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Land Restitution, Gender Equity, and Rural Development in Colombia

Colombia’s 2011 Victims and Land Restitution Law is an historic piece of legislation that seeks to redress victims of forced displacement in rural areas and formalize land rights for those who want to return to their properties. As a mechanism of transitional justice, the Law places the victims of conflict at the center of state activity. It also provides a series of positive measures to address the historic and conflict-related discrimination that women victims have experienced when attempting to reclaim their land. Does the Law accomplish these goals and secure gender-equitable property rights for victims of violence?

Date & Time

Friday
May. 9, 2014
9:00am – 11:00am ET

Location

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

Change in Panelist: Due to circumstances beyond our control, Dr. Ricardo Sabogal will no longer be able to speak at the event. We are pleased to announce that Adam Isacson, Senior Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America, has joined the program. We are pleased to host a presentation by Donny Meertens, current Wilson Center Fellow and Associate Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, with discussion to follow.

In the wake of decades of violent conflict, forced displacement and violent dispossession of land, Colombia’s Victims and Land Restitution Law (2011) seeks to restore and formalize land rights for those who want to return. The Law is considered an innovative piece of transitional justice as it poses the victims of conflict in the center of state response. Moreover, for land restitution, it provides a series of positive measures to address the historical and conflict-related discrimination that women victims experience when reclaiming their land.  Does the Law accomplish these goals and secure gender-equitable property rights for victims of violence?

This presentation makes a first assessment of the Laws “transformative” potential concerning gender equity and land. It brings together the “land and gender” issues in general and the particular conflict-related obstacles for women to claim land and enjoy property rights. Then it moves towards a preliminary balance of the Laws implementation, based on the revision of a sample of local Court Rulings on land restitution in three different regions, and focused on the ways the obstacles are sorted out.

Conclusions and policy recommendations focus on the achievements and flaws both in the restitution and post-restitution process and stress the issue of sustainability and enhancement of the role of women–land owners in a broader context of rural development and transition towards peace.

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Hosted By

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Global Women's Leadership Initiative

The Global Women’s Leadership Initiative has hosted the Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center since June, 2012. The Women in Public Service Project will accelerate global progress towards women’s equal participation in policy and political leadership to create more dynamic and inclusive institutions that leverage the full potential of the world’s population to change the way global solutions are forged.  Read more

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