Housing, Land and Property in Conflict and Displacement Settings

Barbara McCallin

Abstract


Housing and land are the main things that displaced persons lose when they are forced to leave their places of origin. Once peace and security has been restored in the country, IDPs often find it difficult to reclaim their homes and lands that have been either destroyed or occupied by others. This is a common feature in almost all post-conflict situations. And it is a major obstacle to the establishment of other durable solutions. The tensions in property disputes pose a serious threat to post-conflict stabilisation. This article discusses the importance of issues relating to housing, land and property throughout the displacement cycle. Violations of the rights to housing, land and property are at the same time, both cause and consequence of displacement. The loss of shelter and soil brings new vulnerabilities for displaced populations that may jeopardize their health and physical safety and limit their opportunities to earn a living. The restitution of housing and property is also a key element to achieving durable solutions. The existence of effective mechanisms for conflict resolution plays an important role in consolidating peace. This paper will examine specific challenges to address land disputes in the context of informal occupation of land and will provide an overview of how humanitarian actors address this issue.

Published online: 11 December 2017


Keywords


land; forced displacement; restitution; postconflict

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18543/aahdh-0-2011pp29-40

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