Challenging inequality? Assert people’s collective rights and sovereignty: Page 3 of 3

Posted on 13 February 2018

bear the burden under the current economic system play an important, if not the most essential, role in challenging the roots of inequalities.

First, people’s organisations and movements have a crucial role in uplifting peoples’ conditions through asserting collective rights over resources. This means asserting smallholder farmers’ right to land and subsistence fishers’ right to water resources. This also means workers demanding their right to full employment and just wages, and indigenous peoples their right to ancestral domains and self-determination.

Second, peoples – especially the poor and marginalised in the Global South -- have the important task of asserting their economic and political sovereignty even outside dominant institutional processes. Forming movements and organisations whenever necessary, they should challenge corporations and states that attack people’s rights, challenge the hold of international finance institutions and anti-people trade agreements.

Finally, they need to take back economic power, and resist the global monopoly-led economic system that contributes a large part to worsening inequality.

Amy Padilla is the new Director of IBON International (, a Southern international non-government organisation that engages in capacity development for people’s rights and democracy around the world.

Global Region: