Due to decades of political and economic instability, the management and ownership of land in Afghanistan is complex, characterized by insecure land rights and extensive land conflict. Approximately one quarter to one third of rural families own no land and a significant number live in landlord houses.

The Constitution, enacted in 2004, established a legal framework for property rights. The 2007 Land Policy clarified land rights administration and institutional authority. The Law on Managing Land Affairs of 2008 represents a direct consequence of the Afghanistan National Land Policy of 2007, whose main objectives are to ensure every Afghan access to land, the promotion of an efficient land tenure system, the promotion of the optimal use of natural resources and the efficiency of land markets.

Despite the new land legislation and policies, land rights in Afghanistan remain highly insecure, particularly in rural areas, because of disputes related to access and rights to land and water, competing interests over the same land, the lack of directives related to the use of non-agricultural land and the failure of the Afghan land law to recognize the ownership of off-farm resources. 

Source of the narrative

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen. The indicators of this dataset assess national laws against Section 16 of the VGGT standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in the VGGTs.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


    Latest News

    Indigenous representatives campaign to draw attention to the plight of tribes facing climate change at the conference in Paris last year. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

    If you want to tackle carbon emissions let indigenous people control their land

    Global leaders must acknowledge that land and forests owned and managed by local communities are more likely to prevent deforestation and deliver greater carbon storage

    In my native Colombia, the cloud forests of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta have been described as holding the most important concentration of threatened wildlife on Earth. These forests are also the ancestral home of the Koguis, an indigenous group now numbering around 10,000 individuals.

    Afghan women to be given 'fair share' in property rights drive - land authority

    By Zabihullah Noori
    Date: October 11th 2016
    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

    In conservative Afghanistan, properties usually registered to men but there are plans to issue joint ownership rights to married couples

    LONDON, Oct 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Afghan women should benefit from a project to issue property titles to homeowners in Kabul, where more than two-thirds of the houses have no formal planning approval, the head of the government's land authority said on Tuesday.

    Latest Blog

    International Women's Day - 7 women who refuse to wait for their rights

    By Rachel Crome, Digital editor at Amnesty International

    If there’s one thing we learned from January’s historic Women’s March, it’s that women are fed up of waiting. More than 3 million people – of all genders – marched worldwide for women’s rights, spurred on by US President Donald Trump’s misogynistic remarks and the growing backlash against women’s human rights around the world.



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 72

    Irrigation Restoration and Development Project Resettlement Policy Framework

    From the document's preface: "This draft Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) sets out the general principles and policies to be followed in connection with any land acquisition and resultant resettlement which will occur during the implementation of the proposed Irrigation Restoration and Development Project scheduled to commence in 2011.

    Resource information

    December 2010

    Country Study 1: Afghanistan - A state in upheaval

    Until 1978, the Afghan state was weak but stable. In contrast, rural regulatory structures that complemented the state have always been strong. It was only the attempt to establish a strong state on the basis of foreign ideologies and military over the heads of the rural population that ultimately led to chaos and collapse.Whereas the central state sometimes broke down, many state
    institutions in the provinces demonstrated remarkable resilience, leading to a definite nation-state consciousness throughout large sections of the population.

    Fragile states: What can we learn from the country studies?

    Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Somalia: these three countries stand for different histories of a fragile state.The author of this article analyses different case studies to determine the various causes, such as the role of ethnic identities, claims to power by clans and other sub-state groups, or the lack of societal representation within the governments. For the author, the greatest risk to a state is violence, which can quickly spiral out of control in a weak state and lead to chaos.

    Afghanistan: failing state - failing cooperation?

    Six years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is a long way from political stability and economic progress. The decline of state influence continues, especially in rural areas; because of the security situation, aid organisations are drastically cutting back their programmes and military considerations are taking on overriding importance.

    Resource information

    January 2008