A Need For A Tenure Arrangement For Refugees On Customary Land | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2023
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-AJOLPGS-0000013
Copyright details: 
Copyright (c) 2023 African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences

Context and background:Increasing refugee crisis has focused most host states to integrate refugees with the local communities through land access to customary land whose land rights are not clearly defined and documented. So, the emerging research question is which tenure arrangement can guarantee secure land accessibility to refugees but also security of tenure to customary landowners to minimize potential land conflicts and civil wars in refugee host communities.Goal and Objectives:This article is a synthesis of ongoing work to securely integrate refugees on customary land while ensuring tenure security of the customary holders. Associated questions are: what are the refugee requirements for sustainable integration in land accessibility; what are the key features of customary tenure that impact refugees’ access to land; and what challenges are likely to be encountered while integrating refugees on customary land.Methodology:The methodology based on Barry et al.’s six-stage approach of the state of the art (SotA). Literature search for the relevant articles was from scientific database of Scopus and MyLOFT platform online databases such as SAGE, Research4Life, JSTOL WILEY, Taylor and Francis, Springer from 1987 to 2023. The key words used included customary land’, ‘refugee integration requirements’, ‘refugees’ land accessibility’, ‘tenure arrangements for non-citizens’ and ‘refugee-host community conflicts’. Lastly snowball search was also applied to identify more articles from high impact journals.The results:Results clearly indicate that despite the growing trend of granting refugees access to land, most available tenure arrangements in Sub Saharan African countries do not allow refugees to hold land which leads to insecure accessibility. Land accessibility only leads to sustainable integration if there is refugees’ self-reliance, peaceful co-existence between refugees and host community, and sustainable livelihood which all depend on secure accessibility to land. Customary tenure is characterized by land rights governed by unwritten traditional rules and laws, inheritance and membership of a known social group which are associated with tenure insecurity that adversely affects both host communities and refugees. The paper recommends a need for a tenure arrangement that can facilitate secure access to land for refugees but also guarantee tenure security of land rights for hosts on customary land.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Sophia Lukabwe Nagujja

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