The displacement of millions of people worldwide presents
a key human rights and humanitarian challenge. For both refugees
and internally displaced persons (IDPs), the loss of homes and land
presents a serious obstacle to durable solutions and the restoration
of justice. The destruction, occupation and confiscation of abandoned
property violate the rights of such persons, prolong their displacement
and complicate peace-building efforts.
The restoration of legal rights and physical possession of
properties through restitution, or the provision of equivalent properties
or value though compensation, are essential forms of redress. The
failure to provide such redress is a central factor perpetuating
the displacement of over 2.5 million people in Europe. The Parliamentary
Assembly therefore invites member states concerned to implement
the “Pinheiro Principles” on Housing and Property Restitution for
Refugees and Displaced Persons in the light of Recommendation Rec(2006)6
of the Committee of Ministers on internally displaced persons and
relevant Council of Europe instruments. It calls on member states
to provide restitution for the loss of access to property, including occupancy
and tenancy rights, to provide adequate compensation for loss of
such properties where restitution is not possible and to achieve
these ends through rapid, accessible and effective procedures.
The Parliamentary Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers
to instruct the relevant body of the Council of Europe to undertake
a study examining European standards and practice related to restitution
of the property of displaced persons in European post-conflict settings.
The study should provide the basis for the development of detailed
guidelines by the Committee of Ministers on how to provide effective
remedies and redress for conflict-related loss of access and rights
to housing, land and property in Europe.