Mekong Region Land Governance Project

Restoring Land Rights: Pathways for the recognition of customary tenure in Myanmar – Brief

Restoring Land Rights: Pathways for the recognition of customary tenure in Myanmar – Brief
This brief is a summary of the original thematic study. This study aims at providing guidance to civil society organisations and other reform actors in Myanmar about how to recognise and protect customary tenure in both policy and practice. Based on international experiences and concepts, the study outlines six options for recognising customary tenure with different levels of complexity. These options are not mutually exclusive, as each one may fit a specific context. International experience shows that good legal frameworks are necessary, but never sufficient to ensure that rights are fully protected. The effectiveness of these options in practice depends on a range of issues that must be kept in mind when drafting and implementing legislation, such as the need for interim measures, adapting to federalism, reforming state institutions, and so on. The proposed legal process for customary tenure recognition should provide flexibility for communities to decide if they want to follow such a process and how they want to formalise their tenure.

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