Land Rights

Activists Urge UN to Independently Investigate Alleged War Crimes in Sri Lanka

As the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) opens its 30th session in Geneva this week, 62 leading human rights activists have signed an open letter calling on the world body to ensure justice, truth and peace in Sri Lanka, where the unhealed wounds of three decades of war continue to plague the country's 20 million people.

The Growing Case Against the G8’s ‘Responsible Investors’

The multibillion-dollar New Alliance initiative which promises to transform the continent’s food systems is facing rising opposition from African farmers. 

Based in the Morogoro region of Tanzania, Kilombero Plantations Limited (KPL) operates a 5,800 hectare rice plantation and buys produce from local farmers. It has recently become East Africa’s primary rice producer.

Paving the Road to End Poverty Everywhere

Can you imagine a world truly free from poverty? What would the roadmap to get there look like?

The soon-to-be-accepted Sustainable Development Goals aim to pave this road, beginning with Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere. I like an ambitious goal, and this is nothing if not ambitious.

But is it achievable? And, if so, what will it take to achieve it?

Your Call: Why are Wall Street Investors Buying More Farmland?

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On the August 27th edition of Your Call, we’re talking about growing interest in agriculture investments.

Farmland has become increasingly attractive to investors in recent years. Investors made up nearly a quarter of Iowa farmland purchases in 2009. In Africa the demand is especially high, with investors gaining millions of acres in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Sudan.  What could this mean for rural communities and our food system? 


Director Sauper Talks ‘We Come As Friends,’ Creative Non-Fiction Cinema, and the Geography of Colonialism

About a year before the 2010 South Sudanese general election, documentary filmmaker Hubert Sauper boarded a lightweight plane that he’d built in France himself and headed to rural South Sudan to make a movie. He was interested in investigating what traces of colonialism still existed in Africa and what its present-day effects are.

Eminent Persons Call for International Judicial Process

A group of eminent persons from various countries has called upon the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to establish an international independent judicial process under UN auspices to go into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.

In an open letter, the group contended that “very little has changed” since the Council adopted a resolution in March 2014, setting up an international investigation into allegations of crimes committed during and since the war through the Office of the UN High Commissioner’s Investigation on Sri Lanka or OISL.

The Land Battle: 15 Organizations Defending Land Rights

The increasing trend of international land grabbing—when governments and private firms invest in or purchase large tracts of land in other countries for the purpose of agricultural production and export—can have serious environmental and social consequences. Investors claim that land grabs can help alleviate the world food crisis by tapping into a country’s ‘unused’ agricultural potential, but such investments often do more harm than good, disrupting traditional land use and leaving half a billion family farmers vulnerable to exploitation.

Wall Street Investors Buying Up Farmland

WASHINGTON – For farmers gearing up to harvest millions of acres of land this fall in the face of low commodity prices, the rows of corn, soybeans and other crops have long been viewed as key to their survival.

But increasingly those same acres are drawing the attention of Wall Street investors looking to tap into those fields for profit.

Investors have turned to farmland as part of a sweeping push into physical assets — everything from lumber, hotels and apartments to parking meters, bridges and highways.

Eminent Rights Activists Write to UNHRC on Sri Lanka

Over 50 eminent citizens from across the world today in a letter asked the UN Human Rights Council to show courage and consistency when it discusses a report this week on human rights in Sri Lanka and help bring justice to the war crime victims of the country. 

Request from UNHRC: Ensure Justice, Truth and Peace for All in Sri Lanka

An open letter from a group of eminent citizens to member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to ensure justice, truth and peace for all in Sri Lanka.

See full letter here