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      Rurally rooted cross-border migrant workers from Myanmar, Covid-19, and agrarian movements

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          Abstract

          This paper examines the situation of rurally rooted cross-border migrant workers from Myanmar during the Covid-19 pandemic. It looks at the circumstances of the migrants prior to the global health emergency, before exploring possibilities for a post-pandemic future for this stratum of the working people by raising critical questions addressed to agrarian movements. It does this by focusing on the nature and dynamics of the nexus of land and labour in the context of production and social reproduction, a view that in the context of rurally rooted cross-border migrant workers necessarily requires interrelated perspectives on labour, agrarian, and food justice struggles. This requires a rethinking of the role of land, not as a factor in either production or social reproduction, but as a central component in both spheres simultaneously. The question is not ‘whether’ it is necessary and desirable to forge multi-class coalitions and struggles against external capital, while not losing sight of the exploitative relations within rural communities and the household; rather, the question is ‘how’ to achieve this. It will require a messy recursive process, going back and forth between theoretical exploration and practical politics.

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          Slum Health: Arresting COVID-19 and Improving Well-Being in Urban Informal Settlements

          The informal settlements of the Global South are the least prepared for the pandemic of COVID-19 since basic needs such as water, toilets, sewers, drainage, waste collection, and secure and adequate housing are already in short supply or non-existent. Further, space constraints, violence, and overcrowding in slums make physical distancing and self-quarantine impractical, and the rapid spread of an infection highly likely. Residents of informal settlements are also economically vulnerable during any COVID-19 responses. Any responses to COVID-19 that do not recognize these realities will further jeopardize the survival of large segments of the urban population globally. Most top-down strategies to arrest an infectious disease will likely ignore the often-robust social groups and knowledge that already exist in many slums. Here, we offer a set of practice and policy suggestions that aim to (1) dampen the spread of COVID-19 based on the latest available science, (2) improve the likelihood of medical care for the urban poor whether or not they get infected, and (3) provide economic, social, and physical improvements and protections to the urban poor, including migrants, slum communities, and their residents, that can improve their long-term well-being. Immediate measures to protect residents of urban informal settlements, the homeless, those living in precarious settlements, and the entire population from COVID-19 include the following: (1) institute informal settlements/slum emergency planning committees in every urban informal settlement; (2) apply an immediate moratorium on evictions; (3) provide an immediate guarantee of payments to the poor; (4) immediately train and deploy community health workers; (5) immediately meet Sphere Humanitarian standards for water, sanitation, and hygiene; (6) provide immediate food assistance; (7) develop and implement a solid waste collection strategy; and (8) implement immediately a plan for mobility and health care. Lessons have been learned from earlier pandemics such as HIV and epidemics such as Ebola. They can be applied here. At the same time, the opportunity exists for public health, public administration, international aid, NGOs, and community groups to innovate beyond disaster response and move toward long-term plans.
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            Food crises, food regimes and food movements: rumblings of reform or tides of transformation?

            This article addresses the potential for food movements to bring about substantive changes to the current global food system. After describing the current corporate food regime, we apply Karl Polanyi's 'double-movement' thesis on capitalism to explain the regime's trends of neoliberalism and reform. Using the global food crisis as a point of departure, we introduce a comparative analytical framework for different political and social trends within the corporate food regime and global food movements, characterizing them as 'Neoliberal', 'Reformist', 'Progressive', and 'Radical', respectively, and describe each trend based on its discourse, model, and key actors, approach to the food crisis, and key documents. After a discussion of class, political permeability, and tensions within the food movements, we suggest that the current food crisis offers opportunities for strategic alliances between Progressive and Radical trends within the food movement. We conclude that while the food crisis has brought a retrenchment of neoliberalization and weak calls for reform, the worldwide growth of food movements directly and indirectly challenge the legitimacy and hegemony of the corporate food regime. Regime change will require sustained pressure from a strong global food movement, built on durable alliances between Progressive and Radical trends.
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              La Vía Campesina: the birth and evolution of a transnational social movement

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                borras@iss.nl
                jennycfranco@tni.org
                ra@iss.nl
                tkramer@tni.org
                mi.kamoon@tni.org
                phwe.phyu.the@tni.org
                khukhuju@tni.org
                pietje.vervest@tni.org
                marry777111@gmail.com
                kyaryinshell@gmail.com
                hq.project1@metta-myanmar.org
                lso.project@metta-myanmar.org
                merlarmon@gmail.com
                saryarpoine09@gmail.com
                mipakaojumper@gmail.com
                sawormon@gmail.com
                khunoo007@gmail.com
                kthu@paungkumyanmar.org
                nwekay.khine@gmail.com
                ttnaing@paungkumyanmar.org
                nlpapa@paungkumyanmar.org
                tsyu.taangyouth@gmail.com
                tsyu.taangyouth@gmail.com
                waypoejay.tsyu@gmail.com
                nawsengjai@gmail.com
                yunan@iss.nl
                Journal
                Agric Human Values
                Agric Human Values
                Agriculture and Human Values
                Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
                0889-048X
                1572-8366
                3 September 2021
                3 September 2021
                : 1-24
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.6906.9, ISNI 0000000092621349, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, ; Korternaerkade 12, 2518 AX The Hague, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Transnational Institute (TNI), De Wittenstraat 25, 1052 AK Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [3 ]Justice Society, Northern Shan State, Myanmar
                [4 ]Lahu Development Network, Eastern Shan State, Myanmar
                [5 ]GRID grid.501933.d, Metta Development Foundation, ; Pegu, Myanmar
                [6 ]Mon Area Community Development Organization, Mon State, Myanmar
                [7 ]Mon Women Organization, Mon State, Myanmar
                [8 ]Mon Youth Progressive Organization, Mon State, Myanmar
                [9 ]Mon Region Land Policy Affair Committee, Mon State, Myanmar
                [10 ]Pa-O Youth Organization, Southern Shan State, Myanmar
                [11 ]Paung Ku, Yangon, Myanmar
                [12 ]Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization, Northern Shan State, Myanmar
                [13 ]Tai Youth Network, Northern Shan State, Myanmar
                [14 ]GRID grid.22935.3f, ISNI 0000 0004 0530 8290, College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) of China Agricultural University, ; No. 2 West Yuanmingyuan Road, Haidan District, Beijing, 100193 People’s Republic of China
                Article
                10262
                10.1007/s10460-021-10262-6
                8415701
                c42ce297-c03a-480b-ba35-1a20df038fc1
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 10 July 2021
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100010663, H2020 European Research Council;
                Award ID: 834006
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Article

                migrant workers,farmworkers,covid-19 pandemic,myanmar,food sovereignty

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