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  • Reply to: Will forcibly displaced Syrians get their land back?   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for your reply. Already working my mind around the How we can make to happen. Digital and Funding are 2 CSF's. Surely, we can get it off when smart minds like you labor to find the right solutions. I will be privileged to contribute to my People, motherland and beloved SYRIA.

    Already sent a msg through blog Contact web form containing my email address to progress our discussion offline.

    Best regards.
    Omar.

  • Reply to: Will forcibly displaced Syrians get their land back?   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Hello Omar. I agree - and we are trying to start a process. We hope to soon launch a survey of Syrian refugees that will involve collecting information about the status of land tenure at the time of displacement, what documents they may have that demonstrate land rights, and what may have happened to the land since displacement. In terms of other conflict situations, I'd recommend looking at the Bosnia, Kosovo and Colombia examples. For a non-conflict situation, the South Africa experience is informative as well.

    I would be happy to continue the discussion off-line if you send me some contact details.

    Best,

    Paul

  • Reply to: Will forcibly displaced Syrians get their land back?   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Hi Paul and thanks for the post.

    I think it is very timely and urgent subject.

    I would advocate starting the process of authenticating owners and land/ property title holdings now. Why should we wait until post conflict to deal with this ? Certainly, a very tight policy framework would need to be defined and applied. At least Owners would have a headstart so that when the conflict is settled hopefully sooner than later ownership rights in question would be adjudicated and clear.

    I am very much interested to learn about the processes used to clear ownership claims in other conflict situation, and pleased to discuss offline collaboration to make this happen in Syria today!

    Thanks.
    Omar.

  • Reply to: Will forcibly displaced Syrians get their land back?   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Thanks for the comment, Ben. And I agree. My experience from Bosnia was that many displaced did not return, even with a functioning restitution mechanism. The reasons were varied: security; access to public services; fear of discrimination; lack of economic opportunities; or simply that they had developed lives elsewhere. One comprehensive survey of displaced persons in Colombia found only 20% of respondents wanted to return to their former homes. That is why ultimately it is advantageous to have options for restitution, including restitution in-kind and financial compensation, to ensure those that do not want to return also benefit.

  • Reply to: Will forcibly displaced Syrians get their land back?   4 weeks 1 day ago

    The lessons from Zimbabwe are also pertinent here. Even if the legal framework allows for comprehensive restitution, who will come back after all the hardship and the time taken to create a new life in another country?