IOM, Papua New Guinea Host Forum on Land and Property Rights for Displaced

Capacity Building

Papua New Guinea - IOM, in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea, last week hosted a forum on land and property rights for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Present at the forum were stakeholders including the Government, donor representatives, development partners, civil society, churches and media, who discussed the establishment of a national IDP policy for Papua New Guinea.

Displacement in Papua New Guinea occurs as a result of natural and man-made disasters, and the impacts of climate change. According to the IOM Displacement Data, there are 75,449 IDPs in Papua New Guinea who were displaced as a result of volcanoes, cyclones, flooding and landslides.

Igor Cvetkovski from IOM’s Land Property and Reparation Department acknowledged the positive work underway in Papua New Guinea to address the plight of IDPs, noting that “Papua New Guinea has an opportunity to be a leader in this area and the solutions found could serve as a benchmark for other countries facing similar challenges to aspire to.”

According to a joint assessment between the Government of Papua New Guinea and IOM, some communities have found durable solutions such as in the case of Rabaul, East New Britain Province, where communities displaced by volcanic eruptions in 1994 were successfully relocated to Gazelle District. However, the majority of IDPs have fully integrated into their new communities, while others still face challenges finding adequate livelihoods, access to basic services and land which is the key to a better livelihood for most IDPs.

IOM Chief of Mission in Papua New Guinea, Lance Bonneau, emphasized the importance of working together to come up with progressive resolutions in addressing the issues affecting displacement in Papua New Guinea, stating that “Dialogue, partnership and shared commitment to find durable solutions for vulnerable groups is the key to addressing the issue.”

Participants who attended shared their opinions and experiences and drafted a set of recommendations for addressing both the immediate needs of IDPs and the eventual development of a government IDP Policy.

The Forum on Land and Property Rights Forum for Internally Displaced Persons was funded by AusAid.

For further information, please contact Wonesai Sithole at IOM Port Moresby; Tel: +675 3213655 Email: or Pauline Mago-King, Communications Assistant, IOM Port Moresby, Tel: +675 321 3655, Email:

Participants of the forum on land and property rights for internally displaced persons in Papua New Guinea. Photo: IOM