Protect Refugees From Forced Labor

sugar cane farm

Target: Health Minister David Parirenyatwa

Goal: Halt Zimbabwe’s plans to deny food aid to displaced persons so as to force them to work on sugar cane farms

The government of Zimbabwe must halt plans to deny food aid to around 20,000 displaced people. Reports indicate that food aid will be stopped in order to force the displaced people into harvesting sugar cane on farms owned by the ruling political party ZANU-PF. Earlier this year, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front moved 3,000 families displaced by flooding onto government-run sugar cane farms to benefit an ethanol project. There are many activists who believe that the floods were created so as to forcibly evict citizens from their lands without compensation and hire them to be low-paid workers on farms.

The camp that the families are currently living in is overcrowded, with minimal amounts of food and water being distributed. Aid groups have said that the water that is available is not enough to support the massive amounts of people in the camp. The camp also has no way to provide a livelihood for the displaced people and are therefore dependent on food distributed by the government. The food aid is controlled by the government and is distributed irregularly and without notice.

Until the government proposes plans to pay families for land lost and are relocated to a location of their choice, the government must step up efforts to provide food. By holding out food to these needy people, the government is in violation of numerous international human rights regulations. The international community must pressure the government to do the right thing and prevent displaced persons from becoming totally reliant on government support on sugar cane farms. Sign this petition and demand the government of Zimbabwe take action to provide for these displaced people.


Dear Minister Parirenyatwa,

Your government must do all that it can to provide adequate food and water to displaced people living in camps across Zimbabwe. The illegal transfer of displaced people to live on sugar cane farms as low-wage workers is in violation of numerous international human rights laws. I ask that you immediately halt all efforts to force these people into forced labor in order to provide for themselves and their families.

Not fulfilling your international obligations in this regard will lead to penalties against your government by the international community. This would be a big blow for Zimbabwe’s economy and government. I ask that you do what is best for these people and relocate families appropriately and swiftly.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Milei.Vencel via Wikipedia Commons

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