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Tracing the Welfare and Livelihood Choices of Farm Households following Displacement through Land Recovery in Vietnam


  • de Wit, J.W.


Over the last two decades, an estimated 4 million people in Vietnam have been affected or had their lives disrupted by the loss of or the forced eviction from their land or though land conversion where the state decided that it was to be used for other purposes. Most of them are farming households, many of whom suffered negative consequences in terms of lower incomes, unemployment and a lower social status. Some may have managed to enhance their welfare, but on the whole there is little systematic evidence on the overall impacts they had to deal with. But it is certain that the majority of farming households who were displaced – losing house and land - faced a deterioration of their wellbeing and livelihood opportunities in the long run, and after the often limited compensation money had been spent. The problems Vietnamese farmers face here are expected to only increase in the future as large quantities of land will be recovered to expand infrastructure, industrial parks, residential areas, and urban-related facilities. This is increasingly controversial and contested, as seen in numerous incidents where farmers protest fiercely or even with arms against forced evictions, against what they see as insufficient compensation for land, the arbitrary purposes for requisition, and a flawed application of rules and procedures. Efforts are under way to adopt a new Land Law in 2013, which proves very complicated in view of the huge interests involved. This paper addresses these issues with a view to better understand the impacts of land recovery on farmer households followed by displacement in Vietnam in terms of their welfare, well-being and livelihood choices, while providing policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • de Wit, J.W., 2013. "Tracing the Welfare and Livelihood Choices of Farm Households following Displacement through Land Recovery in Vietnam," ISS Working Papers - General Series 50166, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:50166

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Annette M. Kim, 2011. "Talking Back: The Role of Narrative in Vietnam’s Recent Land Compensation Changes," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 48(3), pages 493-508, February.
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    land governance; farmer livelihoods; land recovery and compensation policy; Vietnam;

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