In north west Syria, CCCM interventions often target informal, self-settled IDP sites, including with infrastructure works. Some of these sites are often established on land to which occupants have no legal claim.2 This brings up a host of housing, land and property (HLP) challenges, especially as CCCM interventions often have a significant impact on the land. Key HLP challenges include the lack of authorization of the landowner(s) to use the land, threats of evictions of beneficiaries, and/or the levying of fees by ‘fake’ owners or armed groups for land use.
Providing infrastructure assistance without obtaining authorization for the intervention from the rightful owner(s) may contribute to dispossession of landowners, forced evictions of beneficiaries, and court cases against CCCM actors, as well as the consolidation of conflict-related land grabbing. For this reason, HLP due diligence has to be conducted before activities are started to clarify ownership and rights to use for land that will be used for project activities. Taking into account the lack of formal legal frameworks and land administration structures in NW Syria, this briefing note aims to assist cross-border CCCM actors in the due diligence process. The checklists included below are a simplification of the NRC Due Diligence Forms.