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Undemocratic Land Reform Bill threatens peasant access to land in Ukraine

20 May 2020

On 31 March, in the midst of the corona virus pandemic, the Ukrainian parliament passed a historic and potentially catastrophic Land Reform Bill which threatens the right to land for peasants in one of Europe’s most trouble-stricken countries. The law lifts the historic ban on the sale of farm land, facilitating land concentration and land grabbing, despite tremendous opposition at national level1 . Following pressures from IMF and the World Bank, the Ukrainian authorities opened the land market, taking advantage of the vulnerability and powerlessness of the population during the COVID-19 crisis. Large corporations and preexisting oligarch powers are the real beneficiaries of this decision, whilst the rights or small-scale family farmers and regular citizens are destroyed. ECVC together with the Ukrainian Rural Development Network (URDN), Bankwatch and Eco Action denounce this situation and calls upon the EU and UN Institutions to play their role in ensuring justice is delivered.

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