Land as a Human Right

Priscilla Claeys, Lorenzo Cotula, Jeremie Gilbert, Cristophe Golay, Miloon Kothari, Veronica Torres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the human right to land from both a historical and normative perspective. It analyses the key developments that have led to the recognition of the human right to land in international human rights law. In part 1, it explores land as a key component of other human rights, such as the rights to food, housing, property and other economic, social and cultural rights. In part 2, this chapter shows how various international legal instruments came to recognize land as a self-standing human right. It discusses the various dimensions of the right to land and what this right means for different groups, with a focus on Indigenous Peoples, peasants and other people working in rural areas. In part 3, it explores current challenges for the implementation of the right to land, with an emphasis on forced evictions and displacements, its gender and intersectional dimensions, and the impacts of transnational corporations. The overall objective of this chapter is to highlight the benefits of adopting a human rights approach to land issues, seeing land not as a mere commodity, but as central to the realisation of human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook on Land Politics
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Mar 2023


  • Land
  • Human Rights
  • Right to Land
  • Land Rights
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Peasants
  • VGGT


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