Land Deals and Human Rights

The Global South is experiencing a surge in foreign direct investments in agricultural land.  Prompted in part by the global food crisis, state and private investors are buying and leasing millions of hectares of farmland in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  IHRC’s 118-page Report, Foreign Land Deals and Human Rights: Case Studies on Agricultural and Biofuel Investment—which was prepared in support of the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food—examines both the immediate and anticipated impacts of large-scale land deals on the fulfillment of human rights in host communities.

Based on a year-long study, the Report includes four case studies that evaluate, in unprecedented detail, investments in biofuels, food crops, timber, and carbon credits in Tanzania, Sudan, Mali, and Pakistan—countries that suffer from acute poverty, food insecurity, and in some cases, are still in fragile, post-crisis transitions. According to the Report, these factors heighten the risk of serious human rights consequences for the host communities of these investments, making current calls for greater transparency and regulation of these deals all the more urgent.