Conflict continue to displace thousands of people across the globe. Losing one's home and farmland is not only a legal problem or a matter of statistics. It creates a personal trauma and a sense of uncertainty and mistrust in public institutions, neighbouring communities and the future. Displaced families suffer the brunt of war and need to find ways to survive and make a living elsewhere. They would recover their land, housing and possessions, if they could.
Communities in Myanmar have lived the longest active civil war. Since it declared independence in 1948 the ethnic Bamar-dominated central state has been in almost permanent war with over twenty ethnic armed organisations which sought freedom and control of their territory in places such as Shan, Kachin, Rakhine or Karen states. A small number of these ethnic armed organisations have signed bilateral ceasefire agreements and in 2015 a "Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement". However, there is no overall peace agreement. Significantly, unlike in other peace processes, there is not yet a clear agreement on the fact that internally displaced people and refugees have the right to return home and recover their possessions.
The Norwegian Refugee Council and Displacement Solutions have produced the report "Addressing Myanmar's Unsettled Restitution Gap" as a way to advocate and help find ways for such rights to be recognised and protected by all peace stakeholders.