LATEST NEWS

New DS & NRC Report on Obstacles to HLP Rights in Northern Mon State

Customary Land Dispute Mechanisms in Myanmar - New Report by DS & NRC

The People of Myanmar Need National Agreement on Restitution

DS Comments on Post-Earthquake HLP Policy in Nepal

New DS & NRC Report on Obstacles to HLP Rights in Northern Mon State

Land in south-eastern Myanmar is a critical resource for the mainly rural population which is in need of greater safeguards within the formal, informal and customary systems of land administration. Customary law continues to operate at the village level, largely unchanged since pre-colonial times. While exhibiting many of the positive elements commonly attributed to such systems throughout the developing world, customary laws in relation to the resolution of land disputes are not always effective and equitable, and do not always display qualities which are consistent with rule of law standards. Deficiencies in transparency, accountability and equality have the potential to undermine the ability of marginalised sections of the population to access justice and obtain fair outcomes. Decades of military rule have exacerbated the structural inequalities experienced by Mon, Kayin and other ethnicities in their interactions with government authorities and the parallel administrations of Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs). This means that in addition to the large amounts of land-grabbing experienced by the population across Mon State, the avenues of resolving such grievances remain inaccessible to most poor rural populations, due to a combination of fear of authorities, language barriers, lack of knowledge regarding land law and dispute resolution mechanisms beyond the…...
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Customary Land Dispute Mechanisms in Myanmar - New Report by DS & NRC

This report provides an in-depth understanding of customary land dispute resolution in Kayin State, Eastern Bago Region and Shan State and its interaction with the formal statutory Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar(GORUM) system. A participatory community-based research approach was used to understand customary practices concerning land, including how land title is defined, enforced and how land disputes are contested, negotiated and resolved at the community level. Based on the perceptions of local people and village leaders in the three research sites, the report identifies current practices as well as prior work on this topic in Myanmar and seeks to identify ongoing dispute resolution mechanisms and practices used by communities in ethnic nationality areas with a view to informing policy and programming on restitution. Key to this analysis is the question of what a genuine restitution process might look like in Myanmar and how customary practices might be integrated into it. Furthermore, if a genuine restitution process was established, what realistic capacity is there to integrate customary dispute mechanisms and authorities into it. Based on in-depth qualitative research in 31 villages across 3 regions/states, it offers an insight into understandings of customary mechanisms that people use to…...
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The People of Myanmar Need National Agreement on Restitution

A new 76-page report prepared by DS Director Scott Leckie with the collaboration of Jose Arraiza of NRC, with the support of the Joint Peace Fund, outlines the components of what an eventual agreement in Myanmar on housing, land and property restitution could look like. The report, entitled BUILDING AGREEMENT ON RESTITUTION RIGHTS WITH THE MYANMAR PEACE PROCESS AND NATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK examines all of the necessary components that would need to find recognition within an eventual national agreement designed to ensure that everyone with a viable HLP restitution claim could submit these to an independent judicial body with enforcement powers strong enough to ensure the full enjoyment of restitution rights throughout all corners of the country. Millions of people with legitimate restitution claims have yet to be able to have these claims heard by judicial bodies with the power to enforce these claims to return to, recover and/or re-inhabit the homes and lands from which they have been forced to flee over the past several decades. The report points out that HLP restitution rights are widely recognised in international law, and that many other countries have adopted restitution laws and procedures as key elements within peace processes and the…...
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DS Comments on Post-Earthquake HLP Policy in Nepal

Displacement Solutions was approached and commissioned by DFID to carry out research on the housing, land and property rights issues arising from the reconstruction process, with an emphasis on the planned relocation aspects thereof. Displacement Solutions undertook a three-person mission to Nepal in November 2018 during which time extensive interviews were carried out, field visits made, and film footage taken for the production of a short documentary film which has since been completed. Based on this methodology, this report focuses on aspects of progress to date related to survivors access to housing, land and property either at their homes of origin, or through various relocation and resettlement schemes underway since government led reconstruction work was initiated in late 2015. https://issuu.com/displacementsolutions/docs/nepal_idp_and_hlp_paper...
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AFTER THE QUAKE

In 2015, Nepal was struck by a major earthquake that resulted in widespread death, destruction and displacement in 31 of Nepal’s 75 districts. Large-scale displacement ensued and with more than 900,000 homes damaged or destroyed. This short film looks at how the needs of Nepal’s people were addressed in the aftermath of this horrible natural disaster.

THE LAND SEEKERS

Our work around the world with climate displaced communities has shown DS time and time again that land lies at the core of rights-based solutions to climate displacement. This short film contains interviews of some of the world’s first ‘landseekers’ who work tirelessly in support of climate displaced communities everywhere. 

ONE HOUSE AT A TIME

Displacement Solutions has been working to solve climate displacement in Bangladesh. We’ve already built one small village, and we’ve  produced this video on the ‘One house, one family at a time project’ as an appeal to help us build another village. 

LIFE ON A VANISHING ATOLL

A new short film produced by Displacement Solutions chronicles the very real changes facing the people of Ontong Java, as they face an uncertain future. 

DO SOMETHING!

This short four-minute DS film about land solutions to climate displacement provides a short overview of why land lies at the core of repairing climate displacement and how much land the world will need to find solutions for the world’s growing climate displaced population. Check it out!

 

ABOUT
DISPLACEMENT SOLUTIONS

Displacement Solutions (DS) works to empower displaced people and refugees to exercise their right to return and have restored to them their original homes, lands and properties. DS works together with and on behalf of people who have been displaced not only by conflict, forced eviction or other human rights abuses, but also natural disaster, climate change or other circumstances beyond their control. DS assists in finding alternative solutions such as compensation or resettlement if this is their wish. Read more…

 

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WORLD CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT MAP

Climate displacement is happening today. Research carried out by Displacement Solutions since 2008 in all corners of the earth has revealed the worrying scale of contemporary climate displacement that is already affecting millions of people across the globe. DS has developed a world displacement map indicating where climate displacement is occurring, the number of people it is currently affecting, and other sources of information about these growing numbers of areas, all of which require greater attention and support from the international community.

The map below enables viewers to click on various climate displacement hotspots, and provides the user with detailed information about the particular challenges facing the affected communities. If you have further information about climate displacement in your location, please feel free to submit this to Displacement Solutions for possible inclusion in updating versions of the world climate displacement map.

We hope viewers will find this map useful, and we welcome any feedback you would like to provide, which you can submit to info@displacementsolutions.org

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working to repair CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT

As our name suggests, Displacement Solutions works on finding solutions to climate displacement. We are one of very few international organizations that works on this issue through practical programmes in the field, as well as through efforts to improve national and international legal, policy, and institutional frameworks. We are also the only organization that focuses on what we believe is at the very centre of solving climate displacement – land. Much of our effort is directed towards finding alternative land and housing for communities already facing or threatened with losing their homes to the effects of climate change. We work with a wide range of partners, including communities affected by climate displacement, grassroots organisations, governments, UN and other international agencies, NGOs and academic institutions.

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BANGLADESH HLP INITIATIVE

Bangladesh is one of the most environmentally vulnerable countries and is set to be even more so as a result of climate change.
Bangladesh suffers from regular and severe natural hazards, including floods, tropical cyclones and storm surges, droughts and landslides. These hazards are already leading to the loss and destruction of housing, land and property, severe disruption to livelihoods and widespread displacement across the country.The effects of climate change are expected to intensify many of these existing hazards as well as create new drivers of displacement. This will almost inevitably lead to further losses of housing, land, property and livelihoods as well as further forced displacement of individuals and communities. DS and its partners Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) are engaged in a multi-year Bangladesh HLP Initiative designed to secure new land resources for the growing climate displaced population in the country. 

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the ‘Where Will We Go?’ Exhibition

For the past two years, photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen has circled the globe exploring the consequences of rising sea levels caused by climate change. With support provided by DS, the New York Times and the UN Environment Programme, Kadir travelled to Bangladesh, Fiji, Kiribati, Panama (Guna Yala islands), Papua New Guinea (the Carteret Islands), the United Kingdom and the USA to document some of the areas hardest hit thus far by the effects of climate change.

The brochure is available here for this extraordinary travelling exhibition which is the culmination Kadir’s tireless work across the planet documenting the human face of climate displacement. The multimedia exhibition was made possible through the hard work of Kadir and his team, backed with financial support from DS, UNEP, Eyes on Media, NOOR, and the Netherlands Embassy in Lima. 

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CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN PANAMA APPLYING THE PENINSULA PRINCIPLES IN PRACTICE

A new DS report – available in English and soon Spanish – applies the 2013 Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States for the first time to a specific case of climate displacement along the Gunayala coastline of Panama. DS sent a two-person mission comprised of Colombian human rights lawyer Carlos Arenas and renowned Dutch photo-journalist Kadir van Lohuizen to Panama in April to work with the Gunayala indigenous community which is already experiencing large-scale displacement because of climate change.

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