Reparations, Land and Natural Resources

C. Kruckow | C. Schraml | S. Servaes
FriEnt | 2014

Reparations, Land and Natural Resources
Workshop Report | 14 February 2014

Loss of land, displacement and eviction, changed land ownership and tenure patterns and general loss of access to a broad range of natural resources may be consequences of wars and violent conflicts. Climate change, environmental degradation, large-scale investments, urbanisation and industrialisation sometimes have similar effects as well. As access to land and natural resources forms the livelihood base in most developing countries, the loss of access to these resources puts lives at risk.

Reparations, including restitution and compensation schemes, are crucial for reconstruction, rehabilitation and development after war or violent conflicts. Hence, the ‘right to reparations’ constitutes one of the pillars of Transitional Justice (TJ), which proposes various mechanisms to deal with past atrocities. In practice, however, these mechanisms often deal primarily with mass violations of physical integrity. Loss of land and natural resources seldom have a prominent role in TJ mechanisms1, although compensation for the losses resulting from war and violence is considered an important step in coming to terms with the violent past and in securing livelihoods for local communities and a broad range of victim groups.

There are various linkages between development cooperation in post-conflict contexts and Transitional Justice (TJ). The international conference ‘New Horizons - Linking Development Cooperation and Transitional Justice for Sustainable Peace’, which took place in Berlin in 2010, thematically linked TJ and classic development sectors such as health, education, land and resources. As a follow-up to this conference, FriEnt explores in more depth the nexus between TJ, particularly aspects of reparations, and land and related natural resources.

The FriEnt Workshop on Reparations, Land and Natural Resources with Ruben Carranza, Director of the Reparative Justice Program at the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), starts from his rich experience with reparations in the field of TJ, and identifies lessons learned, including major challenges and best practices, for contexts of violations linked to natural resources and land.

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