ONU : Monitorare il rispetto dei diritti umani associato agli acquisti fondiari su vasta scala. (Ing. & Fr.) Monitoring Human Rights Violations Associated with Large-Scale Land Acquisitions.

This chapter aims to contribute to the debate on contemporary ‘land grabbing’ and its impact on human rights. It describes the role played by United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms in monitoring violations associated with large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs), with a focus on UN treaty bodies. A typology of human rights violations associated with LSLAs is presented, on the basis of the assessment that UN treaty bodies have made in examining the impact of LSLAs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, and Vietnam. Christophe Golay Continue reading

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Le donne e la globalizzazione – Silvia Federici (Ing. & Fr.)

Women and Globalization  Silvia Federici

“Globalization” has been described in different ways. In the literature emanating from the international financial institutions, it is portrayed as a more effective system of economic management, ensuring the free circulation of goods and enhancing the “comparative advantage” of different countries, each presumably utilizing its resources to the best effect for both local populations and world development. Policy-analysts thus stress the globalization of financial markets, capital investments, new technologies which, we are told, will lead in the foreseeable future to increased prosperity also in the “developing” countries. My own perspective is that “globalization” is a strategy seeking to determine a process of global proletarianization and the formation of a global labor market as means to cheapen the cost of labor, reduce workers’ entitlements, and intensify exploitation. These, in fact, are the most unmistakable effects of the policies by which globalization is driven. But however defined, the social and economic consequences of globalization cannot be denied. After two decades of globalizing interventions in the world economy (creation of the World Trade organization (WTO), structural adjustment, TRIPS, etc.) one billion people live in conditions of “absolute poverty” (UN Population Fund 2001). Meanwhile, the Third World debt has increased from $800 billion in 1980 to a staggering $2,900 billion in 1999 (World Bank 2000), precluding the possibility of repayment, while the predicted industrialization of the Third World has not materialized despite the proliferation of Free Processing Zones (FPZs). Most important, mechanisms are now in place – debt servicing, structural adjustment, import liberalization and, crucial to all, generalized warfare – that systematically lead millions of people away from their means of subsistence, uprooting them from their lands, their jobs, their countries, in what appears as the largest proletarianization and migration process since the turn of the 20th century (Federici 1992; 1999). Continue reading

Donne spiriti, cristianesimo e cambiamento culturale in Melanesia – Spirit women and cultural change in Melanesia (ing. & fr.)

As anthropologists increasingly study Christianity in Melanesia, data has become available which allow us to address comparative questions about its differential impact in various societies of the region. In this article, the author looks at how conversion to Christianity has transformed women’s roles in one society in Papua New Guinea and one in Vanuatu. In particular, he examines what Christian values have meant for the construction of new gender roles. Continue reading