Land Grabbing in Sub Saharan Africa. A Human Rights Framework to address State and Extraterritorial Obligations: The case of China in the D. R. of the Congo

  • Ute Reisinger
Keywords: land grabbing, human rights, food security, extraterritorial obligations, China, Democratic Republic of Congo


The size and duration of land grabs in Sub Saharan Africa are of dimensions never seen before. This work aims at using human rights as a tool to address the impact of land grabbing on local livelihoods. Findings suggest that land grabs serve the interests of investing governments entailing direct or indirect state involvement. In the majority of cases investments are characterised by a lack of transparency and participation of local populations. Land grabs cause loss of access to land and resources leaving people unable to feed themselves. At the same time those affected have no voice to demand justice. This article explores the obligations of host states under economic, social and cultural rights and examines extraterritorial obligations of investing states. The findings are applied to a case study of a Chinese investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The author argues that a human rights approach does not leave space for land grabs.

Published online: 11 December 2017


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Author Biography

Ute Reisinger
European Master’s Degree on Human Rights and Democratisation Academic Year 2010/2011
How to Cite
Reisinger, Ute. 2017. “Land Grabbing in Sub Saharan Africa. A Human Rights Framework to Address State and Extraterritorial Obligations: The Case of China in the D. R. Of the Congo”. Deusto Journal of Human Rights, no. 10 (December), 123-34.