deWet - Chapter 07
The track record shows only too clearly that, in the great majority of cases,
things turn out badly for people subjected to forced resettlement (in the
sense that they have to move whether they wish to or not) as a result of
development projects or political programmes – and often also for others
who may not actually have to move, such as host populations and other
parties affected by the development project. It is not necessarily true that
resettlement will always turn out badly for the affected people, and there
have been a number of encouraging cases. But, if we are to do something
constructive about it, we have to start with the reality that, on the whole,
forced resettlement has not been successful, in the sense that resettled
people are both economically better off and socially stable in their new
settlements in a manner that has shown itself to be sustainable over time.
Why are such positive cases so few and far between, notwithstanding
ongoing efforts to develop and improve resettlement guidelines and policy?
That needs to be our starting point in trying to reverse the situation.