Tainted Lands: Corruption in Large-Scale Land Deals

November 2016
ICAR and Global Witness (Olivier De Schutter)

Section I provides an overview of large-scale land deals. It assesses the trend at a global level and examines structural obstacles faced by efforts to regulate such deals. Section II focuses on corruption as a major obstacle to improving the protection of local communities and indigenous peoples whose livelihood, identities, and traditional ways of life depend on the use of local lands and natural resources. This phenomenon is largely understudied because corruption, by its very nature, is hidden and therefore poorly documented. Section III explores domestic legislation, international treaties and multi-stakeholder initiatives that have aimed to address various aspects of corruption and land rights issues. Section IV concludes by offering a set of policy recommendations targeted toward investors, banks and other financial institutions, states where investments in land are made, and states where investors are headquartered.