Commemorating 10 Years of Action – the 2016 DS Annual Report

6 August 2017

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…...
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New DS Photo Essay on Climate Displacement in Lau Lagoon, Solomon Islands

3 May 2017

From 2016-2020 Displacement Solutions is implementing its Climate Displacement Land Initiative (CDLI) in five frontline countries presently grappling with the very real effects of climate change. Building on our more than a decade of field experience working on climate displacement issues, during the Initiative we are working with groups in Bangladesh, Colombia, Fiji, Panama and the Solomon Islands to identify areas vulnerable to climate displacement and land sites near these threatened areas that could serve as viable relocation sites for communities no longer able to remain in their current homes. Our new report focuses on one of the first places in the Solomon Islands facing climate displacement and the quest to find new land resources for those needing to move from their present homes. In late 2016, DS sent photo-journalist Beni Knight to Lau Lagoon on the island of Malaita to document the challenges facing island dwellers in the area. This report builds on earlier efforts of the Initiative in the country, most notably our groundbreaking work on Ontong Java Atoll, which were also spearheaded by Beni. Our report Climate Displacement in Ontong Java Atoll, Solomon Islands and our film on the same theme were some of the first efforts…...
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Major New DS/NRC Report on Myanmar’s Next Challenge: Making Restitution a Reality and a Part of the Peace Process

30 March 2017

Displacement Solutions and the Norwegian Refugee Council have called for dialogue on the establishment of a new nationwide restitution programme that would return homes, land and properties to their rightful owners and its inclusion in the peace process. The new report Restitution in Myanmar: Building Lasting Peace, National Reconciliation and Economic Prosperity Through a Comprehensive Housing, Land and Property Restitution Programme explores both the progress made towards ending practices of land grabbing and forced displacement, as well as pointing out the still considerable gaps between law and policy in the country and international law and best practices. Based on the extensive global restitution experiences of both organisations, the report takes the view that redressing housing, land and property abuses and creating pathways by which those affected can access legal remedies for these losses. Though some important strides have been made to address some manifestations of land grabbing by the NLD-led government, millions of people throughout the country and overseas, including refugees and IDPs, have not yet been able to formally reclaim their homes. The report argues that restitution must form a central component of the peace process and find a prominent place within any eventual peace agreements. The report continues…...
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NEW! DS & Norwegian Refugee Council Urge the Application of the UN’s Pinheiro Principles Throughout Myanmar

20 March 2017

Displacement Solutions and the Norwegian Refugee Council today released a new publication outlining how Myanmar could constructively apply the UN's Pinheiro Principles on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons (2005) as a key tool to resolve ongoing forced displacement throughout the country.  The booklet provides a brief history of the Pinheiro Principles and the full text of this historic document which provides  comprehensive framework for securing HLP restitution rights for refugees and IDPs everywhere, including those from Myanmar. The publication is accompanied by a lengthier Introductory Guide on Understanding and Claiming Housing, Land and Property Restitution Rights in Myanmar: Questions and Answers which was also released today. Later this month, a 72-page legal analysis of HLP restitution issues in Myanmar, prepared for NRC by the DS Director Scott Leckie, will be published. This report examines the current state of affairs regarding restitution in the country and concludes with five specific recommendations that can be implemented to bring the dream of restitution ever closer to the millions of people from Myanmar who still have yet to resolve their outstanding claims for homes and lands from which they were forced to flee. The detailed report explores the vital nature…...
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NEW! DS Releases New report on Planned Relocation in Gunayala, Panama

31 January 2017

DS has released its latest report on the planned relocation processes underway in Gunayala Territory in Panana due to the effects of climate change. DS has worked with the Guna people for several years documenting the challenges facing these communities, in particular the growing acceptance of the need to move from their traditional island homes to safer land on the mainland. Our latest report explores some of the hurdles facing the relocation process from Gardi Sugdup which has progressed far more slowly than initially anticipated, as well as the growing support for relocation from several new areas in Gunayala which are becoming increasingly urgent. The report was prepared the head of the DS Panama Programme, Carlos Arenas. The report can be accessed here: Gunayala Planned Relocation - Jan 2017...
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DS Turns 10!

26 December 2016

DS Turns 10! 28 December 2016 DS marks its tenth anniversary after its founding in Geneva on the same day in 2006. DS Director and Founder Scott Leckie reflects on the activities and victories of the past ten years, and what to expect from DS in the years to come. Dear Friends, It's hard to believe that DS has now been active for ten busy and eventful years involving an extraordinary team of dedicated HLP experts from around the world. From developing the Peninsula Principles, spearheading efforts to obtain land for climate displaced people, IDP return designs in Timor Leste, Somalia, Colombia, Bhutan and many more, carrying on-site investigations in Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Panama, Kiribati, Bangladesh and many other climate change hotspots, to HLP rights analysis and restitution design work in Myanmar, the publication of several books, inaugurating the world’s first law school courses on climate displacement, and scores of DS reports, producing films, building homes for climate displaced families in Chittagong, and so much more, this dramatic decade has been an exhilarating one. On this tenth anniversary of DS, I would like to thank all of our supporters for making this journey so productive and even sometimes victorious. Special…...
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DS Exploring HLP Restitution Prospects in Myanmar

28 November 2016

DS carried out its latest mission to Myanmar in October with a focus this time on the question of housing, land and property restitution rights and how best to ensure these rights for everyone with an HLP loss and valid restitution claim in need of remedy. DS and the Norwegian Refugee Council will shortly be reducing a major new study on restitution, which it plans to publicly launch in Yangon in January 2017. A range of restitution measures are already in place in Myanmar, signalling a major concrete outcome of the political reform process. The new study proposes a series of specific recommendations on how to move to the next level of the quest of restitution for all. These efforts build on DS' extensive global experience on designing restitution laws and systems throughout the history of the organisation. ...
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Latest Updates on Guna Relocation in Panana

28 November 2016

Orion recently published an update on Gunayala and the ongoing struggles of the Guna people to relocate from their threatened islands. The article which can be viewed here also outlines DS' work with the Guna. A report of the most recent research mission by DS to Guna territory will be released shortly....
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DS Documents Climate Displacement in Lau Lagoon, Solomon Islands

5 October 2016

DS has just completed a two-week field mission to yet another climate displacement hotspot, Lau Lagoon on Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands. The Lau Lagoon, perched on the north-east tip of Malaita, covers 35 square km of shallow reef. It is shadowed by the island of Maana ‘Oba in its northern reaches and exposed to the deep Western Pacific Ocean in its central and southern parts. Dotted by 80 to 100 coral man-made islands, each typically housing between 5 and 400 people, the lagoon’s security is essential to many lives. Increasing numbers of these islands are now beginning to lay uninhabited as residents leave behind destroyed homes and flee the ever-worsening consequences of climate-change. Although relocation to the mainland due to these worsening conditions has been happening for over a decade, there exists today a new urgency. Shortages of suitable land for relocation are leaving the people of the Lau Lagoon anxious about their future and that of generations to come. DS has been active in the Solomon Islands for the past two years, as part of our Climate Displacement Land Initiative and hopes to return soon to work the people, the Church, civil society and the government to find the…...
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