Ten Years of Action

It is hard to believe that DS has now been active for ten busy and eventful years. This has been quite a ride for our (intentionally) small and flexible organisation, and one involving an wonderful team of dedicated HLP experts from around the world working in a range of displacement hotspots. From developing the Peninsula Principles, to spearheading global efforts to obtain land for climate displaced people, developing IDP return designs in Timor Leste, Somalia, Colombia, Bhutan and many more, carrying on-site investigations in Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Panama, Kiribati, Bangladesh and other climate change-affected areas, to conducting HLP rights analysis and restitution design work in Myanmar, advising the UN on HLP issues in Syria, publishing several books, inaugurating the world’s first law school courses on climate displacement, and writing DS reports, producing films, building homes for climate displaced families in Chittagong, and so much more, this first DS decade has been an exhilarating one.

Since our founding on 28 December 2006, DS has worked in some 35 countries to assist in finding rights-based solutions to forced displacement in all of its forms. Besides our legal experts, we have had the honour of working with villagers, community leaders, grassroots groups and NGOs across the globe, all of us working together to find viable ways of preventing and repairing displacement. Our work was initially focused on voluntary repatriation, return and housing, land and property restitution for IDPs and refugees, but has since expanded to a primary, but not exclusive, focus on climate displacement. We remain one of too few international NGOs focusing on actively preventing and repairing climate displacement through approaches that are rights-based, led by the communities affected and carried out in a wholly bottom-up approach. One of our main added values is the assistance we provide to affected communities to strengthen their hands in negotiations with their own governments to achieve better and more sustainable solutions for the ever-growing number of people forced to leave their homes and lands because of climate change. We look forward to continuing to expand this work in the years to come.

Read the full report here: DS Annual Report 2016