Land and Natural Resources

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This case concerns the leasing of tribal lands for mining and industrial purposes.  The State of Andhra Pradesh granted leases to several non-tribal persons to mine tribal lands.  Samatha, a group representing the rights of affected tribal persons, filed a petition in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh arguing that the granting of leases to tribal lands to non-tribal persons for mining purposes violated the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation (1959) and the Forest Conservation Act (1980).  The petition was rejected by the High Court and Samatha subsequently appealed to the

Yolanda Daniels is a domestic worker and sole head-of-household who resided for 16 years in a farm dwelling.  She began living there when her former husband was employed by the owner.  She and her three children remained in the dwelling with the owner’s consent after the couple divorced. 

In recent years, coordinated by the Working Group on Women and ESCR, grassroots women leaders have been articulating shared positions and advancing collective action on land and natural resources; most recently, via a second exchange and a series of contributions to the UN Committee on Economic...

The #WomenLeadOnLand video series features testimonies from women leaders of social movements for land, housing and natural resource   rights.

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South African Constitutional Court Protects Informal Land Rights Threatened by Mining Activities

The Lesetlheng community applicants brought this case before the Constitutional Court of South Africa on appeal from a High Court order evicting them from their farm. The Lesetlheng community is a subset of the larger Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela community. The Lesetlheng communities’ ancestors purchased the farm in question in 1919, but owing to the racially discriminatory laws at the time, the ownership of the farm could not be transferred to the Lesetlheng community.

Ugandan High Court Orders Structural Reforms to Guard against Forced Evictions

Five applicants filed this case in 2016, seeking: a declaration that the lack of adequate procedures governing evictions violates the rights to life, dignity, and property under articles 22, 24, and 26 of the Constitution, as well as state obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); an order compelling the government to develop comprehensive guidelines to govern land evictions; and an order seeking to recover costs of the lawsuit.

Colombian Supreme Court Rules to Protect Future Generations and Amazon Rainforest in Climate Change Case

With the support of Dejusticia, 25 children and youth filed suit against the President of Colombia, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and the municipalities of the Colombian Amazon claiming that deforestation in the country’s Amazon region and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions threaten their rights to a healthy environment, life, health, food, and access to water.

This past 17 September 2018 marked the first day of the trial for the assassination of Honduran human rights defender Berta Cáceres and the attempted murder of Gustavo Castro.

The attack, which occurred on 2 March 2016, followed powerful social protests by organizations and activists,...

Indian Supreme Court upholds gender equality in inheritance law

Gurulingappa Savadi was the head of a Hindu joint (intergenerational) family who died in 2001. In 2002, his grandson brought a suit to partition the family property, alleging that only Mr. Savadi’s widow and two sons were co-owners of the property upon Mr. Savadi’s death. The suit asserted that Mr. Savadi’s two married daughters were not entitled to any share of the property, since they were born prior to the Hindu Succession Act (codified customary/personal law), and therefore could not be treated as coparceners (persons who share jointly with others in an inheritance).