Land rights present a global issue for numerous people across the world. Land rights protection allows peace promotion, poverty reduction and food security, and it allows local businesses to boost the economy. When poor people have property rights, they can start businesses, become integral parts of their communities, improve their food security and ultimately break the cycle of generational poverty.
Global Land Rights
The World Bank emphasizes that these rights are also extremely important for marginalized groups because they are more vulnerable to poverty. In 2016, only 30% of land in developing countries was unregistered, leaving many individuals prone to displacement along with heightened risks of “poverty, hunger, conflict, violence, poor governance, and lack of economic opportunity,” according to USAID. The good news is that help is available for those with difficulty securing land ownership. Numerous organizations are fighting for global land rights. Below are just a few of them:
5 Organizations Fighting for Global Land Rights
- USAID: USAID works in more than 23 countries to secure and improve global land rights by establishing partnerships with local communities. USAID works to maximize efficiency and progress by supporting relevant policies, lowering costs and providing assistance for displaced communities. From 2013 to 2021, USAID secured property rights for 182 million people through policy work.
- Landesa: Landesa seeks “equality, dignity, and opportunity through secure land rights,” focusing especially on rural areas because the ownership of land is often tied to livelihood in these areas. This nonprofit works with local governments and organizations to develop property policies that will benefit the poor. This organization also posts educational materials such as reports, research, fact sheets and videos on accessible platforms. Adding on to this, Landesa prioritizes gender equality in all of its endeavors.
- Stand For Her Land: This campaign advocates for women’s property rights through a collective effort starting at the local grassroots level and expanding worldwide. Stand For Her Land holds leaders accountable for their commitments to women’s land rights, ensuring that these promises actually come to fruition. This organization prides itself on being the “first advocacy campaign of its kind to radically accelerate land rights for women from the ground up.”
- International Land Coalition: Joining citizens and intergovernmental organizations together, the International Land Coalition (ILC) works closely with communities to ensure their needs are met. The ILC has three main objectives: focus land governance on people instead of corporations, hold governments and corporations accountable and prioritize the perspectives of women. The ILC recognizes the third goal as particularly essential because women often have less access to land ownership than men. Improving land rights for women improves gender equality by allowing women to take a more active role in the economy.
- ActionAid International: Focusing largely on educational materials for the public, this international NGO supports numerous social justice topics such as poverty, women’s rights, the environment and emergencies. Moreover, they have also sponsored petitions aimed at stopping exploitative corporations and land grabs, authored news sharing the good news about the progress and posted relevant information on its social channels to educate and rally the public.
Land rights are important for poverty reduction, equal rights, food security and world peace. When nonprofits like these work to improve land rights, they also work towards a better future.
– Ava Ronning