Landless Workers Movement (MST)

National social movement, Brazil

In Brazil, less than 3% of the population owns two-thirds of the land and more than half the farmland lies idle. Four million homeless, landless and jobless peasant farmers are denied a decent living. The Landless Workers' Movement (Movimento Sem Terra – MST) works throughout Brazil to ensure that landless people have greater access to land.

The conflict over land, with homeless peasants on one side, and landowners’ armed thugs and the police on the other, has plagued Brazil for decades. The conflict has left over one thousand landless peasants murdered, and landless and rural people face malnutrition, lack of access to clean water, sanitation and basic health or education services, and a lifetime spent in roadside shantytowns of black plastic tents.

MST is one of the strongest social movements in Brazil today, and campaigns against the industrial export agriculture model that excludes peasants and causes inequality and environmental degradation. MST is a 1.5 million-member movement that organises landless and impoverished farmers to realise their human rights.

Despite heavy repression, it has managed to settle 350,000 families nationwide on unused land since its inception. MST has also built its own schools under its slogan 'education for every child’. In response to the increasing corporate takeover of agriculture, the MST is now developing sustainable farming methods through agroecology.

War on Want works with the MST to help ensure that farmers can use agroecological techniques, produce and save their own seeds, and call for the Brazilian government to adopt agricultural policies that support such sustainable approaches.

Honduran Women’s Collective (CODEMUH)

San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Our partner, the Honduran Women’s Collective (Colectiva de Mujeres Hondureñas – CODEMUH) is a feminist, women-led grassroots organisation that has been fighting for women worker's rights and their empowerment for over 20 years. It is the only organisation challenging the lack of workplace health and safety protection in Honduras, and they have successfully contested numerous cases on behalf of women suffering occupational disease.

CODEMUH is run by women seeking change in society that allows them to fully realise their potential, free from exclusion and discrimination. It has adopted an innovative and grassroots approach, developing strong networks of women maquiladora workers. These women are equipped, through training, with the skills and self-esteem to become labour rights promoters reaching out to workers on factory floors and in their local communities.

CODEMUH also provides legal and medical advice to workers suffering occupational disease and empowers them to speak out and challenge the abuse of labour rights by factory owners and the complicity of the government.

"CODEMUH has had a working relationship with War on Want for many years, since 2003, and this solidarity is significant and productive. By raising awareness and voices in the UK and Europe, we have strengthened the position of working women in these factories and sweatshops; it has strengthened our organisational ability, it has helped us build an active movement of organised labour that is still growing, and it has helped us with all out major achievements in workers’ rights here." – Maria Luisa, CODEMUH

Social Corporation for Community Advisory and Training Services Casanare (COSPACC)

Casanare, Colombia

The Social Corporation for Community Advisory and Training Services (La Corporación Social para la Asesoría y Capacitación Comunitaria – COSPACC) is principally dedicated to providing attention and accompaniment to victims due to the high numbers of human rights abuses in the regions where it works, especially in the departments of Tolima, Boyacá, Casanare and the city of Bogota.

It does so while remaining focused on its principal objective, which is reconstructing social fabric and providing on-going training to promote and defend human rights and international humanitarian law.

Alongside COSPACC and UK-based firm Deighton Pierce Glyn, we run The Oil Justice Project. The Oil Justice Project works to ensure that the victims and survivors of corporate-sponsored violence and environmental damage can obtain justice for the whole community, and not just compensation for individuals. The Oil Justice Project helps to rebuild, unite and empower communities in Casanare.

Briefing: military detention of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities

February 2018

Israel may be the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. The arrest and detention of Palestinian children is part of a wider context of violence, militarised repression, and deprivation of human rights that is the cornerstone of Israel’s occupation.

PDF icon MPs Briefing: military detention of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities

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