Land Rights
Land Rights
Land Rights
Land Rights
Land Rights
Land Rights
Land Rights
Land Rights
Land Rights

Land Rights

Land constitutes the main asset from which the rural poor are able to derive a livelihood. Of all the private land in the world, however, nearly three quarters is estimated to be controlled by just 2.5 per cent of all landowners. Millions of families, though they toil on the land, do not enjoy ownership rights over it and are considered landless. An average of 71.6 per cent of rural households in Africa, Latin America, and Western and East Asia (excluding China) are landless or near landless. Landlessness gives rise to a host of interrelated problems, including inadequate housing, lack of livelihood options, poor health, hunger, and food insecurity to acute poverty.

HLRN has been involved in initiatives and ongoing efforts-both national and international-to promote the right to land as a human right. This includes working with social movements, advocacy at government and inter-government levels, and participating in international efforts, including at the UN, to further build the normative understanding of the human right to land.
Importance of Land Rights

Lack of housing, land, and property rights, and the systematic denial of tenure security, for the majority of the world's population promotes social injustice and contributes to acute humanitarian crises. As a result of unequal and discriminatory access to and ownership of land, specific groups and communities suffer the most. These include low income groups, Dalits, indigenous and tribal peoples/adivasis, migrants, internally displaced persons, and marginalized women, including single women and women with disabilities and HIV/AIDS.

Severe inequality in landholdings, apart from being socially and ecologically destructive, greatly aggravates the housing crisis. Forced land acquisition, the growing concentration of land with corporate enterprises, and large-scaleindustrialisation, including of agriculture, tends to involuntarily displace the poor to marginal areas, and threatens social and ecological sustainability.

Land plays a crucial role in the structural linkages between rural and urban housing problems. While migration to urban areas is on the rise, the underlying causes for this movement are not being addressed. Such migration is generally not voluntary, but is the product of extreme rural poverty due to landlessness; land insecurity; land conversions; the loss of means of subsistence resulting from a failure to give priority to agrarian reform or promote rural infrastructure; project-induced displacement; distressed housing; or the industrial takeover of farmland. The lack of legal recognition of the right to land contributes to these situations. In cities, migrants,informal sector workers, and the urban poor are often precluded from accessing adequate housing and forced to live in informal settlements characterized by insecure and inadequate living conditions.

The absence of tenure security and land rights in urban areas also exacerbates situations of forced evictions and displacement of the urban poor.

Non-recognition of land rights also contributes to homelessness, as people and communities cannot hold on to their land and access land-based resources. The loss of public and private property, land grabbing, pillaging and looting, and the destruction of agricultural crops, all contribute to rising homelessness and landlessness.

The Right to Land is a Human Right

Access to land is important for poverty reduction and development, and it is also necessary for the realization of several economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights. Land, however, is also an independent human right.

International consensus on the need for the legal recognition of the human right to land is growing. Several international human rights guidelines and documents recognize and protect the right to land.

The right to land is integrally linked with other human rights, especially the human rights to food, adequate housing, self-determination, security of the person and home, work/livelihood, health, and water. The lack of legal provisions to enable communities to inhabit or own land and to make productive use of natural or common resources should also be noted as creating an obstacle to the implementation of the human right to adequate housing.Inadequate housing of the poor is often the consequence of being barred from access to land, credit, and materials with which to build. When access is granted, tenure generally is not. It is, therefore, important to ensure that land rights, whether individual or collective, are legally recognized and protected by the state.

Also see, page on Women's Rights to Land, Adequate Housing, Property and Inheritance

News on Land Rights in India
10 August 2017 - Thomson Reuters Foundation
08 August 2017 - The Times of India
28 July 2017 - The Telegraph
19 April 2017 - The Times of India
18 March 2017 - Business Standard
16 February 2017 - The Citizen
10 February 2017 - Thomson Reuters Foundation
09 February 2017 - Business Standard
01 February 2017 - The Hindu
28 January 2017 - Business Standard
18 January 2017 - The Times of India
30 December 2016 - The Times of India
17 December 2016 - Community Forest Rights Learning and Advocacy
28 November 2016 - The Times of India
15 November 2016 - The New Indian Express
15 May 2016 - India Resists
14 October 2015 - The Hindu
31 August 2015 - The Hindu
29 August 2015 - The New Indian Express
16 August 2015 - The Telegraph
15 August 2015 - The Indian Express
31 May 2015 - The Times of India
27 March 2015 - DNA
04 March 2015 - The Times of India
04 March 2015 - The Telegraph
29 January 2015 - The Hans India
01 December 2014 - The Times of India
01 November 2014 - The Times of India
14 October 2014 - Survival International
09 September 2014 - Business Standard
01 August 2014 - Business Standard
14 February 2014 - Business Standard
01 January 2013 - DNA
01 December 2012 - The Hindu
04 September 2010 - Sahara Times