Bridging the HLP Gap -
The Need to Effectively Address Housing, Land and Property Rights
During Peace Negotiations and in the Context of Refugee/IDP Return:
Preliminary Recommendations to the Government of Myanmar,
Ethnic Actors and the International Community.....Executive Summary:
"Of the many challenging issues that will require resolution within the peace processes currently underway
between the government of Myanmar and various ethnic groups in the country, few will be as complex, sensitive
and yet vital than the issues comprising housing, land and property (HLP) rights. Viewed in terms of the rights of
the sizable internally displaced person (IDP) and refugee populations who will be affected by the eventual peace
agreements, and within the broader political reform process, HLP rights will need to form a key part of all of the
ongoing moves to secure a sustainable peace, and be a key ingredient within all activities dedicated to ending
displacement in Myanmar today.
The Government Myanmar (including the military) and its various ethnic negotiating partners – just as with all
countries that have undergone deep political transition in recent decades, including those emerging from lengthy
conflicts – need to fully appreciate and comprehend the nature and scale of the HLP issues that have emerged
in past decades, how these have affected and continue to affect the rights and perspectives of justice of those
concerned, and the measures that will be required to remedy HLP concerns in a fair and equitable manner that
strengthens the foundations for permanent peace. Resolving forced displacement and the arbitrary acquisition
and occupation of land, addressing the HLP and other human rights of returning refugees and IDPs in areas of
return, ensuring livelihood and other economic opportunities and a range of other measures will be required if
return is be sustainable and imbued with a sense of justice.
There is an acute awareness among all of those involved in the ongoing peace processes of the centrality of
HLP issues within the context of sustainable peace, however, all too little progress has thus far been made to
address these issues in any detail, nor have practical plans commenced to resolve ongoing displacement of either
refugees or IDPs. Indeed, the negotiating positions of both sides on key HLP issues differ sharply and will need
to be bridged; many difficult decisions remain to be made...
Authors and Publishers
Displacement Solutions (DS) works with climate displaced persons, communities, governments and the UN to find rights-based land solutions to climate displacement. DS also works to empower displaced people and refugees to exercise their right to return and have restored to them their original homes, lands and properties through reliance on the right to restitution. 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.
The Online Burma/Myanmar Library (OBL) is a non-profit online research library mainly in English and Burmese serving academics, activists, diplomats, NGOs, CSOs, CBOs and other Burmese and international actors. It is also, of course, open to the general public.