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14 - Claiming Land, Claiming Rights in Africa’s Internationally Supervised Territories

from Part III - Social Rights in the Age of Internationalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2022

Steven L. B. Jensen
Affiliation:
The Danish Institute for Human Rights
Charles Walton
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
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Summary

This chapter reveals that African inhabitants of the United Nations trust territories – pivotal sites for the emergence of international human rights law – used the newly implemented mechanism of petitioning the Trusteeship Council and the General Assembly to claim their socio-economic rights by challenging their administering authorities’ policies on the use, ownership and distribution of land. In the aftermath of the Second World War and the UN’s formation, inhabitants of African trust territories sought legal counsel to reclaim, before the UN, lands that they viewed as misappropriated. Using contextualised analyses specific to the locales of land claims examined, this chapter considers the social, economic and cultural meanings of land that African claimants had in mind as they and their advocates presented arguments for its return to the UN in the 1940s and 1950s.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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