FIJI'S land tenure system, often seen as a constraint to modernisation and development, needs to be promoted as a way of protecting the economic, social and cultural rights of its people against inequality and marginalisation.
Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji Archbishop Petero Mataca said if those systems were to be reformed, the overarching social protection ideals must be maintained.
In the church submission Archbishop Mataca said numerous studies had shown that development by modernising the economy often resulted in violation of economic, social and cultural rights because it negatively affected traditional arrangements of entitlement.
Where legal basis of access to resources changes from traditional institutions — through mataqali or clan for example — to property or other types of private title, he added the more vulnerable members of the community tend to be marginalised.
"As Saith concluded, these modern economic processes violate employment and food balances and are likely to have regressive distributional consequences."