Global CWD Repository

Landmines and Land Rights in Conflict Affected Contexts

Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining, GICHD


Land and property are often central issues in the build up to conflict, in the strategies pursued by combatants and in post-conflict recovery. Mine action organisations are not neutral when it comes to land rights. Releasing land which was previously contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) and making it accessible changes its status. This inevitably involves land rights issues, even if the intent is to avoid them. Trying to avoid land rights issues can seriously compromise the return of displaced populations and affect the effectiveness and developmental outcomes of mine action.