Roundtable discussion: Displacement, dispossession, and access to justice in Syria: what can justice actors do?

Invitation to a roundtable to address violations of HLP rights: challenges, opportunities, and risks for the future of Syria.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021
10.00 – 12.00 CET

In person participation at conference center at Rue de Varembé 17, 1202 Geneva and online participation via Zoom.

Creating legal certainty and protecting people’s Housing, Land and Property (HLP) rights is crucial for sustainable peace and development in Syria and the region. Ensuring access to a remedy for violations of HLP rights can contribute to accountability and access to justice. In a context where 6.6 million Syrians are refugees and 6.7 million are internally displaced, the ability to regain possession of property provides housing and a source of livelihood, both necessary to support durable solutions to displacement. Dispossession in Syria is not only a consequence of displacement; it is also the result of a deliberate policy to push people out of their homes and communities and make their return more difficult. Despite calls by the international community to include the ‘HLP question’ in peace talks, the topic has rarely been discussed at a high level and with the attention needed. 

This roundtable will bring together individuals from the international and Syrian communities. Technical experts and government and civil society organisations working on HLP, accountability, and access to justice in Syria will discuss the scope of dispossession, its impact on displaced people, and what can be done to find durable solutions on the ground and to ensure greater accountability. It will highlight the risks that unaddressed violations of HLP rights represent for Syria’s future. The roundtable also proposes to explore avenues to support access to justice on HLP issues at the national and international levels, which remain among the few avenues for accountability at this point.

Keynote Address by Cecilia Jimenez Damary, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons.


  • Barbara McCallin, independent HLP expert and ILAC consultant.
  • Husein Bakri, former Syrian judge and expert on administrative justice in Syria.
  • Representatives from Syrian civil society. 

Moderator: Emma Beals, European Institute of Peace.

Please RSVP for participation in person to Kathrine Jesting at

For information in Arabic, click here.