HRDs being interviewed by journalists


THAILAND: Rights to land and Rights of the Landless Labors to Establish New Community for Collective Habitation, Livelihood and Cultural Creation

4 October 2016


Rights to Land and Rights of the Landless Labors to Establish a New Community for Collective Habitation, Livelihood, and Cultural Creation.

October 3 marks the World Habitat Day

Since 1989, the United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day, one of the most important days of mankind. The Southern Peasants Federation, laborers, peasants including certain communities, need habitat for their new settlement. These people used to be laborers who once possessed their land but were economically defeated by the capitalist globalization characterized by high competition, as expressed Thai idiom “the longer hands one has, 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 laborers in the capital and big cities. When the labor competition failed to enable their survival as many were laid off, they returned to their rural origins where they had no sufficient land or, in many cases, none for production and livelihood. This has become the genesis of their formation for a common struggle for land and new habitation settlement. While those who remain in the cities formed their settlement in different areas that are known as “slums or urban poor”. They also struggle for new habitats and community settlements. 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 in every society and state has a habitat.

The Southern Peasants Federation urges the following to the Thai government:

The government must recognize and protect the rights of community or peasant institutions to collective land ownership and management for sustainability and stability, and for new settlement communities and support them to further develop.

The government must recognize and protect the right of landless peasants and laborers or the poor to assemble for new community establishment and to construct secured housing in the state-owned land that is appropriate for agriculture that is encroached and illegally occupied by capitalists, companies, etc. The community rights or community land titling must be respected.

The government must thoroughly and justly provide habitat for every citizen in the country.

– The government must provide appropriate compensation to the populations affected by the government’s development projects and policies.

We hope the government will recognize the importance and necessity of these demands based on fundamental rights as well as habitat security and new settlement will be supported by the State.

The Southern Peasants Federation