ambassador of the United Nations for the right to food, Oliver De Schutter, is convinced that (properly regulated) trade can serve development and human rights. According to De Schutter, successor of Jean Ziegler, the current trade system must be completely reformed. The right to food should serve as a foundation. That countries threatened by hunger have the possibility of regulating the market to guarantee that people and their families can be fed must be ensured in all trade agreements and programs of the World Trade Organization. Different groups of the United Nations emphasize that international financial institutions are obligated to respect the right to food in all their activities. This includes the awarding of credits and measures for coping with the debt crisis.
Political decision-makers must be pressed to engagement. With a 2006 petition signed by 30,000 persons “Trade for People: For Humanly Just Trade Rules and Practices,” Bread for the World urged firstly ensuring the right to food for all people, secondly making possible just access to all for water, education, health services, information and knowledge and thirdly binding transnational businesses by rules so their activities do not impede the right to food.
In December 2008, the petition was transferred from the Swiss National Assembly to the Bundesrat (Swiss Executive Council). In the 2010 ecumenical campaign, Bread for the World continues its engagement against global injustice and hunger. Fair trade rules and production and consumption of products that contribute to the worldwide realization of the right to food are championed.
Report this post as:
Change Links September 2018 posted
More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre
Site Outage Friday
Change Links August 2018
Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land
More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
More Local News...
Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy
Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales
Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc
Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk
Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement
Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator
The Dictatorship of Corporations
18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting
Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue
Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator
Shopping du bashing
After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Probabilités de fin d'humanité
Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW
Propagande de virus, virus de propagande
Steer clear of work morality!
Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates
Paraphysique de l'origami
The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally!
August 2018 Honduras Coup update
Du réussissement putréfié
Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges
Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts
Paraphysique de contextualité
Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism
More Breaking News...