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INTERVIEW: Land Rights and Internally Displaced Persons in Colombia

Daniel Maree's picture

In this exclusive interview with Senior Social Development Specialist Elena Correa, we discuss the results and lessons-learned from the project on Protection of Land and Patrimony of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Colombia. To read the background paper on the workshop click here.

Alec Wescott contributed to this post.

 © Charlotte Kesl / World Bank 
   © Charlotte Kesl / World Bank  

 Q. Since its inception in 2002, your focus has developed from “land protection” to “land titling” and “land restitution”. What is the difference between the two strategies, and what prompted the change?

A. Land rights protection was the starting point for the project because of the large number of population displaced. However, land right protection is not enough to diminish the risk of impoverishment of IDPs as was established as the main objective of the project.  According to the circumstances and the evolution of the project, land titling was incorporated to formalize these land rights of IDPs who do not have legal titles.

Land restitution was included in the project as a result of the enactment of the Justice and Peace Law in 2005. Land restitution is the ultimate goal in the protection of land that has been lost due to displacement. The project had gathered information since its start in 2003 that could be built on to achieve land restitution.  This is a good example of new emerging legislation and how the project adapted itself to the opportunities provided by this law.

Haiti Video: Six months after the earthquake

Natalia Cieslik's picture

We often forget that before we thought of Haiti as a place recovering from a devastating earthquake, it was a country struggling with conflict, limited services, and extreme poverty.

Haiti was on a slow road to recovery when the quake hit and more then 250,000 people died. For many Haitians their nation's double tragedy is far from over. Although there are signs of hope and improvement.


Haiti: Education for All from WDR Video on Vimeo.

Glimmer of hope in Central Asia

Nicholas van Praag's picture

Happier days in Osh Market
Photo © Nick van Praag

Osh was a bustling market town when I first visited Kyrgyzstan a decade ago. Today news reports describe a city devastated by killing, burning and pillage. I can only imagine the huge market placeone of the biggest in all of central Asiagutted and forlorn.

Many Uzbeks have fled or cower in what’s left of their homes. Traders are off the streets. The border to Uzbekistan, just down the road, is closed as are the bakers’ stalls selling delicious rounds of bread. But saddest of all, the complicity among the many ethnic groups that rubbed shoulders on the streets of Osh appears to have been shattered.

From Almaty and Bishkek to Dushanbe and Samarkand, I was struck by the way people from so many ethnic backgrounds seemed to get on so well.

After independence in the early 1990s, there was a greater premium placed on being Kazak in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan and so on in the other ‘stans. Some people saw this as normal; others as ominous. But what I observed on several visits to the region were people of Russian, Armenian, Korean or Tartar descent strolling arm in arm with people of Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uyghur origin.