Land is a resource that is closely linked with and directly impacts human rights. It is profoundly intersected with the right to life and economic rights as a source of food and livelihood. Land is also inextricably linked to peoples’ identities and existence, thus a part of social and cultural rights.
A decade since the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, the National Action Plans (NAPs) that must realise the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework of the BHR principles are still a work-in-progress.
Tragically, within the same decade, conflicts over land and resources, in particular land grabbing, have been escalating in number and intensity. Many of these conflicts are between communities, who depend on land for their sustenance and survival, and private corporations and governments, which treat land as a commodity to be used for profit. Aggrieved rural communities lament that these conflicts have led to the loss of lives and livelihoods, large-scale displacement, disregard for the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities, to name a few.
A number of recommendations in ensuring land rights in the discourse of business and human rights (BHR) is found in the articles featured in this publication -- country reports and a regional summary by the Land Watch Asia Working Group on Land Rights as Human Rights, summary workshop report of “Mainstreaming Land Rights in the UNGPs in Asia”, and ANGOC’s input on the initiative of the Committee of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in preparing a General Comment on Land.