Orphans’ Land Rights in Post-War Rwanda: The Problem of Guardianship | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
September 2005
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Covers orphans in Africa; the problem of guardianship; the Rwandan setting; post-war situation of orphans; children and the law(s); orphans’ efforts to assert land rights – land dispute cases; rethinking care giving for orphans. The 1994 genocide, combined with the impacts of HIV/AIDS, created 300,000 orphans in Rwanda. Many are heads of households who urgently need land-use rights, but a weakened system of guardianship and increasing pressures on land often prevent this. Traditional support systems for Africa’s 34 million orphans (including 11 million ‘AIDS orphans’) have weakened over the years. The situation is particularly acute in Rwanda, where even before the genocide land pressures and poverty meant that many families were competing for land. Orphans experience many practical barriers, including lack of information, status, and few financial resources to defend their land rights. Makes a series of recommendations to the Rwandan government, including formulating and enforcing land laws specifically catering to orphans’ rights and designing national land-development programmes with the full participation of orphans.

Authors and Publishers

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

Laurel L. Rose

Corporate Author(s): 

Carnegie Mellon University (commonly known as CMU) is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University.

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Mokoro is pleased to host the ’Land Rights in Africa’ site as a contribution to the land rights dialogue and related debates. This website was created in January 2000 by Robin Palmer, and was originally housed by Oxfam GB, where Robin worked as a Land Rights Adviser. A library of resources on land rights in Africa – with a particular focus on women’s land rights and on the impact of land grabbing in Africa – the portal has been well received by practitioners, researchers and policy makers, and has grown considerably over the years.