Churches to Launch Global Campaign on Trade and Human Rights

Dec 09, 2002 05:32 PM EST

A global network of churches and related organizations are launching a three-year "Trade for people, not people for trade" campaign on 10 December - International Human Rights Day. The campaign - launched by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) - will press for international human rights, social, and environmental agreements to take precedence over trade agreements and policies.

The Alliance is a global network of more than 85 churches, development agencies, and related organizations on all continents, including the World Council of Churches (WCC), representing a constituency of hundreds of millions of people.

"Global trade can either promote or hinder justice, peace and sustainability," explains EAA committee member and World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) general secretary Dr Musimbi Kanyoro. "We will use human rights principles to challenge economic injustice and to change trade rules in favour of justice between and within countries and communities, create alternatives, and support people struggling against economic discrimination."

The campaign will advocate for: * trade rules that recognize the right to food, ensure sustainable agriculture and food security for all, and promote greater self-reliance in developing countries; * global and national trade policies and rules that guarantee access for all to essential services, based on human rights principles; and * regulation of transnational corporations (TNCs) to ensure that they contribute to poverty eradication, promotion of human rights, and the protection of the environment.

A meeting with the press will be held on Tuesday, 10 December at 13:00 in Press Room II, Palais des Nations, Geneva. Speakers will include:

Prof. Dr Christoph Stueckelberger, director, Bread for All (Switzerland) and member, EAA Global Trade Strategy Group

Rev. Woungly-Massaga Mamia Ebenezer, director, Eglise Protestante Africaine (Cameroon), EAA participating church Ms Linda Hartke, coordinator, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance Dr Musimbi Kanyoro, general secretary, World YWCA, and member, EAA Ecumenical Advocacy Committee

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Office, tel: +41 (0)22 791 64 21

For more information on the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and the Trade for People campaign, see

By WCC Press Release