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Title: Killing to Protect? Land guards, State Subordination and Human Rights in Ghana.
Authors: Darkwa, L.
Attuquayefio, P.
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Darkwa, L., & Attuquayefio, P. (2012). Killing to Protect? Land guards, State Subordination and Human Rights in Ghana. SUR International Journal on Human Rights Vol. 9 No. 17. pp. 141-162.
Abstract: Since the return to constitutional rule, Ghana has intensified efforts to promote human rights. However there are several challenges with the promotion of property rights, especially with regard to land ownership. This challenge ,borne out of the tensions between the modern and the traditional state is exacerbated by the plural legal systems in place as well as the challenges of rapid urbanisation and a high unemployment rate, particularly in Greater Accra Region. The liberal market system promoted by Ghana’s return to constitutional rule led to increased investment in land and demands for greater security in land title. This led to efforts aimed at land reform. These notwithstanding, the inability of the state to enforce its rules and elicit compliance have meant that the land market remains a minefield. The consequence has been the emergence of private security service providers who employ illegal means of enforcement to protect land and landed property. Popularly known as land guards, these security providers are the nightmare of land owners in Greater Accra region. Using primary and secondary sources, this paper examines the rationale behind the demand and supply of land guard services and the implications of such services on property rights in Ghana. We conclude that the weak law enforcement capabilities of the state and rampant corruption in the land management institutions facilitate conflicts in land markets and encourage people to resort to individual security mechanisms. We argue that as long as such illicit security measures are employed, the state’s authority and monopoly over the use of force will remain irrelevant in the land sector.
Appears in Collections:Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD)

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