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In Asia, land grabbing cases often occur as governments actively encourage agricultural investments at the expense of the loss of land and livelihoods for poor farmers and rural workers.
What we do
The Asia Working Group on Land Rights as Human Rights focuses its work on the monitoring of land and resource conflicts in six countries in Asia, as well as creating a scorecard for private investors in land and agriculture. They also engage with National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), government agencies, and development partners at local and national levels, to lobby for the recognition of land rights as human rights. The working group envisions that the right to land is recognised as a human right as land rights organisations and communities become part of the regional and country dialogues in at least six countries in the region.
The group will work towards influencing policies to prevent land-grabbing, protect land rights defenders, and on formulating a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (BHR). These would be achieved through a series of consultations, roundtable discussions, lobbying, and the production of policy papers.
Changes in practices are to be achieved, as local and regional institutions recognise land rights as human rights, and acknowledge the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) as key stakeholders on pursuing land rights. Towards achieving this outcome, in-country and regional meetings and workshops are to be organised with strategic partners and decision-makers. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (UNDROP), BHR, and land rights as human rights, shall be key discussion points during such meetings.
Inspired by the regular land conflict monitoring that member of the working group the Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA) does, CSOs from Bangladesh, Philippines, and Nepal systematically gathered data on land conflicts from various sources (CSOs, government, NHRIs, media/news), for the land conflict monitoring reports. In the Philippines, data-gathering for the land conflict monitoring report was extensive, and involved government agencies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This is the first time that CSOs in the three countries consolidated data from various sources to come up with a report on land conflicts.
In Defense of Land Rights: A Monitoring Report on Land Conflicts in Six Asian Countries
This monitoring report was prepared in six Asian countries to understand the nature, cause, and impact of land conflicts and to highlight the human rights issues intertwined with them. The report provides an overview of some of the available conflict resolution mechanisms in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines, and outlines recommended actions for addressing land conflicts.
Read more resources produced by the platform to learn why land rights are human rights