The operational tensions in using compensation to resolve wartime mass property claims

Middle East North Africa, East Africa,
McGill University
Ukraine Syria, Bosnia-Herzegovina,

The inclination to pursue monetary compensation to solve difficult large-scale housing, land, and property (HLP) claims problems resulting from wartime population dislocation as part of peacebuilding efforts has become common in recent years. Certain donors, countries, militaries, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and policy organisations see compensation as a relatively quick, easy, and conclusive solution to massive numbers of destabilizing HLP claims. This article examines such a preference and finds that while the international legal, human rights, and moral foundations for using compensation in this way are significantly developed, a series of operational tensions exists that preclude compensation from being the easy remedy it is often thought to be.

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