[Hpn] [hic_mail] COHRE Press Release on Forced Evictions
Mon, 23 Jun 2003 23:01:19 -0000
Seven Million Left Homeless as Forced Evictions Double in Two Years
The worldwide rate of forced evictions has practically doubled in the
last two years, leaving nearly seven million people ejected – often
violently - from their homes, according to new research by the Centre
on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) in Geneva, Switzerland.
This alarming trend has emerged despite a strengthening of
international law provisions condemning forced evictions as
violations of human rights. The vast majority of forced evictions,
many of which are a direct result of government-led development
projects, violate human rights laws which most of the world's
governments have formally agreed to respect.
COHRE Executive Director, Scott Leckie said: "Although we now have a
situation where international institutions such as the UN, the World
Bank, and even some large corporations are much more wary about
supporting projects which may involve forcibly evicting people, it
seems governments simply haven't got the message yet. They cannot be
allowed to sign up to international law which forbids forced
evictions on the one hand, while flagrantly violating it on the
COHRE's Global Survey of international forced evictions in 60
countries found that 6.7 million people were evicted from their homes
between 2000-2002. This compares to 4.2 million during the years 1998-
2000. Moreover it found that 6.3 million people across the world
are currently under threat of forced eviction compared to 3.6 million
people in the period 1998-2000. COHRE's Global Survey is aimed at
increasing awareness of the often-unknown scale of this practice.
"Our research exposes this silent epidemic of forced evictions which
is taking place day and night across the world. Millions of people,
who of course tend to be poor, are being thrown into deeper misery,
without any recourse to justice, rehousing or compensation. At this
rate, nearly 20,000 people will face eviction every day in coming
months. Forced evictions are illegal and must stop", Leckie added.
This latest issue of COHRE's Global Survey includes a special section
on forced evictions in countries hosting mega-events such as the
Olympic Games or International Conferences. This section examines
cities from Athens, to Beijing where thousands of people are being
forced from their homes as urban centres are beautified and new
sporting facilities and conference halls built.
International Law concerning Forced Evictions:
The United Nations has repeatedly declared forced evictions a
violation of human rights. Forced evictions are also outlawed in the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and
other international treaties. Forced evictions, which can be the
result of development schemes, war or polices of ethnic
discrimination violate a number of human rights, including the right
to adequate housing, property rights, the right to respect of the
home, the right to security of the person, and the right to the
enjoyment of possessions.
For more information contact:
Scott Leckie, Executive Director on + 66 2 237 3460
(Bangkok +5 hours CET), Cell Phone: + 41 79 242 8033
Scott is an international human rights lawyer specialising in the
right to housing.
Jean du Plessis, Deputy Director on + 41 22 734 1028
(Geneva, Switzerland, CET)
Bret Thiele, Human Rights Lawyer/Senior Researcher on
+1 218 733 1370 or 724 9248 (Duluth, Minnesota, USA -7 hours CET)
GLOBAL SURVEY NO. 9 – FORCED EVICTIONS, VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
can be downloaded from www.cohre.org For hard copies contact the
COHRE International Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland at: + 41 22
COHRE is now running a Global Forced Eviction Project aimed at
preventing and documenting forced evictions wherever they occur. For
more information on this project write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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