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Zero Evictions Campaign

World Zero Evictions Days 2010

On the occasion of World Habitat Day 2010 celebrated by the UN-Habitat with the motto “Better City, Better Life”, the International Alliance of Inhabitants, the world-wide network for housing rights with no frontiers, has issued a critical communiqué launching the World Zero Evictions Days to support resistances and alternatives for participating cities, a concrete foundation for a new Urban Social Pact. At its heart: the demand for a world-wide moratorium to evictions; and funding for housing and habitat in a “New Green Deal” for at least a billion people. This funding would be based, among others, on the investment of an important part of developmental aid as well as on the annulment of external debt, transformed into a Popular Fund for land and housing.
The October mobilisation prepares the final stage of the unifying process to the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WSF Dakar 2011).

The recent summit of the United Nations on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) attempted to conceal the failure of the MDG 7-11, ignoring scandalously the reality of evictions, undervaluing the consequences of global crisis, the development based on mega-projects and wars, climatic changes and disasters as a pretext of new discrimination of the poorest, migrants and women, as a justification of budget cuts and of public services privatization, of the lack of price controls in the sector and financial/real-estate speculation.

The world-wide coordinated initiatives of struggle and alternative thus have the task to place the housing right in the centre of the debate, starting with the objective to improve life condition of badly housing or homeless people that risk to reach 1,7 billion within 2020 if the governments continue to follow neoliberal policies.

We denounce the illegal evictions and the violations of housing rights. These infringe on Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Cultural, and Social Rights, ratified by over 70 countries (both developed and developing) where these inhuman practices have nevertheless been recorded over the past twelve months.

We invite UN-Habitat to reconsider the trust placed in neoliberal policies, the essential condition to have a "better city, better life". Coherence would require that UN-Habitat also give up the Global Compact proposed to the private sector encouraging the destruction of unoccupied housing and non-profitable neighbourhoods and inflating the costs of real estate. Instead, tools such as the Special Rapporteur on housing rights, the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions (AGFE), the additional protocol for the International Covenant on ESCR should be strengthened.

We support the legitimacy and legality of all inhabitants organizations’ heroic initiatives of resistance, struggle and alternatives to prevent evictions and demand full respect of housing rights. In addition, we support the courage of progressive city halls who declare their territory “eviction-free” by administrative acts that are legitimate and respectful of the legality and development of public and participating policies of city planning and housing.

Finally, we appreciate the growing participation of international organizations for the defense of human rights on this subject, and we point out the fundamental importance of unifying this front, by coordinated campaigns and involvement in the process of the World Assembly of Inhabitants

For these reasons and as a consequence of commitments made at the Urban Social Forum 2010, we are launching the 2010 World Zero Evictions Days with dozens of initiatives on all continents for the duration of the month of October: we are inviting all concerned entities to build a new Urban Social Pact, based on the respect of human rights and the rhythms and demands of the inhabitants, as well as on the development of alternative public policies to straight out oppose the crisis and the invasion of the sector by the market.

A solidary pact between organizations of inhabitants, the public powers that be, and professionals in the sector, agreeing on public control and participating in the construction and the management of sustainable, inclusive cities.

At its heart, a unified demand on all levels of government to obtain immediately:

  • A world-wide moratorium to evictions by foreclosure or as a consequence of unpaid rent, because of urban projects or mega-projects, foreign occupation, or on the basis of racial or sexist prejudice;
  • Funding for housing and accommodation as a part of a “New Green Deal” to improve living conditions for at least a billion people presently living in a state of insecurity, in inhuman or indecent lodgings;
  • The investment of an important part of developmental aid in social housing, cooperatives and habitat, among other things by transforming some external debt into a Popular Funds for land and housing.

Mobilization and struggle then, in this new collaborative stage to build the World Assembly of Inhabitants(WSF Dakar 2011) and beyond, to the Via Urbana .

October 2010



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