Let us Proudly Commemorate International Year of Small Scale Fisheries & Aquiculture - 2022

Protect Human rights and Land rights in Tourism Development

A round table discussion was held yesterday (03.02.2016) in Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo. The event as organised by the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement collaborating with Praja Abhilashi Network and PARL (People's Alliance for Right to Land) as the major event of fight on human right and land right campaign in the context of accelerated tourism development process of the government.

victims of tourism development projects around the country including Panama, Kalpitiya , Jaffna Trincomalee, Diplomatic staff from swiss embassy and several representatives from government including one from tourism development authority, representatives from tourist agencies and hotels were also participated to the program.

People stated their negative experience on tourism sector development and government agents      clarified their policies and activities as institutions and express their willingness to go ahead with this process with consulting people based forums.

The process of conducting awareness raising and roundtable discussion was started after conducting research in several district on effects of tourism development  on human rights and land rights of the people by the NAFSO in several districts of intensive tourism development activities are carrying out by the government.

Proposing 6 steps to be followed in tourism development process were discussed during the program.

STEP 1: The State Shall Fully implement the Tenure Guidelines on land, fisheries and forests through participatory, inclusive mechanisms that prioritize the rights and needs of legitimate tenure users, especially women.

STEP 2: Ensure the free, prior and informed consent for all communities affected by land transfers, and all kind of land use which are not initiated by local communities, including the fair and equitable participation of all groups within local communities, especially excluded and marginalized groups such as women, children, minorities, the elderly and disabled.

STEP 3: Review public policies and projects that incentivize land grabbing, and instead support policies that prioritize the needs of small-scale food producers – particularly women – and sustainable land use.

STEP 4: Guarantee protection against human rights violations committedby third parties, such as businesses. This calls for appropriate measures to prevent, investigate, prosecute and compensate for human rights violations.

STEP 5: Hotels, Investors and Travel Agencies should respect human rights and avoid negative impactsthat are caused directly or through their business relations. In order to assume responsibility, they should possess corresponding principles and procedures and act with due diligence.

STEP 6: The State shall take adequate measures to provide access to an effective remedy and appropriate compensation for the affected parties. In addition to judicial mechanisms, states must also provide non-judicial grievance mechanisms. Moreover, businesses should also provide effective grievance mechanisms at an operative level, or participate in such mechanisms.