In this article, Siri Lijfering speaks to Namati’s Daniel Sesay and Legal Empowerment Network member Silas Siakor of Sustainable Development Institute, on how securing land rights can pave the way for responsible investments.
The author highlights how legal empowerment enables communities to stand up to exploitative investors and protect their land rights in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Daniel Sesay, a senior program officer with Namati Sierra Leone says, “Those who seek to exploit people and their environments often rely on others’ ignorance of the law to avoid accountability. When people are aware of how the law works, they can use it to defend their environment and seek justice for any harm they might have suffered. We are therefore training community members on the basic concepts of the law so they can negotiate a fair deal with companies.”
Both Siakor and Sesay stress the need for more community involvement in land governance.
“We can’t be there forever, so people need to take action themselves so they can claim their rights with investors and the governments themselves. All we can do is give them the tools so they can do this in the most effective way,” says Sesay.
Last updated January 30, 2013.
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Last updated: May 25, 2018
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1616 P Street NW, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20036, USA
If you live in a country which has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (EU; 2016/679), you have a right to lodge a complaint with your relevant supervisory authority about this policy and its application.
The Policy was updated in May 2018 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.