UN asks ECAs to ensure support for agro-land acquisition respects farmers' rights

(Business Insight, Manila, 26 November 2010) UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter says efforts must be made to ensure that foreign access to local agricultural lands follow strict guidelines in order to protect the rights of farmers. Export credit agencies for one should make support to investors conditional on respect for existing land rights. International human rights bodies should also carefully "scrutinize" how land ownership is transferred from locals to foreigners to stop unethical practices in acquiring lands, and to recognize the links between access to land and other basic rights like food, housing, and work, said De Schutter.