27 June 2012

Ending the 2006 Internal Displacement Crisis in Timor-Leste: Between Humanitarian Aid and Transitional Justice



International Organization for Migration


Contents
List of Acronyms..............................................................................................5

Executive Summary.........................................................................................7

1. Introduction: The response to the 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste
situated in policymaking on internal displacement..................................9

2. The 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste: A brief backgrounder..........................13
Historical background............................................................................13
The 2006 crisis.......................................................................................16

3. Resolving the IDP crisis in Timor-Leste: From a humanitarian
response to the National Recovery Strategy............................................21

4. Devising the National Recovery Strategy: Pragmatism prevails..........25
From a broad-ranging plan to the provision
of “return” or “recovery” packages........................................................25
Resistance to a cash-based approach......................................................27

5. Achieving return and resettlement through the cash
grant scheme: Selected implementation challenges................................29
Reducing conflict and overcoming fear:
The key role of mediation and dialogue.................................................29
Uncertainty of land and property rights as a barrier to return................30
Identification of IDPs.............................................................................33
Gender and the recovery package...........................................................34
Implementation capacity........................................................................35

6. Does the National Recovery Strategy amount
to a reparations programme?...................................................................37
A participatory process that included both acknowledgement
and recognition of the failure of the state to protect its population........38
Material component................................................................................39
National Recovery Strategy: Not part of a comprehensive
transitional justice policy........................................................................40
National Recovery Strategy: Not a reparations programme...................41

7. Conclusion..................................................................................................43

Endnotes.........................................................................................................47

References.......................................................................................................59

Executive Summary

The 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste saw close to 15 per cent of the population displaced from their homes, threatening to sink the country into protracted instability and violence. Remarkably, less than five years later, the country looks to be back on track, with the internal displacement file largely resolved. This study looks at the National Recovery Strategy (NRS) adopted by the government to resolve internal displacement in Timor-Leste, from the viewpoint of a participant in the policy development and implementation process. Particular attention will be paid to the cash grant component of the NRS, as well as the accompanying dialogue processes. After discussing the move towards a cash grant-based programme and looking at some of the implementation challenges the government faced, this study will try to ascertain whether or not the NRS can be qualified as a full-fledged reparations effort. It concludes that while the NRS had some important characteristics that are usually associated with (administrative) reparations programmes, including a clear reparative effect for a defined category of victims, a number of factors stand in the way of wholeheartedly qualifying it as a reparations effort. Nevertheless, the experience of Timor-Leste contains a number of important lessons for reparations efforts in respect of displaced populations elsewhere, which will be highlighted in the conclusion.

full text: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/MRS44_13June2012.pdf

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