Tag Archives: state property

International standards governing evictions from public properties

Last June, I posted on an inquiry about post-conflict occupation of public property in Iraq that was doing the rounds in a rule of law discussion forum on the US Institute of Peace’s International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPRoL) website. Since that time, I was asked to work on a ‘consolidated response’ to the query that took into account the various comments posted in response to the original query.

The result can be accessed on the INPRoL site. Below is a copy of the abstract:

This consolidated response reviews three human rights – freedom of movement, privacy, and adequate housing, as well as development standards on evictions, all of which emphasize the need to take all feasible steps to diminish the hardship to vulnerable groups resulting from evictions. It then describes a three factor balancing test, based on the human rights principles and development standards, which Iraq can utilize to ensure its practices adhere to international law and best practices. It is hoped that the presentation of this approach will be of assistance to the Iraqi authorities in identifying the most appropriate policies for addressing the issue of occupation of public property in a manner compatible with both international law and Iraq’s social and economic realities.

It was interesting writing the response as it confirmed my impression that human rights and development standards on evictions are fairly closely conceptually related even if they differ in their details and rarely reference each other. In making my recommendations, I tried to build on what I saw as synergies and encourage governments (well, in this case the Iraqi government) to give both sets of standards the weight they deserve.

Post-conflict occupation of public property – an important issue raised at USIP’s INPRoL forum

by Rhodri C. Williams

I wanted to inform readers of both an interesting rule of law discussion forum – the US Institute of Peace’s International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPRoL) – and an interesting discussion that has emerged there based on the following inquiry:

Iraq Health Aid Organization is working with the Iraq Ministry of Displacement and Migration to support internally displaced peoples (IDPs). One issue that has arisen relates to displaced people who have been living in public properties and are now facing eviction or the threat of eviction from government officials. Are there any international norms or standards that should control the eviction of people from public property, particularly IDPs who have no other place to go?

Many of you out there are likely to have some very interesting insights on this discussion – based on experiences in Iraq and many other settings – and I wanted to preface this post by inviting you to join it. Literally. INPRoL is a membership-based resource, but becoming a member is relatively easy. If you would like to be a part of the above discussion or are interested in other issues INPRoL addresses, TN readers are invited to go to the membership application page and sign up, naming me as a nominating member. Once you are in, you can look for “Discussion Forums” in the left-hand menu, click on “General Rule of Law” and look for the discussion on “IDPs and property issues”.

As a preview, I have posted my own response to the Iraq inquiry:

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