Housing, Land and Property Issues and the Response to Displacement in Libya

For both national actors and international observers interested in transitional justice, the rule of law and equitable development in Libya, the manner in which this issue is resolved will be crucial. In particular, while it will clearly be necessary to redress the harms done to UNHCR Libya  dispossessed owners in the past, the interests of marginalized and vulnerable communities that face the loss of their homes today must also be taken in to account. Given that some of the most at-risk groups in today’s Libya are IDPs and refugees, it will be crucial to include a humanitarian perspective in debates over how to address the Gaddafi property legacy and be mindful of the likely humanitarian consequences of the options discussed.

In keeping with these concerns, this report was commissioned by the UNHCR Office of the Chief of Mission in Libya in order to inform their efforts in supporting the national authorities in providing assistance and protection to refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Written by Rhodri C. Williams, independent expert, the report
consists of four key components:

1. A research survey of relevant laws and literature available describing the relevant framework for housing, land and property issues in Libya;

2. An assessment report of the specific housing, land and property issues affecting various categories of displaced persons countrywide;

3. Identification of issues and corresponding recommendations related to legal and
humanitarian support to displaced persons; and

4. Long-term recommendations, including identification of legal principles or specific
legislative reforms necessary to ensure respect for the housing, land and property-related
rights of displaced persons and minorities.