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York student Harriet Miligan joins land sales protest
7:47am Friday 5th October 2012 in News
A YORK woman has taken part in a protest against excessive land sales in the developing world, writes Dan Bean.
Harriet Miligan, of Fishergate, campaigns with Oxfam on the sales, known as “land grabs”.
Harriet, 21, studies at the University of York and joined the Oxfam protest in London, which urged the World Bank to freeze land deals for six months to support communities and farmers in developing countries who are being pushed off their land.
She said: ‘’The rush for land is out of control: an area of land the size of York is being sold to foreign investors every day in poor countries.
“As a result people who are trying to grow food and feed their families are suffering hunger, violence and greater poverty. We must take action now - investments can be positive, but they need to be regulated to prevent abuse.”
The protest came following a report entitled Our Land, Our Lives, which claimed an area eight times the size of the UK has been sold off globally in the last ten years. The report stated this was large enough to grow food for a billion people, the equivalent to the number of people who go hungry in the world today.
Harriet said: “The World Bank can help stop these human rights abuses and ensure that investments help not harm poor communities. Investment should be good news for developing countries, not lead to greater poverty, hunger and hardship. And the UK Government needs to put pressure on it too.
“After the Oxfam protest in London I am going to take the campaign to the people of York and work with them to put pressure on the UK Government. If we make our voices heard, we can support farmers in poor countries to have enough land to grow their food and that everyone has enough to eat.”