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VIVAT International Jan-Feb-Mar 2013 Newsletter March 29th, 2013
Please find the Jan-Feb-March 2013 online newsletter from VIVAT International here. (Download PDF)
Subjects covered include:
- Academia and Advocacy
- Human Rights & Big Business
- Anti Human Trafficking
- Africa Faith & Justice
- 51st Commission on Social Development
- Post 2015
- Experience at VIVAT International
Solidarity for Peaceful Elections in Kenya February 21st, 2013
On March 4, the Republic of the Kenya will hold general elections. Catholic Task Force on Africa (CTFA), a coalition of Catholic religious communities and organizations in Washington D.C. has issued a letter of solidarity for peaceful elections in Kenya.
The CTFA statement of solidarity says,
Many remember the violence that erupted during the election of 2007. We encourage you, our brothers and sisters to reject any form of violence, refrain from hate speech and to avoid making ethnic tensions the center of this historic democratic exercise. We encourage you to use legal and peaceful mechanisms as you elect your next government.
The Missionary Oblates have a presence in the Kenya where they work in catholic parishes and operate development projects. United State Province Missionary Oblate JPIC office is a member of the Catholic Task Force on Africa.
Tell Congress: Cuts will Cost Lives! November 6th, 2012
As Congress returns for a Lame Duck session after the November 6 elections, your voice is needed to preserve poverty-focused international assistance during Congressional deliberations on debt reduction and appropriations legislation. Urge your Senators and Representative to pass fiscal year (FY) 2013 poverty–focused international relief and development funding at the levels passed by the Senate earlier this year. For Countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Zambia, this small amount of funding that represents less than 1% of the federal budget saves millions of lives.
Corporate Social Responsibility and the Churches May 14th, 2012
Thanks to the European Africa Faith & Justice Network for the following information:
Bishops call for increased corporate transparency
Catholic bishops urge the European Union to legislate on extractive companies
While a group of EU member states, including Germany and the UK, are attempting to water down new EU transparency legislation, Catholic bishops from around the world urge the EU to push forward and require European Union-listed and large unlisted extractive companies to publicly disclose the payments they make to governments worldwide. In a joint statement, they say less stringent laws will fail to turn the curse of resource-rich developing countries into a blessing.
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Land Grabs in Africa Leave Communities Impoverished April 5th, 2012
The problem of land grabbing in Africa and Asia by investment firms and multinational corporations is a serious and growing problem. Governments make deals with large multinational companies while thousands of poor farmers are left with inadequate compensation, low wages, polluted water and exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals that cause health problems.
While problems with land grabs abound, SOCFIN Agriculture. Co. is a particularly egregious company. Owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, SOCFINAF Group owns and operates plantations of rubber, oil palm and coffee in Indonesia, Cambodia, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Liberia. SOCFIN recently has secured 6,500 hectares of farmland for rubber/palm oil production in Sierra Leone.
The Oakland Institute, a California-based think-tank, has detailed a pattern of coercion, lack of consultation, and failure to fairly compensate Sierra Leonean landowners who have been pressured into ceding their land to the corporate giant. Watch this video on SOCFIN’s Sierra Leone’s operations:
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Zambian Oblate Bishop calls for Development in Western Zambia December 6th, 2011
Zambia’s Mongu Diocese Bishop Evan Chinyemba has called upon newly elected members of parliament (MP) from the area to respond to the challenges facing ordinary people. The Bishop outlined the development issues facing people, which include the need to build better schools, improve road infrastructure, rebuild health services and establish a safe water delivery system.
Bishop Chinyemba also addressed the issue of foreign investments. In these projects, local people have neither been consulted nor have they benefitted. He highlighted the need to review investments involved in cutting indigenous trees for export. Bishop Chinyemba also called for the urgent review of an investment agreement between the government Commission and private equity partners involved in managing the national park located near the Oblate parish of Kalabo.