Second Asian Youth Assembly of La Via Campesina held in Thailand

Surin, Thailand: The Second Asian Continental Youth Assembly of La Via Campesina took place in Surin province from 14 -16 October 2022, facilitated by the youth leaders from South East and East Asia region and hosted by the Assembly of Poor (AOP) and . The assembly brought together more than 45 peasant youth, comprising people of different identities and ethnicities and coming from more than 13 grass-roots movements across the Asian continent.

Young peasant leaders from rural peasant organisations in Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Australia, India and Sri Lanka attended the Assembly, which offered to the youth a collective space for socio-political analyses and training on agroecology, food and agricultural issues.

Over the 3 days of the meeting, the young delegation attended several lectures, presentations and actively engaged in working group sessions that explored the situation of small-scale food production in Asia, exchanged ideas and experiences of different agroecological practices. The youth also paid a solidarity visit to the Tha Koei community to learn about their struggle for land and food sovereignty.

The youth highighted that

Across Asia, as in the rest of the world, people are suffering from neo-fascism and right-wing fundamentalists. Peasant agriculture is pushed ever more to the margins, resisting land grabs, water grabs, sea grabs, as well as the repression of movements and the criminalization of our leaders. Our context remains highly patriarchal, and women and youth face particular difficulty in accessing land. Over half the population of Asia works in agriculture, but this work is not respected, so young people are not motivated to continue on the land. Mass migration is being used to justify racist, right-wing regimes. Suicide in rural areas is a major challenge in our continent, as resources grabbing by governments and capitals make life very hard for peasants. We need right to land, access to market, access to technology, and access to finances.