deWet - Chapter 04
In referring to various legal problems associated with development-induced
displacement and resettlement (DIDR), the former Senior Vice-
President of the World Bank has noted that the 'scholarly literature on
resettlement, to which sociologists and social anthropologists have made
the main contributions, has by and large overlooked such legal aspects'
(Shihata 1993: 42). A decade later, the comment continues to be relevant.
This chapter attempts to contribute to filling this gap by exploring the role
of international law in situations of DIDR. International legal norms are
analysed in order to clarify the particular protection needs of persons displaced
by development projects and to highlight accessible legal remedies.
The chapter begins with an examination of the features that distinguish
DIDR from other forms of forced migration. This is followed by a presentation
of the international legal norms that are supposed to provide protection
to persons affected by DIDR. Given the frequent problems of
abuse in development projects, various strategies of remedial action available
in terms of international law are also explored. The chapter concludes
with a prescriptive analysis that seeks to improve the international
involvement in development-induced displacement and to increase the
responsibility of borrowers in ensuring respect for human rights.