Return is a Dream: Options for Post-Conflict Property Restitution in Syria

As the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year, it is still unclear what shape, if any, a post-conflict transition will take. Regardless of the conflict’s outcome, however, a fair and efficient return of the 12 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees will be a necessary challenge to overcome. Previous post-conflict contexts demonstrate that without clear processes in place, property disputes and continued displacement could lead to renewed instability. A property restitution framework offers a viable solution. This report provides an overview of Syrian property law, common contexts for dispossession, and a possible framework for restitution.