Access to Land and Productive Natural Resources

Burkina Faso - Man with Dry Land © Photo: Florence Kroff
Paradoxically, the majority of the hungry and malnourished people worldwide live where food is produced – in rural areas.  Half of the hungry worldwide are marginalized smallholder farmers.  Another 22 percent are the landless, who earn their income either as agricultural laborers or in informal sector activities in rural economies.  The lack of access to productive resources – namely land, water and seeds – is therefore one of the key reasons why people suffer chronic hunger and malnutrition.

Many individuals, groups and communities do not have access to land and other natural resources, security of tenancy, or access to agricultural extension services and marketing opportunities.

Women are often particularly discriminated against. Despite their high contribution to agrarian production, in most cases, women do not possess their own land or have access to relevant programs like agrarian reform initiatives and other productive resources such as credits or technology.

FIAN's Work

FIAN's work on access to natural resources aims to increase national and international awareness for the lack of or insecure access to land and other related resources, and to analyze the issue from a human rights perspective.  Apart from contributing towards resolving concrete cases of human rights violations, FIAN aims to develop additional human rights protection standards for individuals, groups or communities threatened by landlessness and forced evictions.

One initiative carried out by FIAN, along with the international peasants’ movement, La Via Campesina and others is the Global Campaign on Agrarian Reform.  FIAN also promotes the effective implementation and use of the FAO Guidelines on the Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests to support the claims of those most affected by hunger and malnutrition.


    Read the blog: Land Rights In Troubled Waters

Latest news

Report | 23-02-2015
Agrarian ReformExtraterritorial ObligationsLand GrabbingNatural Resources

Haki Zetu: Land and Human Rights

   Read more

News | 23-02-2015
Land GrabbingPeasants' RightsWaterAgrarian Reform

Dealing in Africa with land issues in a human rights perspective

A new Haki Zetu booklet, co-published by FIAN and Amnesty International, on "Land and Human Rights" provides information and guidance on how to defend land rights, monitor land policies and violations, advocate, campaign and seek redress for land-related violations.    Read more

Press Release | 04-12-2014
GuatemalaIncome and Social SecurityJusticiabilityMonitoring and Accountability

International Mission in Guatemala presents preliminary findings

The Third International Mission on the Right to Food and the situation of Human Rights Defenders was held from 21 November 3 to December 2014 in Guatemala, presenting a number of preliminary findings.    Read more

News | 12-11-2014
EcuadorSwedenIndigenous PeoplesExtraterritorial Obligations

Ecuadorian human rights defender visits Sweden

FIAN Sweden hosts the Indigenous leader Miriam Chuchuca from Kimsakocha (Ecuador) this month in a national tour to raise awareness about the ten-year long struggle of the communities against the establishment of a mine in the wetlands of Kimsakocha.    Read more

News | 01-10-2014
UgandaZambiaExtraterritorial ObligationsNatural Resources

Regional workshop explores role of foreign actors in access to natural resources in Africa

Civil society organizations and academics gathered on August 18-19 in a regional workshop in Kampala (Uganda) to discuss States’ extraterritorial obligations in relation to access to natural resources in East Africa and Africa.    Read more

News | 12-09-2014
CambodiaExtraterritorial ObligationsGlobal GovernanceNatural Resources

Communities in Cambodia lack access to their natural resources

A latest publication by FIAN Germany for Hands Off the Land Alliance questions the impact of the sugar industry and the EU trade initiative in Cambodia    Read more

Report | 12-09-2014
CambodiaExtraterritorial ObligationsGlobal GovernanceMonitoring and Accountability

Case Dossier: Cambodia

Sugar cane plantations, human rights violations and EU’s “Everything But Arms” initiative    Read more

Statement | 24-05-2014
MiningGlobal GovernanceNatural Resources

Coal mining poses severe environmental and human rights concerns

European CSOs express collectively their concerns about the impacts of coal mining and encourage a series of recommendations    Read more

Statement | 19-04-2014
ParaguayAgrarian ReformNatural Resources

FIAN supports request for provisional measures for five prisoners – Paraguay

FIAN supports request to protect the rights to adequate food, life and integrity in Curuguaty case, Paraguay    Read more

Policy Brief | 24-01-2014
Climate ChangeAgrofuelsNatural ResourcesSeeds

Gaining control over our food systems

Fact Sheet on the right to food, agroecology and food sovereignty    Read more