27 MAR 2013
Oxfam calls for Land Law amendment in Vietnam to protect farmer’s rights
In its effort to push forward the revision of the Land Law in Vietnam, international agency Oxfam partnered with the Institute for Legislative Research and launched a community consultation programme to review the draft revised Land Law.
In Vietnam, one in five people currently live in poverty; about 8.7 per cent of households in the rural areas are food insecure. Land is a critical resource for the farmers’ livelihoods.
Speaking at the programme’s consultation conference, farmers and authorities of Long An Province said farmers should be allowed to use land leased from the government for agricultural purposes for at least 50 years, or indefinitely. That way they would be able to work with certainty of ownership and investment.
A leader from the district of Moc Hoa suggested the government should stop limiting farmers’ leases to a maximum of three hectares, a measure which restricts their productivity and hinders their ability to generate a sustainable livelihood. Under the 1993 Land Law, farmers can be issued 20-year land leases for agricultural purposes. During the term, they also reserve rights to transfer, lease and mortgage the given land, but when they borrow loans from the bank, they are only allowed to mortgage three hectares of land.
Oxfam and the Institute for Legislative Research have also organised consultations in the northern province of Hoa Binh, the central province of Quang Binh and the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.
The 20-year lease term of the 1993 Land Law is set to expire this year so a revision is needed. The Vietnamese government has also been compelled to amend the Land Law after several land revocation cases made headlines last year. The Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment has started collecting public opinions on the draft revised Land Law. The government will vote on the legislation later this year and is expected to implement the new law next year.
Oxfam is dedicated to fighting poverty and inequity worldwide. The international and independent development and humanitarian organisation tackles poverty in four main ways: sustainable development in poor communities, disaster relief, local, national and global advocacy, and education with Hong Kong youth. Established in Hong Kong in 1976, Oxfam Hong Kong is a founding member of Oxfam, an international confederation that has assisted poor people in 94 countries. Oxfam Hong Kong alone has supported poor people in over 70 countries/regions.