People-Centred Land Governance

Our collective goal as a network is to realise land governance for and with people at the country level, responding to the needs and protecting the rights of those who live on and from the land.

What does this mean in practice?

5 things you should know about our Strategy

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To guide our individual and collective efforts, ILC’s members agreed on 10 commitments in priority areas of action. The 10 commitments are an expression of our common vision, and guide ILC's work at all levels of action. They are a compass for our work, and we hope that they also provide a useful focus to others with a transformative agenda on land rights.
Respect, protect and strengthen the land rights of women and men living in poverty, ensuring that no one is deprived of the use and control of the land on which their well-being and human dignity depend, including through eviction, expulsion or exclusion, and with compulsory changes to tenure undertaken only in line with international law and standards on human rights.

Secure Tenure Rights

Ensure equitable land distribution and public investment that supports small-scale farming systems, including through redistributive agrarian reforms that counter excessive land concentration, provide for secure and equitable use and control of land, and allocate appropriate land to landless rural producers and urban residents, whilst supporting smallholders as investors and producers, such as through cooperative and partnership business models.

Strong Small-Scale Farming Systems

Recognize and protect the diverse tenure and production systems upon which people’s livelihoods depend, including the communal and customary tenure systems of smallholders, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, fisher folks, and holders of overlapping, shifting and periodic rights to land and other natural resources, even when these are not recognized by law, and whilst also acknowledging that the well-being of resource-users may be affected by changes beyond the boundaries of the land to which they have tenure rights.

Diverse Tenure Systems

Ensure gender justice in relation to land, taking all necessary measures to pursue both de jure and de facto equality, enhancing the ability of women to defend their land rights and take equal part in decision-making, and ensuring that control over land and the benefits that are derived thereof are equal between women and men, including the right to inherit and bequeath tenure rights.

Equal land rights for women

Respect and protect the inherent land and territorial rights of indigenous peoples, as set out in ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including by recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge and cultures contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment".

Secure territorial rights for Indigenous Peoples

Enable the role of local land users in territorial and ecosystem management, recognizing that sustainable development and the stewardship of ecosystems are best achieved through participatory decision-making and management at the territorial-level, empowering local land users and their communities with the authority, means and incentives to carry out this responsibility.

Locally-managed ecosystems

Ensure that processes of decision-making over land are inclusive, so that policies, laws, procedures and decisions concerning land adequately reflect the rights, needs and aspirations of individuals and communities who will be affected by them. This requires the empowerment of those who otherwise would face limitations in representing their interests, particularly through support to land users' and other civil society organizations that are best able to inform, mobilize and legitimately represent marginalized land users, and their participation in multi-stakeholder platforms for policy dialogue.

Inclusive decision-making

Ensure transparency and accountability, through unhindered and timely public access to all information that may contribute to informed public debate and decision-making on land issues at all stages, and through decentralization to the lowest effective level, to facilitate participation, accountability and the identification of locally appropriate solutions

Transparent and accessible information

Prevent and remedy land grabbing, respecting traditional land use rights and local livelihoods, and ensuring that all large-scale initiatives that involve the use of land, water and other natural resources comply with human rights and environmental obligations and are based on: the free, prior and informed consent of existing land users; a thorough assessment of economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts with respect to both women and men; democratic planning and independent oversight; and transparent contracts that respect labour rights, comply with social and fiscal obligations and are specific and binding on the sharing of responsibilities and benefits. Where adverse impacts on human rights and legitimate tenure rights have occurred, concerned actors should provide for, and cooperate in, impartial and competent mechanisms to provide remedy, including through land restitution and compensation.

Effective actions against land grabbing

Respect and protect the civil and political rights of human rights defenders working on land issues, combat the stigmatization and criminalisation of peaceful protest and land rights activism, and end impunity for human rights violations, including harassment, threats, violence and political imprisonment

Protected land rights defenders

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