Residents of Guangzhou new town’s last urban village battle against eviction

Angry Guangzhou natives in the ramshackle village of Tan, the last urban village left standing in the posh Zhujiang New Town, have stepped up their fight in court this week to protect their ancient homes. Four families from Tan appeared before the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court on Wednesday, trying to get their eviction orders overturned. And more than 200 people showed up from Tan and other urban villages that are seeing forced evictions without what the residents consider fair compensation.

Unheard Voices: The Human Rights Impact of Land Investments on Indigenous Communitties in Gambella, Ethiopia

Millions of acres of Ethiopia’s most fertile land are being made available to investors, often in long-term leases and at giveaway prices. Although proponents of these investments call them “win-win” deals, the reality proves much different. This briefing paper provides an overview of the human rights impacts of land investment and the villagization process on the indigenous Anuak community in Ethiopia’s Gambella region. The struggle of the Anuak in Gambella is emblematic of the struggles of other communities in Ethiopia that are being forcibly displaced to make way for largescale land investors.

A terrace house for £1 or £250m – Britain’s bizarre housing crisis

News in austerity Britain is not short on grotesque juxtapositions, but there was one this week that was just so spectacular that it couldn’t pass without comment. In the same week, terrace houses were expected to change hands in different parts of the country for £250m and £1.

‘We’ll throw you all out’ – Forced eviction threat for Haiti earthquake victims

Purported landowners use threats and intimidation to force people onto the street. Usually they have not initiated a judicial process to seek a legal eviction, and often they can’t even prove they have the legal title to the land they claim to own. In many cases, local police, judicial and municipal authorities are also involved in forced evictions or are present when threats are made. One thing they all have in common is the incapacity of central government authorities to protect displaced people from illegal eviction. Impunity of perpetrators remain blatant.

Accountability in Africa’s land rush: what role for legal empowerment?

This report, commissioned by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and prepared by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), is a step towards answering questions on constraints and opportunities in the accountability of public authorities involved with large-scale land acquisitions. It takes stock of evidence about opportunities and challenges affecting the accountability of public authorities in large-scale land acquisitions, and about the role of legal empowerment as a citizen-driven pathway to greater accountability.

Over 200 Farmers Risk Eviction in Kenya

Tension is high in Trans Nzoia County after more than 200 farm owners in Chepchoina ADC farm were issued with eviction orders.

Ethiopian PM Rejects Land-Grab Allegations

Ethiopia remains one of the world’s poorest nations, with its government attempting to attract large-scale foreign investment in a bid to alleviate poverty and create jobs to millions of citizens. Investors from India, China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are currently eyeing large tracts of land to cultivate cereals, coffee, tea and rice, among others. According to human right organisations, Ethiopia has leased over 600,000 hectares of land to Indian companies alone.

Locals need more legal rights in big African land deals

Large-scale land deals in can offer benefits, such as job opportunities, market access and infrastructure improvements, supporters say. But critics note that they also can lead to local people losing control of land, and can spur economic conflict in local communities.

Land ownership debate hots up at the National Constitution Convention in Zambia

Heated and protracted debate yesterday characterised proceedings at the National Constitution Convention in Lusaka as delegates deliberated on the issue of land ownership. A number of delegates demanded that land should not be recklessly sold to foreigners because it belonged to Zambians.

Criminalization of homelessness – local impact, global issue

As the economic crisis continues at the bottom end of the income spectrum, the past week has brought two victories worth noting, from the most humble of tent encampments to the marble halls of the U.N.’s Palais Wilson in Geneva.