[Hpn] GLOBAL CAMPAIGN FOR SECURE TENURE / UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) (Habitat)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sat, 15 Jul 2000 18:50:07 -0700 (PDT)

FWD 14 July 2000 via "Sharad Shankardass" <habitat.press@unchs.org>

                       MUMBAI, INDIA, 16 JULY  2000

On  Sunday  16  July  2000, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements
(Habitat)  and  the  National Slum Dwellers Federation of India (NSDF) will
launch  the  Global  Campaign  for Secure Tenure. This is the first of many
launches that will take place all over the world.

The   event  in  Mumbai  will  be  attended  by  slum  dwellers  and  their
representatives from over 23 cities in India and from at least 12 countries
who  belong to the network of the Slum Dwellers International. Amongst some
of  the  organisations that will be represented are the following: Homeless
International  from  the  UK; The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights; Kituo
cha Sharia, Pamoja Trust and Muungano wa Wanavijiji from Kenya, the Namibia
Housing  Action  Group;  The Squatter and Urban Poor Federation (SUPF) from
Phnom  Penh,  the  Senegalese  Women  Saving  and Loan Scheme and the South
African  Homeless  People's  Federation.  Representatives  of  UN agencies,
multilateral  and  bilateral aid organisations and the World Bank will also
be present.

Mumbai  has  been  chosen as a venue to launch the campaign, not so much to
focus  on  the  very  real and visible problems that the city faces, but to
showcase  the  solutions  that  are  being  found  and  the  quality of the
partnerships  that  are  being created.  The organisational strength of the
National  Slum Dwellers Federation, the positive and constructive responses
from  all  levels  of  government,  and  the judicious support from support
agencies, local and international, are all features worthy of attention.

Possibly  the most impressive aspect of this approach has been the capacity
building  that is being organised between the slum dwellers of India, South
East  Asia  and  Africa.  It  is  a  lesson  for bilateral and multilateral
organisations  alike  that the organised poor are not waiting anymore, they
are  becoming  increasingly  active on their own account.   One of the most
direct  challenges  that this raises is for the international developmental
community  to  reexamine  its role, learning to support rather than control

To  this  end,  a  number  of multilateral and bilateral agencies have been
invited  to  discuss  how best to respond to the initiatives that have been
forged  in  India.  On Monday and Tuesday 17th and 18th July UNCHS and NSDF
will  host  a  policy  discussion  to  examine  ways in which international
development  agencies  can  respond to the challenges of slum upgrading and
sustainable   urban  development  by  supporting  the  initiatives  of  the
organised poor and the government.

Background to the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure
Habitat's  Global Campaign for Secure Tenure, promotes the issue of housing
rights,  particularly  for the urban poor. The decision by the Human Rights
Commission, at its meeting in April, to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the
Right to Adequate Housing was an important signal of the growing importance
of this issue within the UN system.

UNCHS  (Habitat)  believes that the granting of secure tenure is one of the
most   important   housing   rights,  and  a  fundamental  requirement  for
sustainable  shelter policies. Constant threats of eviction, poor access to
essential  services,  the  over-pricing  of  such  services  as  water  and
electricity,  and  the  lack  of  investment  in  living conditions are all
features of settlements without secure tenure.

There  are many different forms of tenure. Habitat does not wish to propose
one  form  of  tenure in preference to another ? that is a matter for local
and  national  preference.  What  is  most important is the strength of the
security,  and  the  certainty  that  is conferred by the preferred form of

Forced  evictions, which are viewed by the UN as a gross violation of human
rights,  are  almost  exclusively  reserved  for  the poor and the socially
excluded,  and  almost  always  exacerbate the situation. The National Slum
Dwellers  Federation  has shown how local approaches to relocation, through
negotiation  and  the search for constructive solutions, can solve problems
that  forced  evictions  only  worsen. In short, forced evictions should be
seen   as  a  failure  of  public  policy,  and  the  lack  of  a  pro-poor
developmental perspective.

The  Campaign  is designed to assist member states of the United Nations to
achieve  the  goal  and  the  commitment  of  `adequate  shelter  for all',
contained in the Habitat Agenda, and endorsed by 171 members of the General
Assembly.  In particular, the Campaign is meant to give renewed momentum to
the commitment of Governments to "..the full and progressive realisation of
the  right  to adequate housing" and  to provide "?legal security of tenure
and equal access to land to all people, including women and those living in
poverty;"(Habitat Agenda, paras 39 & 40(b)).

Habitat  believes  that  the  future  of  sustainable  urban development is
increasingly  reliant  upon  the active organisation and involvement of the
urban  poor in general, and women in particular, in setting the development

A greater role for women, and not only as participants but more as leaders,
is  beginning to emerge as one of the most fundamental developmental issues
globally.   In the Strategic Vision of UNCHS, women have been identified as
an explicit policy focus for the organisation, and the primary indicator of
the  organisation's  success  in  assisting  member  states and partners in
reducing urban poverty.

The  Global  Campaign  will take this perspective forward with a very clear
call  for  the  removal  of all discrimination against women, especially in
respect  of  their  access  to property title and equal inheritance rights.
The  draft  Indian  National  Slum  Policy  issued by the Ministry of Urban
Affairs  and  Employment in April 1999 makes an important provision in this
regard,  allowing  for  the  registration  of  tenure  in the name of  both
spouses, as well as recognising single headed households, male and female.

It  should  be  noted that the official launching of the Campaign in Europe
will  take  place  at  UNESCO  in  Paris on 14 -15 September as part of the
European  Housing Forum conference "Access to Housing in the European Union
".  This  Conference  takes  place  in  the  framework  of  the  Charter of
Fundamental  Rights of the European Union, and the 12th informal meeting of
Housing  Ministers  of  the  European  Union. The conference website can be
found at www.europeanhousingforum.com

                             Programme Agenda

Organised in partnership with the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF),
the  Government  of  India, the state Government of Maharashtra, and Mumbai
Municipality,  and  UNCHS  (Habitat), the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure
will  include  two events.  The Global Campaign will be launched on 16 July
2000.  Subsequently, an Urban Slum Upgrading Workshop will be held on 17-18
July 2000. Please find below a programme agenda for these events as well as
relevant  logistical information.  More detailed information available upon

Campaign Launch, 16 July 2000

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.   Inauguration of Slum Dweller Project: "Land for
Slum Dwellers"
               Azad Maidan atVictoria Terminus, South Bombay
               Official Openning by Mr. Jain, Municipal Commissioner,
Bombay Municipal

2:00 p.m. -  4:00 p.m.   Inauguration of Railway Resettlement Project:
"Negotiation not Eviction"
               Mankurd, 35 kms. from Victoria Terminus (bus travel is

5:00 p.m. -  7:00 p.m.   Official Opening of the Launch of the Global
Campaign for Secure Tenure
               Large Auditorium, Central Bombay (location to be announced)

Urban Slum Upgrading Workshop, 17-18 July 2000

Day One, 17 July 2000:
9:00 a.m. ? 9:30 p.m.    Introductory Session
               Y.B. Chavan Centre, Central Bombay

9:30 a.m. -  12:30 p.m.  Thematic Discussion: Participants divide into
               three groups, each addressing a thematic aspect of urban
               slum upgrading
               Y.B. Chavan Centre for group 1, Bombay Municipal
Coorporation (also Central
               Bombay) for groups 2 & 3.
               Note: scheduling of working groups to be scheduled during
               introductory session.

2:00 p.m. -  5:00 p.m.   Thematic Discussions Continued.

Day Two, 18 July 2000:
9:00 a.m. ? 1:30 p.m.    Joint Seminar: Participants resume as full group,
analyse small group thematic
               sessions, field trips, and outline principles and strategies
               for urban slum upgrading
               Y.B. Chavan Centre, Central Bombay

3:00 p.m. -  5:00 p.m.   Closing Session
               Y.B. Chavan Auditorium, Central Bombay

For further information, please contact:
Sharad Shankardass, Media & Press Relations Unit, UNCHS (Habitat), Nairobi
Tel:    254    2    623153;    623151;   Fax:   254   2   624060;   E-mail:
Website: http://www.unchs.org

Ali  Shabou,  Information  Manager,  Campaign for Security of Tenure, UNCHS
(Habitat(, Nairobi, Tel: 254 2 623141; E-mail: ali.shabou@unchs.org

Some partner websites and contacts:

Sharad Shankardass
Press & Media Relations
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)
P O Box 30030
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254-2-623153; Fax: 254-2-624060
Website: www.unchs.org


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