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Land grabbing, investments & indigenous peoples’ rights to land and natural resources: Legal analysis and case studies from Tanzania, Kenya, India, Myanmar, Colombia, Chile and Russia

Author: Jérémie Gilbert
Publication language: English English
Financially supported by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Release year: 2017
Release month/day: October

Tags: Land rights

In the global quest for land and natural resources, indigenous peoples are particularly negatively impacted. While most local communities, peasants, farmers and other local land users are affected by this global land rush, embedded discrimination, a lack of recognition of land tenure and vulnerability mean that this recent land rush is affecting indigenous peoples particularly badly. The following report aims to examine the impact of land grabbing on the rights of indigenous peoples. The aims of the report are to offer a ‘map’ of the main issues affecting indigenous peoples, explore the relevant legal framework and offer some recommendations as to how it could be addressed through a more systematic and cross-regional approach.

To support such aims, the report is divided into three different sections as follows:

The first section provides an overview of land grabbing, land rights and human rights in relation to indigenous peoples’ rights. It examines the definition(s) of land grabbing in terms of how it differs from other forms of land dispossession, the scale of such land grabbing, the industries involved and how this affects indigenous peoples generally.

The second section illustrates case studies of investments made by donors, financial institutions, private actors and States that could or already have led to grabbing of indigenous peoples’ land in Tanzania, Kenya, Central India, Myanmar, Colombia,  Argentina, Chile and Russia. It also maps out the relevant existing national laws and regulations in place in these countries.

The third section focuses on the law and how international law could be used in the context of current land grabbing. This section concentrates on international human rights law but also on other legislation on investments treaties, arbitration and other legal initiatives that is relevant to understanding how land grabbing touches on many areas of the legal framework. This section also focuses on the business and human rights approach currently being developed by the United Nations in order to evaluate its relevance in the context of land grabbing.

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About IWGIA

IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

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