Scott Leckie is the Founder and Director of Displacement Solutions. He is an international human rights lawyer, academic, author, social entrepreneur, environmentalist and recognized as one of the world’s leading global housing, land and property (HLP) rights experts. He is the world’s most widely published author on HLP themes, having written more than 200 books, articles and substantive reports on these issues. At the age of 25, he was already being described by leading human rights scholars as an international human rights pioneer. Over his almost 30-year human rights career, he has carried out human rights work in 81 countries in all of the world’s continents with the exception of Antarctica. His interventions have helped to protect hundreds of thousands of people against planned forced evictions in popular communities in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Zambia and elsewhere, restore the HLP restitution rights to tens of thousands of refugees and IDPs in Kosovo, Georgia, Timor Leste, Albania and beyond, led to the recognition of the HLP rights of communities threatened with displacement due to climate change, and assisted in the fundamentally reshaping and significant strengthening of the body of HLP rights under international human rights law. He is also recognized internationally as one of the leading global experts in the field of economic and social rights, and is known globally for his work in establishing new human rights organisations and restitution institutions, as well as his ground-breaking work on substantive issues such as housing and land rights, climate change and displacement, forced evictions, housing, land and property restitution rights for refugees and displaced persons, human rights issues in post-conflict and post-disaster situations, the idea of a global property registry administered by the United Nations and business and human rights. He conceived of the term and the practice of ‘HLP Rights’ in 2002, which is now recognised as a term of art throughout the UN and the international humanitarian community. With nearly three decades of practical human rights work and innovative problem-solving experiences, he is regularly requested to provide advice to United Nations agencies, Governments, NGOs and grassroots groups.
In terms of work relating to the mandate of Displacement Solutions, he has worked for the past 15 years directly on HLP issues in a range of countries and achieved concrete results in many of these settings. In 1998 he prepared a Plan of Action on behalf of UNHCR for the possible return of refugees and IDPs in the Republic of Georgia and South Ossetia, including a draft Law on Housing and Property Restitution of the Republic of Georgia. Also in 1998, he worked with Bhutanese refugees in eastern Nepal to assist them in documenting restitution claims and evidence as a precursor to possible restitution. In 1999, he conceived and designed the UN Mission in Kosovo’s (UNMIK) Housing and Property Directorate, which to date has settled over 29,000 restitution claims in the territory.