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During the World "Zero Evictions – for the Right to Adequate Housing for All” Days organised around the world during the month of October, under the auspices of the International Alliance of Inhabitants, the first Conference for the Right to Adequate Housing was held from 24 to 27 October 2013 at the École Nationale d'Architecture et d’Urbanisme in Sidi Bou Said, underscoring the achievements of the World Assembly of Inhabitants (FSM Tunisia 2013). Several representatives of civil society organisations and specialists from both Maghreb and around the world participated.
We all have the Right to Adequate Housing!
The Right to Housing is one of the most important natural and social rights. It is enshrined in international conventions and treaties that have been ratified by the Tunisian authorities, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Right to Adequate Housing does not mean having four walls and a roof. It is the right of every man and woman, youth and child, to live in his or her own home, in a community, in security,in peace and dignity, whether in the city or the countryside.
Unfortunately this right has not been put into practice. The harsh reality of the situation has been ignored by the various governments, with no real attempt to understand the state of the housing situation, which remains dilapidated and marginalized, even since 14 January 2011. In fact, the authorities have not made any effort to repair or change anything, but have only succeeded in aggravating the tragic situation we have before us today.
Under the logic of capitalism cities mushroom at the expense of the countryside, promoting bids and megaprojects and grabbing of land, water and natural resources, destroying the ecosystem that forms the link between these two areas. This is done within the framework of the dominant discourse, which considers that urbanization is inevitable and agricultural industries are able to eliminate hunger and poverty.
Many alternatives have been proposed by the people, and it has become necessary to strengthen solidarity between rural and urban movements to form national and international alliances to work together to apply pressure and have a real effect on the situation.
This first Conference for the Right to Adequate Housing has made recommendations to implement the social principles that are the basis of the popular revolution, namely the right to dignity of all citizens, both male and female.
Recommendations of the first Conference for the Right to Adequate Housing
Tunis, 24th to 27th October 2013
We, the citizens, civil society actors and inhabitants of this country, on the occasion of the first Conference for the Right to Adequate Housing to make this Right a national priority, have decided to create an independent, common, united and legal platform made up of inhabitants, experts, citizens and civil society organisations, to develop, adopt, implement and monitor policies and projects for adequate housing, in partnership with public institutions, using effective legal, technical, financial and administrative mechanisms.
To this end, we propose and require the following:
Regional and local monitoring centres should use this information to help with issues such as the following:
We declare …
Our solidarity with the struggles of resistance and promotion of alternatives within inhabitants’ organisations in rural and urban areas.
We will resist together and demand an end to all forms of criminalisation of the struggles of social movements and activists committed to upholding and implementing human and collective rights to housing, land, cities, water, food, employment and public goods.
And we invite …
all inhabitants, civil society organisations and experts to sign this Declaration and support the initiative for a better Tunisia!
Declaration of the First Conference for the Right to Adequate Housing in Tunisia (Arabic, 2013) >>> Download