Rights to land and Rights of the Landless Labors to Establish New Community for Collective Habitation, Livelihood and Cultural Creation.
October 3 marks the World Habitat Day
Since 1989, United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as the World Habitat Day, one of the most important days of mankind. The Southern Peasants Federation, labors, peasants including certain communities, are in need of habitat for their new settlement. These people used to be labors who once possessed their own land but were economically defeated by the capitalist globalization characterized by high competition, as expressed Thai idiom “the longer hands one have, the more one acquires”. Consequently, those living in rural and suburban areas who are deprived of modern economic knowledge have been dispossessed of lands. They were then forced to work as labors in the capital and big cities. When the labor competition has failed to enable their survival as many were laid off, they returned to their rural origins where they have no sufficient land or, in many cases, none for production and livelihood. This has become the genesis of their formation for common struggle for land and new habitation settlement. While those who remain in the cities formed their settlement in different areas that known as “slum or urban poor”. They also struggle for new habitat and community settlement. Today, the whole world has recognized the importance of and pays attention to the situation of habitat and human settlement which are the conditions of every system of stability as well as the fundamental rights of mankind. Based on this awareness and collective responsibility, there have been efforts to ensure every human being of every society and state has habitat.
The Southern Peasants Federation urges the followings to the Thai government:
– Government must recognize and protect the rights of community or peasant institutions to collective land ownership and management for sustainable and stability, and for new settlement community and support them to further develop.
– Government must recognize and protect the right of landless peasants and labors or the poor to assemble for new community establishment and to construct of secured housing in the state owned land that appropriate for agriculture that encroached and illegally occupied by capitalists, companies and etc. The community rights or community land titling must be respected.
– Government must thoroughly and justly provide habitat for every citizen in the country.
– Government must provide appropriate compensation to the populations affected by government’s development projects and policies.
We hope the government will recognize the importance and necessity of these demands based on the fundamental rights as well as habitat security and new settlement will be supported by the State.
The Southern Peasants Federation