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II. Recommendations

To the Iraqi Interim Government

  • Ensure that the Iraq Property Claims Commission (IPCC) takes up the adjudication of property claims at the earliest possible time, in a manner that is non-discriminatory, fair, and efficient, and in accordance with international due process standards.
  • Ensure that all necessary resources are in place to deal promptly with the expected large number of claims.
  • Ensure that law enforcement resources are sufficient to enforce property restitution judgments in a manner consistent with international human rights standards.
  • Ensure that property records are freely accessible to displaced persons.
  • Conduct a campaign to disseminate as widely and as effectively as possible, in Iraq and in countries with sizeable Iraqi refugee populations, all necessary information about property restitution rights and procedures for submitting a property claim.
  • Ensure that there is a durable and equitable resettlement solution for Arab families displaced or to be displaced as part of the property claims resolution process, a solution that does not render them homeless and recognizes their right to choose their place of residence without coercion.
  • Ensure that property claims resolution mechanisms and resettlement programs fully address the rights of returnee women to full equality with regard to housing, property, and land restitution, in particular in terms of access, control, ownership, and inheritance rights.
  • Ensure that the housing restitution rights of tenants and other tenure groups as well as owners are addressed.
  • Ensure access to legal counsel for all persons affected by the property claims resolution mechanisms.
  • Ensure that property restitution rights extend to heirs of original owners, and clarify that claims are not rendered void due to the passage of time.
  • Ensure that compensation provided in resolving property claims is reasonable in relation to the damage suffered by the victim of displacement and/or illegal property confiscation.
  • Review and where necessary amend existing legislation to ensure compliance with international standards regarding the rights of refugee and displaced persons to return to their homes and/or receive compensation for illegal confiscation or destruction of their property.
  • Incorporate the principles of the Iraqi Property Claims Commission Statute into domestic legislation.

To the principal Kurdish, Turkoman, and Assyrian political parties:

  • Urge communities and constituencies to exercise restraint and refrain from exercising force or threats of force to repossess claimed property.
  • Discourage further returns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to former places of residence until property claims are processed.
  • Coordinate provision of humanitarian assistance to IDPs who have returned to places of origin but are living in dire or makeshift conditions.
  • Ensure that there are no further forced expulsions of Arabs who benefited from the former government’s Arabization campaign, in particular by the Peshmerga or other party militias.

To the member states of the U.S.-led coalition and the international donor community

  • Provide humanitarian assistance for those returning or newly displaced persons currently living without adequate shelter, physical security, or access to basic needs.
  • Provide assistance to the new government of Iraq to repair damaged housing and to construct or subsidize construction of adequate, affordable, and accessible housing for returning displaced persons and refugees whose homes have been destroyed or are no longer accessible, and for persons displaced by the property restitution process.
  • Ensure adequate funding and resources for the effective operation of the Iraq Property Claims Commission, including the protection and re-establishment of housing and property records. 

<<previous  |  index  |  next>>August 2004