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Tackling the land/water rights interface through a human rights lens

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Document begins: Tackling the land/water rights interface through a human rights lens Lessons from a study on the tenure challenges of improving access to water for agriculture in the Sahel Lorenzo Cotula Land and water rights are instrumental to the realisation of fundamental human rights like the right to food and the right to water. Addressing the problematic areas of the land/water rights interface contributes to the progressive realisation of those human rights, which is required by international human rights treaties. Taking a human rights perspective entails bridging the gap between field-level work on land and water rights and international processes to promote enjoyment of human rights. On the one hand, this requires taking a rights-based approach in policies and programmes aimed at improving access to water for agriculture. A human rights approach is based on the understanding that the realisation of human rights like the right to food and the right to water is not only function of the availability of key livelihood assets - for instance, of water points and irrigation facilities. It is also function of institutions and processes that address power imbalances and ensure access to those assets for the poorest and most vulnerable groups. This ...

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