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GLAN to create working group on land grab accountability

A Lao villager walks by bulldozers belonging to a Chinese-backed company that is clearing land to build cattle farms in Champhone district of Savannakhet province in southern Laos, June 2016. (Photo: RFA)

Large-scale land acquisitions by private and public actors in poor countries continue to force people from their land. Land grabbing often involves multinational corporations backed by investors from Western states and research suggests half of all the land acquired in Africa has been carried out by Western companies. Companies based in the United Kingdom, the United States and Norway, for example, were respectively ranked the 1st, 2nd and 4th biggest land grabbers in Africa.

Given the human rights impacts and the transnational dimension of this issue GLAN has made land grabs one of its key thematic objectives. In collaboration with Eva Pils from the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London, we have conducted a mapping exercise to scope and identify the actors, norms and processes that could be mobilized or considered as part of an effective working group. The aim will be to build a vigilant collaborative network that is capable of contending with the complexity of land grabs and identifying impactful legal actions. Phase two of this work will now turn to developing this group. If you or your organisation would like to find out more about this initiative please contact

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