International Human Rights Day December 10th 2014
By Safia Minney People Tree Founder and CEO
When I was travelling in the so-called developing world as a back packer at 22, it became clear that multi-national companies and politicians working with international businesses do the opposite to promote socially equitable wealth, undermining the rights of the economically marginalised communities, farmers and fisherfolk. It was heart breaking seeing the effects of land grabs and access to the sea taken away by the building of power plants. People’s rights, livelihoods and futures are stolen away from them. From our mango farmers in the Olongapo Philippines to farmers in India under the powerful threat of agribusinesses, no western capitalism was being rolled out for profit whatever the cost to people and the environment.
People Tree works with economically marginalised farmers, artisans and tailors to support their rights and livelihood promotion, helping to develop products using organic and eco-friendly materials and using traditional skills. People Tree pays fair prices, gives technical and capacity building training. Helping farmers with marketing means that we have worked in partnership to create a social business, which puts people, rights and the environment central to everything we do.
Today, more than ever, the human rights cost of international trade can be seen in thousands of lives lost in factory collapses and fires, exploitative wages that don’t even allow people to feed themselves three times a day and child labour undermines children’s rights because parents are too poor so have no choice but to send their children to work aged 12. International trade and business needs to change to sustain our planet. It’s clear that Fair Trade can deliver social benefits to all and help promote environmentally sustainable, economic and production systems too.
Join us and share this video with your friends and encourage those around you to buy Fair Trade and support the trading system that puts human rights and social development first.
On 10 December every year, Human Rights Day commemorates the date on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”
This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.
In 2014 the message from Human Rights 365 is unequivocal: the UN Human Rights Office stands by its mandate and stands with the millions of men and women globally, who risk their all for human rights.