The vision of the Human Rights Justice and Peace Programme (HRJP) of WSCF Asia-Pacific, is to strengthen the human rights, justice and peace work of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) in the grassroots level. In particular, it aims to achieve the following objectives:
In 2010, WSCF Human Rights Advocacy and Campaign focused on national issues as a reflection of the growing capacity of the national SCMs to engage in actual advocacy work, such as the release of the 43 illegally arrested health workers in the Philippines, the Anti-POSCO Campaign in India, and the Anti-high speed railway campaign in Hong Kong. In our Annual Report, we feature the work of SCM Philippines, SCM India and SCM Hong Kong in responding to local human right issues.
On February 11, 2010, 43 health workers, doctors and nurses were illegally arrested while conducting a training in the Philippines by the Philippines Military under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This incident has engage both the local and international community and called for their immediate and unconditional release citing grave violation of their Human Rights. SCM Philippines formed and led a Human Rights network of students called Tangol Karapatan (Defend Rights) campaigning for the release of the 43 health workers. Responding to the appeal for solidarity from SCM Philippines, WSCF Asia-Pacific called the global WSCF Federation to join the international campaign for the Morong 43. After more than 10 months of sustained advocacy work, most of the health workers were finally released on December 2010 mainly due to the international pressure and campaign organized by different groups.
The Anti-POSCO Movement in Orissa India is a movement against development aggression and the struggle for the rights of indigenous and farmers for their ancestral lands. SCM of India joined in this people’s struggle, bringing the students from its various units to the communities to join the Pada Yatra or march from Dinkya village to Puri Vedanta University. There were more than 700 participants who took part in the Yatra representing various villages, organizations, peoples movements, cultural groups and student movements. There were more than 10,000 people who participated at the final day protest at Puri. After this event, SCM India organized discussion with in student groups and civil society organizations on the Anti-POSCO Campaign. The Government has withdrawn its mining permission to the Vedanta Groups, one of the companies operating in Puri. The Indian Environment Ministry directed the Orissa Government to stop the POSCO project despite Orissa Government’s intention to continue with the POSCO project.
The Hong Kong Macau Express-railway Project is being built displacing communities and destroying the remaining natural forest and rural life in Hong Kong. SCM Hong Kong together with the villagers, youth groups and students campaigned for the rights of the people in the community to remain in their ancestral homes and lands. Despite strong public pressure and opinion the Hong Kong government continued with the project, relocating the people and giving compensation. This Campaign raised critical issues and awareness on how far will the Hong Kong Government go in the name of development.