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6 - United Nations and Other Peace Operations and HLP Rights

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2011

Scott Leckie
Displacement Solutions, Geneva
Chris Huggins
Land Conflict Research, Ottawa
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The term “peace operations” is a broad one and encompasses several kinds of interventions. We take a broad definition of peace operations as an internationally mandated, uniformed presence, either under United Nations auspices or under the authority of a regional organization like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) or the Organization of American States. The responsibilities of peace operations toward HLP rights have been increasingly recognized over the past decade. For instance, article 22(5) of the Pinheiro Principles provides that:

International peace operations, in pursuing their overall mandate, should help to maintain a secure and stable environment wherein appropriate housing, land and property restitution policies and programs may be successfully implemented and enforced.

More specifically, Article 22(6) states that:

International peace operations, depending on the mission context, should be requested to support the protection of the right to housing, land and property restitution, including through the enforcement of restitution decisions and judgments. Member States in the Security Council should consider including this role in the mandate of peace operations.

Despite these progressive statements, however, in practice, much remains to be done to institutionalize HLP protection within peace operations. Awareness raising and training activities on HLP rights should be designed for peace operations staff, including military personnel, and would ideally be a mandatory part of pre-mission preparation. Peacekeepers may be required to protect civilian properties from destruction or looting.

Conflict and Housing, Land and Property Rights
A Handbook on Issues, Frameworks and Solutions
, pp. 181 - 212
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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