International Instruments Influencing the Rights of People Facing Investments in Agricultural Land
The focus of this study by Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi, Katja Gehne and Simone Heri is on international instruments that influence the food and land rights of people facing investments in agricultural land.
There are many valid reasons for looking at this issue from an international perspective. First, in most cases of land investment there is another state/region or a foreign company involved. In some cases, international financial institutions (IFIs) may be involved through their financing of investments. All these parties have a duty to protect and respect the food/land rights of local people. Second, agreements with foreign parties potentially overrule national laws of host states. Examples include International Investment Agreements (IIAs) between states, the investment contract that a host state signs with an investor, and human rights conventions of the United Nations, whenever ratified by host states. Finally, the problematic largescale investments are also caused by the structures of international trade law, comprising the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and other bilateral or regional trade agreements. This study links investment practices with the international trade regime and explores how more responsible trade regulation could promote more responsible investment in agriculture.