USP Theses Collection


close this section of the library Land tenure -- Tonga

View the PDF document Women's rights to land in Tonga : a review of policy and legal framework since 1983 land commission
Author: Kuli, Loupua Pahulu
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Women's rights -- Tonga, Land tenure -- Tonga, Right of property -- Tonga
Date: 2016
Call No.: Pac HQ 1236 .5 .K85 2016
BRN: 1208973
Copyright:40-60% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This thesis focuses on the legal framework, Government policy, ideologies of human rights and social context in relation to women’s rights to land in the Kingdom of Tonga. It begins by tracing the history of land laws during the reign of George Tupou I, and later because these laws form the foundation of the current land tenure system of Kingdom, and then it turns to consider the Tonga’s commitments to international, regional and national human rights instruments, leading to, and completing with, a discussion of the recent developments, or rather non-developments in Tonga with regard to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which has still not been ratified. The thesis then analyses the recommendations of two Land Commissions established by the Government to inquire into land related practices and issues and to make recommendations for reform. The first was established in the year 1983, but all its recommendations, some of which would have improved the position of women with regard to land, were ignored and abandoned up to date. The second Land Commission was established in 2008, and in its Final Report in 2012 made recommendations which are the main focus of the discussions and analysis in this thesis. Nine of the recommendations of this Commission related to promoting more land rights for Tongan women. To date there is no aspect of the 2008 Land Commission’s Final Report that has drawn any official comment, inside or outside Tonga, or indeed, much public comment. The nine recommendations contained in the report of the 2008 Land Commission were the main focus of a public survey conducted as part of this thesis, and described in Chapter 7. The purpose of this survey was to find out the view of the commoners and estate holders as to whether or not they support these nine recommendations of the 2008 Land Commission and also to seek their views more generally about rights of women to land. This thesis concludes with a discussion of some of the important factors relating to promoting of women’s rights to land in Tonga, including, in particular, Tonga’s culture, traditions and social system, the commitments Tonga made to international, regional and national gender equity instruments and the shortage of land for distribution, and comes to a close with some recommendations for a way forward for the promotion of women’s rights to land in Tonga.
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