Compensation as Part of a Comprehensive Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Problem

Ottawa, 14-15 July 1999



The provision of compensation has frequently been linked with a potential resolution of the refugee issue, in both official pronouncements (notably UN General Assembly Resolution 194) and in many academic writings. Indeed, in December 1997 Palestinian, Israeli and international participants at the PRRN/IDRC Stocktaking Conference on Palestinian Refugee Research noted the need to look at the issue from a broader context by examining relevant comparative models. Similarly, the March 1998 University of Warwick follow-up conference on Resolving the Palestinian Refugee Problem: What Role for the International Community also underscored the needs for the regional parties and donors alike to take a more detailed look at this important but complex issue.

As a result, Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet and the International Development Research Centre convened a workshop of Palestinian, Israeli and international experts in Ottawa in July 1999, focusing on the compensation issue. Without prejudice to the other inherant rights of the refugees, participants explored:

  • the case for compensation, including the evolution of international law with respect to refugee rights
  • the magnitude of Palestinian losses, including methods of valuation and categories of potential claims
  • the mobilization of resources to finance any possible compensation program
  • comparative models, including previous cases of refugee compensation, and other national and internal compensation regimes
  • the complexities and modalities of a possible Palestinian refugee regime, including
    • claimants
    • basis for claims
    • adjudication and administration
    • systems of payment
  • political constraints and obstacles

This site includes a full list of workshop participants, the final conference report , and selected papers/submissions.

The PRRN/IDRC compensation workshop was funded by IDRC and the Canadian International Development Agency thrrough the Expert and Advisory Services Fund. PRRN is a project of the Interuniversity Consortium for Arab Studies (Montréal).

Last modified 20/7/99. Rex Brynen/