Land, Property and Reparations Division (LPR)
Land, property and reparations issues play an ever increasing role in reconciliation, peace-building and reconstruction efforts and are an important rehabilitation tool for countries in transition. The contribution of such programmes to durable solutions for conflict-affected populations is substantial.
As part of its global mandate on migration, IOM’s Land, Property and Reparations (LPR) Division under the Department of Operations and Emergencies (DOE) assists Governments to address severe human rights violations in the aftermath of natural disasters and protracted conflict situations giving technical support in the following areas:
- Land and property issues: IOM’s expertise in land and property issues in post-crisis scenarios include inter alia, the resolution of land and property disputes, increasing and protecting access to land and land tenure security for vulnerable populations in rural and urban settings and reinforcing land management community or State-driven land titling and land rights identification processes. Further, LPR is highly committed to sensitizing international and national actors to the centrality of land issues in post-conflict and post-natural disaster environments.
- Victim reparations: With respect to reparations for victims of conflict or serious human rights violations, IOM provides technical support to Governments and local and international stakeholders in order to promote locally sensitive programme design and the transparent delivery of individual or collective reparations measures (compensation payments, the provision of in-kind benefits such as vocational training, access to health care, education as well as the development and implementation of symbolic reparations efforts, among others.)
LPR takes a flexible and individualized approach depending on the needs of its partners. The range of services extends from programme design to direct implementation and includes a plethora of activities (field surveys, consultations and technical assessments, policy advice and recommendations, institutional design, capacity building for implementing bodies, development of strategies, standard operating procedures, guidelines, IT support, etc.). In doing so, LPR relies on its extensive network of field missions, as well as its strong relationships with other international agencies and academic institutions.
LPR was formed in 2002 when the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future German Foundation tasked the International Organization for Migration with the implementation of the German Forced Labour Programme (GFLCP). The first large-scale reparations programme of its kind, it included a Property restitution component as well as the Holocaust Victims Asset Programme (HVAP).
Since then, the Division has developed and implemented a number of initiatives relating to land and property, reparations and transitional Justice across the globe.
In Africa, LPR supported the design and successful implementation of the Sierra Leone Reparations Programme (SLRP) (2008-ongoing). This programme provided material and symbolic reparations to over 32,000 victims of the 1991-2002 war. Called upon by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, LPR designed and implemented a technical Assessment Study, which covers possible reparations options for survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda (2014).
In Asia, since 2010, LPR has been supporting Nepal’s efforts to develop a national transition plan for implementation of a land reform and property return as well as a comprehensive and transparent reparations policy through the “Fairness and Efficiency in Reparations to Conflict-Affected Persons in Nepal” and “Catalytic support in Land Issues in Nepal ” projects; two issues that lie at the heart of the country’s peace process.
LPR also provides“Technical Support to the Compensation Board in the Philippines” which oversees the implementation of the 2013 ‘Compensation Act’ to Victims of Human Rights Violations under the Marcos regime (1972-1982). Further, with the World Bank, LPR conducted a joint scoping mission to assess the state of land conflict in Mindanao in the aftermath of the signing of the Bangsamoro Peace Agreement. The mission resulted in policy recommendations in a publication entitled “Land Dispute in Conflict Affected Areas of Mindanao” (2013).
In Europe, LPR designed and supervised the Roma Holocaust Survivors Humanitarian and Social Programme (RHS-HSP) (2003 - ongoing). It also provided extensive technical assistance for the development of a reparations policy in the former Yugoslavia through the document “Reparations for Wartime Victims in the Former Yugoslavia: In search of the Way Forward” (2013).
LPR delivers technical support and strengthens Colombian institutions to enable the comprehensive implementation of Colombia’s 2005 Justice and Peace Law and the 2011 Victim’s Law, landmark laws which provide land restitution, reparations and other transitional justice mechanisms for the more than 7 million victims of Colombia’s protracted conflict.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (MENA)
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, LPR has actively engaged in supporting the work of the Commission for the Resolution of Real Property Disputes in Iraq (CRRPD, now Iraqi Property Claims Commission, IPCC), which collects and adjudicates Iraqi real property claims, since its creation in 2003.
Further, in an ongoing project in Yemen, LPR provides “Technical Assistance to the Southern Yemen Land Remedies Commission” in order to strengthen the Government of Yemen’s efforts to address the historically entrenched disfranchisement and dispossession of Southern Yemeni landholders.
A cornerstone and increasingly popular feature of LPR’s capacity-building work is its training programmes, which bring together practitioners and policy makers confronted with handling land and property issues in post-conflict settings around the world. The Land, Property and Conflict Training Course takes place in Washington, DC; and the Land Conflict, Peace Making and Post-Conflict Peace Building Course takes place in New York.