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Land Rights Now!

Some 10,000 Dalits and Adivasis – Indians who are marginalised and socially-excluded due to caste and ethnicity – have rallied in the Umariya district of Madhya Pradesh, India to demand land for the landless.

Dalits and indigenous Adivasis account for more than 36% of the population in Madhya Pradesh, but they own just 3.6% of the land. Nationally, none of the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved for these groups, which account for some 300 million people or more than a quarter of India's population.

At rallies on 6 October and 15 October, participants demanded that the government provide five acres of property to landless women and families. They are also calling on officials to place the land titles in the women's names.

On 15 October, the International Day of Rural Women, activists also met with goverment ministers in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand to present their petitions for land rights.

iMove events in Asia: Cambodia, India, Korea and Philippines

To mark the 500 day deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals and adopt a new global Post-2015 agenda, GCAP constituents across Asia gathered in person and online to launch 'iMove for Justice, Peace and Equality', a campaign demanding that leaders at all levels uphold human rights and implement policies that are just, sustainable and transformative.  (Read on to see photos and media coverage.)
 
In the Philippines, a coalition of civil society organisations highlighted the widening wealth gap amidst growing numbers of landless, homeless, malnourished, uneducated, unemployed and sick people in the country.  
 
Youth Ki Awaaz anchored a 12-hour tweet-a-thon in India, 90 minutes focused on each MDG.

BRICS: The Club in the Club

The BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – risk losing their international credibility if they don't behave as responsible donors, writes GCAP Russia co-chair Vitaliy Kartamyshev.

These five countries produce about 20% of the world's economic output and account for a growing percentage of official development assistance. But it's clear that the BRIC have “fewer scruples” about how this aid impacts human rights, democracy, women and ethnic minorities.

At a minimum, the BRICS should adopt a set of guiding principles to ensure that they do not uphold political regimes that impoverish communities, exploit natural resources and undermine the development prospects of recipient countries.

In an article originally published by the Heinrich Boell Foundation as part of a series of G20 updates, Kartamyshev also argues that decisions by the BRICS, G20, G8 and other such clubs are poorly understood by the country's citizens and even the media. Civil society networks and movements have a role to play here – through education and adding to the political discourse.

'Low Hanging Fruit' is not enough, says GCAP's Task Force on Social Exclusion

Sona Devi has been to school. But she is an exception, one of the few 'matriculates' in her three million strong Musahar community. Sona Devi , who lives in a village in the Nawada district of Bihar, India, wanted to continue her education, but odds and barriers did not allow her to continue.

Acute malnutrition is common in Musahar communities and literacy rates are among the lowest in India (less than 10% for women, just 15% for men). The ground water in some villages is contaminated, crippling the inhabitants' bones. Mushahars are socially-excluded Dalits, who live primarily in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

A Message for the G20's Five Asian Members

The constituents of GCAP Asia and the Asia Development Alliance have sent a clear message to the five Asian members of the G20:  it's time to step up to ensure that equality and equity are pillars of growth and development and that corruption has no place in our nations or communities.  The joint letter, which was drafted at the G20 Civil Summit, is being presented to political leaders and the G20 'sherpas' (government negotiators) from China, India, Indonesia, Korea and Japan.

GCAP Asia and the ADA at the G20 Civil Summit

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