Land and Natural Resources

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Thanks to the advocacy actions of TierraViva, Dejusticia and others, on May 21 the Paraguayan House of Representatives approved a law for the restitution of the Sawhoyamaxa lands.

The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights launched an Issue Brief that discusses the dangerous work of defending rights to land, housing and productive resources

The petitioners are an Israeli Arab couple who wanted to build their house in the settlement of Katsir in Israel. Their request was rejected as they were Arabs and as the lands on which the settlement of Katzir was built were designed exclusively for Jews. Indeed, these lands were allocated by the State of Israel to the Jewish Agency for Israel which in turn transferred it to an agency that only sold plots to Jews. The petitioner claimed that the policy according to which settlements are established exclusively for Jews violates the principle of equality.

The Saramaka people, descendants of self-liberated African slaves, have been living on their traditional territory in Suriname since the early 1700s. This non-indigenous community lives in a traditional way by fishing, hunting and woodworking, and their relationship with the land is more than economic, but also spiritual and cultural. In 1986, Suriname adopted a new Constitution specifying that all non-titled lands and natural resources belonged to the State.

Mobilized by Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB), thousands of people affected by dams came together in 10 states of Brazil to demand a National Rights Policy for People Affected by Dams (PNAB) and to denounce the increase of the price of electric energy, during the International Day of  Struggle Against Dams on March 14th.

On behalf of Ogiek Peoples' Development Programme (OPDP), Minority Rights Group International (MRG) and the Centre for Minority Rights (CEMIRIDE) inform that the hearing against the Government of Kenya at the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights related to the Ogiek community has been scheduled. The case, originally scheduled to be heard on 13 and 14 March, 2014 in Arusha, Tanzania, will now be heard in June 2014.

The State of Queensland and the Commonwealth alleged that successive legislative regimes since 1877 (for Queensland) and the 1950s (for the Commonwealth) had extinguished Torres Strait communities’ rights to fish for commercial purposes, by regulating “control, management and exploitation of the living resources” within  “native title areas”.

On the appeal, the High Court held that such statutes were consistent with the continuing recognition of native title rights to fish for commercial purposes.

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) and Endorois Welfare Council (EWC) condemns the use of excessive force by the Kenyan police against the Endorois community in the Mochongoi Forest, Marigat, Baringo County.

On 4 January, 2014, the ESCR-Net publication, Land in the Struggle for Justice: Social Movement Strategies to Secure Human Rightswas launched in Ogoniland, Nigeria. The document, which describes several human rights strategies employed by grassroots organizations, was presented by MOSOP - a contributor - to community members at the conclusion of a celebration to commemorate Ogoni Day.

Human rights violations connected to the POSCO-India project must be addressed as a matter of priority by India and South Korea during South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s state visit to India.