Crimes against the home are commonplace in situations of armed conflict, both international and national in origin, as well as in non-conflict settings where the perpetrators of such abuses target housing, land and property assets as a means of securing economic gain or simply sowing terror in the hearts and minds of those victimised by these crimes. For too long these particular actions – forced displacement, the wanton destruction of property, land theft/grabbing, unlawful expropriation of land, ethnic cleansing, deprivation of basic services crucial for life such as water and electricity, and so many others – have been treated as unfortunate side effects of conflict, political transition or processes of economic development, rather than as the crimes these acts so clearly constitute.

International law is becoming ever more precise as to which practices constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes, and this publication – prepared by DS legal consultant Ezekiel Simperingham – outlines which acts and omissions satisfy the criteria for being labelled as such crimes, and more importantly, the judicial and other avenues that are now available to provide redress for this misdeeds. To access a copy of this publication, click here.