Justice For Those Impacted By Domicide
If having a home is a basic human right, then why is its destruction not viewed as a violation of human rights?
Experiencing the destruction of one’s home can cause significant distress and in some cases contribute to increased rates of depression and anxiety.
This loss can be one of the deepest wounds to one’s sense of self. Not only is the physical structure of the home destroyed, but past memories, a present sense of security and stability, and dreams for the future are also lost.
Pathways to Justice
Acknowledging the suffering of having lost a home is one act that may alleviate
some of the sorrow.
This can take the form of an apology, a statement of recognition, and/or a general plan for a future home, all of which can be useful building blocks for future justice efforts.
Convention Against Domicide
The Convention Against Domicide (CAD) adds to the current human rights and international humanitarian law frameworks. It serves as a mechanism to identify and therefore prevent and punish domicidal acts in the future.
The CAD is rooted in human rights, armed conflict, and atrocity crimes laws and norms. It can serve as a unifier of often disconnected and disparate concepts and crimes across international rights and justice regimes. We believe that the most powerful way of defending the human right to home is to draft and pass a single piece of international law which bans the practice of domicide in all spaces and times and establishes a clear criminal justice regime for perpetrators who violate the right to home.
The CAD may be most effective in combination with community-based mechanisms of documenting home and home loss and potentially reconstructing homes once war has ceased. For example, The Aleppo Project collected information on the city of Aleppo both before and after the city was destroyed. The Project created maps and visualizations of the city to serve as a starting point for discussions about reconstruction once the war is over.