Policy on Involuntary Resettlement

Institutional Document | August 1995
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ADB's Policy on Involuntary Resettlement was adopted in 1995 and became operational in January 1996. The Policy requires that involuntary resettlement be an integral part of project design, dealt with from the earliest stages of the project cycle.

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This policy is superseded by the Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS) approved by the Board of Directors of ADB on 9 June 2009. The SPS took effect on 20 January 2010.

ADB's Policy on Involuntary Resettlement was adopted in 1995 and became operational in January 1996. The Policy requires that involuntary resettlement be an integral part of project design, dealt with from the earliest stages of the project cycle.

The Policy aims to:

  • avoid involuntary resettlement wherever feasible
  • minimize resettlement where population displacement is unavoidable by exploring all viable project options.

If, nonetheless, individuals or communities must lose their land, means of livelihood, social support systems, or way of life they should be:

  • compensated for lost assets and loss of income and livelihood
  • assisted for relocation
  • assisted so that their economic and social future will generally be at least as favorable with the project as without it
  • provided with appropriate land, housing, infrastructure, and other compensation, comparable to the without-project situation
  • fully informed and closely consulted on resettlement and compensation options

The Policy also specifies that lack of formal legal title to land is not a bar to compensation and other assistance. This may apply to a range of people affected, e.g. informal dwellers, land users with traditional or customary rights, squatters or those with adverse possession rights but no formal legal title to land and assets. Appropriate assistance provided to address the needs of the poorest affected persons such as female-headed households, and other vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples, helps them improve their status.

The Policy further requires that ADB assist the government and other project sponsors to:

  • adopt and implement the objectives and principles of the Policy within their own policy, legal, administrative and institutional frameworks
  • build and strengthen developing member countries' (DMC) capacities and national frameworks for resettlement.

Moreover, the Policy requires the government of the borrowing country, or private project sponsor to submit a satisfactory Resettlement Plan with time-bound actions and budgets before loan appraisal. This applies to every project that involves any form of involuntary resettlement, either through:

  • physical displacement of people from homes, lands, other assets, resources or services, or
  • loss of income and livelihood

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Review of Involuntary Resettlement Experiences
  • Involuntary Resettlement Policy
  • Implementation Procedures
  • Conclusions

Additional Details

Type
Subjects
  • ADB administration and governance
  • Safeguards
  • Social development and protection

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