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The Great Land Heist: How the world is paving the way for corporate land grabs

Added 05 Jun 2014
In The Great Land Heist, Eurodad member ActionAid presents cases highlighting how land grabs in Cambodia, Kenya, India, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tanzania are leading to forced evictions, human rights violations, lost livelihoods, divided communities, destruction of culturally significant sites, rising food insecurity and, ultimately, increased poverty. Crucially, it also shows how women, who undertake the majority of household food production in many countries, often fare worst from land grabs.

The report concludes that public and private agricultural investment must be re-oriented towards supporting sustainable agricultural practices and technologies suited to the needs of smallholder farmers, particularly women. ActionAid recommends the following specific measures:
  • Commit to and demonstrate zero tolerance for land grabs, including the incentives which fuel them.
  • Foster investment in women and small holder food producers, and ensure their participation in the planning and decision-making process of land-based policies, programmes and projects.
  • All actors must stop their participation in or support to any large-scale land deals that risk violating the principles of the Tirana Declaration until satisfactory implementation of laws and policies derived from the Tenure Guidelines and the African Union’s Land Policy Initiative principles protecting land rights of communities and women.
  • All actors must ensure transparency and democratic oversight of large-scale land transactions in developing countries, and that adequate and consistent safeguards enforcing the rights of legitimate land users – especially women – are included in all land, trade, investment and development agreements, policies, programmes and projects. 
  • Respect the rights of women, communities and human rights defenders to resist land grabs and claim their land rights, ensure safe spaces for them to do so and submit to project monitoring by civil society platforms.
Read the full report here or click on the download button below.