The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre’s report, ‘Return is a Dream,’ explores the history of property ownership and administration in Syria and examines property related crimes committed throughout the conflict. This video highlights the history, research, and recommendations on property restitution in Syria made by SJAC. Some of the recommendations outlined in this report include a clear articulation of the rights of displaces persons, the creation of an international monitoring mechanism to oversee the restitution process, and the reform of Syria’s unjust property laws, such as Law 10 and Decree 66. Referring to best practices from past conflicts, the report suggests a framework for including property restitution in a negotiated peace agreement and for the implementation of a property restitution mechanism, and provides a list of recommendations to the Syrian government, the UN Special Envoy, and foreign governments.
Regardless of how the conflict ends, implementing a property restitution program will be integral to allowing millions of Syrians return home and securing long-term peace and stability. This is a reality neither Syria nor the international community can avoid.