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Global Land Grab Gathers Pace

05 March 2019

Trócaire launches Lent campaign with new report 'Making a Killing' on global land grab

Women resisting mining in La Puya Daniel Volpi

The Trócaire Making a Killing Policy Document can be downloaded here.

Trócaire’s 2019 Lenten Appeal urges support for people left landless in the developing world

Launching the organisation’s 2019 Lenten Appeal, Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra warned that the corporate race for natural resources has put millions of people around the world at risk of exploitation and abuse.

The Appeal was launched today with the release of a policy report - ‘Making a Killing: Holding Corporations to Account for Land and Human Rights Violations’ - calling for a legally binding UN treaty to protect people in the developing world from human rights violations.

Maria Mercedes Gomez, 65, is from the Rio Blanco community who are resisting the construction of a hydro-electric dam. Maria is a member of the Rio Blanco Elderly Indigenous Council. Photo : Garry Walsh

According to Trócaire CEO, Caoimhe de Barra:

“The human rights framework governing businesses has not kept pace with the modern economy. We live in a globalised world, where business knows no border. Countries, particularly in the developing world, compete for investment from companies often richer and more powerful than they are. The world’s top 10 corporations have a combined revenue equivalent to more than the 180 ‘poorest’ countries.

“This has led to a global sell-off of the natural resources the world’s poorest people rely on. Since 2000, over 49 million hectares of communal or smallholder land - approximately six times the size of Ireland - has been acquired for commercial use by transnational entities. This is the land that poor people have relied on to feed their families for generations.”

Trócaire’s report highlights how the world’s poorest people are not being protected, including:

  • Last year, 247 people were murdered in the developing world for defending land and indigenous rights
  • Since 2015, more than 1400 human rights activists have been attacked for their work linked to corporate actions
  • Only 27 per cent of companies perform risk assessments directly linked to human rights
  • Only 17 per cent of companies conduct impact assessments linked to human rights

This year’s Lenten Appeal highlights the different ways the world’s poorest people are at risk of losing their land. The 2019 Trócaire box features three families – from Guatemala, Uganda and Syria – each of whom has lost land as a result of corporate action, war or because they are women.

 Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal is Ireland’s largest annual fundraising campaign, with close to one million Trócaire boxes distributed nationwide.

 “The three young girls on this year’s Trócaire box show three different faces of a global problem,” said Caoimhe de Barra. 

“The world’s poorest people need access to land and natural resources to lift themselves out of poverty, but too often their rights are ignored or trampled upon.

 “Support for Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal will help to change lives around the world. Last year, we brought support and relief to 2.8 million people around the world. That impact is a result of the generous support for our annual Lenten Appeal.”

Download the Policy Document here.

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