|▶Study Finds One in Four Worry about Losing Home, Property (2019-05-24)|
Property rights are not only about ownership of land. They provide reasons for people to invest in and develop their homes and communities.
That is what Malcolm Childress says about the importance of studying people’s opinions about property rights. Childress is co-director of the Prindex research group.
“You know when people have security and feel secure about their property rights, they’re more likely to want to invest in their homes to make long term investments in businesses to do the kind of things in agriculture that lead to long term crops and investment in soil conservation.”
A new study by Prindex found that one in four people questioned in 33 countries fear losing their homes or land. Most of the countries surveyed are in Africa. The others included Britain, Cambodia, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.
One surprising finding, however, was that the East African nation of Rwanda had the lowest property insecurity in the countries studied. Only eight percent of those asked feared losing their homes or property in the coming years.
Childress said that Rwanda has, in recent years, put in place a policy to document each property and to identify who has rights to that land. He added that Rwandan officials have created a system which provides legal protections to land holders.
These are the kinds of policies that will lead to progress on the issue of land rights, he said.
Three other countries had the highest levels of what the survey calls “tenure insecurity,” a person’s fear of losing their home or land. The three were Mali, Liberia and Jordan. Mali had the highest. Forty-four percent of those asked feared they would lose their homes or land.
Insecurity was highest in West and Central Africa and lowest in Latin American countries, the study found.
Childress said that the differences between countries were not as surprising as the differences between men and women within countries.
In the study, women were more likely than men to have fears of losing their homes or land. Women were about 12 percent more likely to be concerned about losing their home or land if they split with their husband or the husband dies.
Childress says elected officials need to direct more attention to making laws fair for men and women. He added that people’s concerns can also be affected by how well laws are carried out in the real world.
[April 05, 2019]