last updated December 2014
In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women's Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at www.endvawnow.org.
Definition of Property Grabbing and Adverse Possession
Legislation should also address other insidious forms of property grabbing, such as adverse possession tactics. Legislation should describe adverse possession as an act by which one party possesses the land of another until she or he can claim legal title to it. Generally, the elements may require possession to be real, open, notorious, exclusive, hostile, under the guise of a claim or right, continuous and uninterrupted for a specific time period. Drafters should ensure that a definition is sufficiently broad to encompass different adverse possession tactics. For example, the deceased’s relatives may plant crops on the fringe of a widow’s land to shift boundaries which may constitute an attempt to adversely possess a portion of her land.
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