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1 - Introduction to the Issues – HLP Rights and Sustainable Peace

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2011

Scott Leckie
Affiliation:
Displacement Solutions, Geneva
Chris Huggins
Affiliation:
Land Conflict Research, Ottawa
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Summary

Housing, land, and property (HLP) rights crises are present in all conflicts and postconflict settings, and their management by those engaged in peace efforts can often be decisive in determining the extent to which peace is sustained and the degree to which measures of remedial and restorative justice are enshrined within postconflict political and legal frameworks. Conflicts are inherently complex, fluid, and multidimensional phenomena. The causes, forms, and impacts of conflict are perceived very differently by different actors (both “insiders” and “outsiders”) and change over time, so that they cannot easily be predicted or reduced to simple statements of “fact.” Nevertheless, the importance of HLP issues will strike anyone who has researched or observed violent conflicts in any part of the world.

In many countries, disputes over housing, land, and property, often with ethnic or other group-identity dimensions, are one of the root causes of violent conflict. There are many different types of HLP disputes, and disputes may be perceived, described, or categorized in different ways by different actors. Some disputes involve different claims to property among actors who agree on the tenure systems in place; in other words, they agree on the rules of property ownership and use, but some stakeholders think that other actors are breaking the rules. Of course, even when actors agree on a single tenure system, their interpretations of the tenure system may be different. State legislation may be outdated, unclear, inherently contradictory, or ambiguous.

Type
Chapter
Information
Conflict and Housing, Land and Property Rights
A Handbook on Issues, Frameworks and Solutions
, pp. 1 - 52
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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References

Bell, Christine (2000) “Undoing the Past: Refugees, Land and Possession,” in Bell, Christine (ed.), Peace Agreements and Human Rights, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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Helton, Arthur C. and Voronina, Natalia (2000) Forced Displacement and Human Security in the Former Soviet Union: Law and Policy, Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers Inc.Google Scholar
Huggins, and Clover, (eds.) (2005) From the Ground Up – Land Rights, Conflict and Peace in Sub-Saharan Africa, Institute for Security Studies, South Africa.
,Inter-Agency Standing Committee (2002) Growing the Sheltering Tree – Protecting Rights Through Humanitarian Action, UNICEF.Google Scholar
,International Council on Human Rights Policy (2006) “Repairing the Past? Refugees, Displaced Persons, Land and Property,” in Negotiating Justice? Human Rights and Peace Agreements, International Council on Human Rights Policy.Google Scholar
,ICISS (2001) The Responsibility to Protect (Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty), IDRC.
Leckie, Scott (2005) “Housing, Land and Property Rights in Post-Conflict Societies: Proposals for a New United Nations Institutional and Policy Framework,” in Legal and Protection Policy Research Series, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Department of International Protection, PPLA/2005/01.
Lewis, Daniel (2004) “Challenges to Sustainable Peace: Land Disputes Following Conflict,” in Symposium on Land Administration in Post Conflict Areas, UN-Habitat.Google Scholar

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