Homes of Origin: Return and Property Rights in Post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina

Lene Madsen


This paper explores the post-Dayton property regime in Bosnia, as one tool for facilitating return of displaced persons and refugees. Implementation of post-Dayton property laws, intended to facilitate return, is explored, and few successes are found. Reformed property laws—subject of much attention and chief drain on resources of the international community—remain a legal framework on paper only, and have not delivered minority return. In conclusion, the international community must expand its focus beyond minority return, to the broader concept of “durable solutions.” Acknowledging that some displaced persons will not wish to return to their home of origin, the international community should engage in parallel efforts to provide solutions to those who genuinely wish to relocate.

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