Scottish Past Linked To Modern Land Grabs
Lindsay Clydesdale Campaigns Press Officer, Scotland
5th Mar 2013
International Development Minister Attends Seminar on New 'Highland Clearances'
Global land grabs and their parallels to the Highland Clearances were the theme of an event in Helmsdale, Sutherland yesterday.
International Development Minister Humza Yousaf MSP was joined at the Emigrants Statue by Anna Vermehren, Director of Timespan museum, and Judith Robertson, spokesperson for the 'Enough Food For Everyone IF' campaign. The campaign is calling for a halt to the forced eviction of people in developing countries from the land they rely on to live and support themselves.
The event, 'History Repeating? Land Grabs and the Highland Clearances', also marked the bicentenary of the brutal Sutherland Clearances and discussed how Scottish history can influence the global debate on land rights in order to protect the world's poorest people.
Judith Robertson, spokesperson for the IF campaign, said: "There are clear parallels between the turbulent events of Scotland's past and the reality right now for many people in developing countries.
"There are clear parallels between the turbulent events of Scotland's past and the reality right now for many people in developing countries.
"Land grabs are one of the causes of poverty and hunger so we welcome the Scottish Government's attention to the issue and urge them to use Scotland's land story to give voice to those facing land grabs today in developing countries."
The IF campaign is calling for the Scottish Government to hold a Global Land Hearing in Scotland this year.
International Development Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, said: "Land grabbing affects many people in Africa and throughout the developing world. This should not be happening today. The IF campaign is right to highlight this issue which is about human rights as much as tenure and food security.
"Land grabbing affects many people in Africa and throughout the developing world. This should not be happening today. The IF campaign is right to highlight this issue which is about human rights as much as tenure and food security.
"Scotland is a good global citizen with a world-leading approach to climate change and international development. We must be part of the solution and stand up for social justice."
Anna Vermehren, Director of Timespan Museum and Arts Centre, said:
"In this part of the country the Clearances seem as if they happened yesterday. They are still alive in the memory of the people who live here and visible in the empty lands that were left 200 years ago. From so-called 'Improvements' to 'Clearances' and land grabs, the issue of migration and dislocation is current."
The IF Scotland manifesto can be read here: http://enoughfoodif.org/sites/default/files/IF_Scotland_manifesto.pdf