A small scale model built by 14-year-old Syrian Mohamed Qutaish, representing the way he imagines the reconstruction of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria, August 31, 2015. 

© 2015 Reuters
 
(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer guide on Syria’s new property law, Law No. 10 of 2018. The law, passed by the Syrian government on April 2, 2018, empowers the government to create redevelopment zones across Syria by decree, with extensive and in some cases formidable requirements for property owners or tenants to qualify to remain or to be compensated when they are required to move for redevelopment.
 

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The question-and-answer document breaks down the law’s provisions, discusses concerns about its potential application, and examines what donors and countries looking to support reconstruction and recovery should take into account in making their financing decisions. 

“Law 10 is a worrisome addition to the Syrian government’s arsenal of ‘urban planning laws’ that it has used to confiscate property without due process or compensation,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Countries and donors supporting reconstruction in Syria have a responsibility to consider the obstacles this law poses to returning for millions of displaced Syrians.