Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2021
Virtually every armed conflict involves the displacement of people and the loss for some of land, housing, or other property. Yet the return of people and property has received historically inconsistent treatment in both international law and practice. Refugee and IDP return is a complex, multi-faceted process, requiring time and careful coordination of security, social, economic and political factors. Likewise, addressing property rights after conflict requires consideration of the many interwoven or layered claims to property, as well as of the multiple roles (political, economic, social) which property plays. Refugee and IDP return and the protection of property rights demand careful attention. However, other property-related issues are also critical for post-conflict rebuilding. These include consideration of the political economy of land markets, control of public lands and natural resources, and urban planning which encourages safe interaction and reconciliation. These must be balanced against the push for return and restitution, both in the peace agreement and onwards.