Two representatives from the Haitian Collective to Defend the Right to Housing attended this year’s World Habitat Forum in Geneva: Colette Lespinasse of the Action Group to Defend Refugees and Repatriates (GARR) and Jackson Doliscar of the Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA).
Re-posted from International Alliance of Inhabitants, Thursday 04 October 2012
Over 400 participants have declared the Geneva Habitat Forum, which took place on the eve of World Zero Eviction Days – for the Right to Housing, a success. The opening conference, the awards for the civil society initiatives for sustainable cities, the International Evictions Tribunal and the Inhabitants March to the Palais des Nations Unies were among the strong points of the mobilization.
This second edition was able to take into account more on the rootedness in the city of Geneva. Notably, whilst ties with the ASLOCA Tenants Association have been confirmed, a new link has been established with the struggles of the Collectif 500 organization, who proposed an alternative to the destruction of a residential area to give way to the expansion of the Cornavin Station, as well the CODHA voluntary housing cooperatives movement. Without forgetting the support from the city of Geneva, particularly through the participation of Mayor Rémy Pagani. Mr. Pagani, a former leader for the struggles of inhabitants, welcomed the Inhabitants March to the Palais des Nations Unies where the awards were given out and the recommendations of the Tribunal were read out.
Last but not least, the “Call from Geneva: A city by and for its inhabitants!” was launched.
The involvement of other organizations and networks should be highlighted. These include UrbaMonde, HIC and Amnesty International, which, have joined the International Alliance of Inhabitants and PALC this year, promoters and participants of the Habitat Media Forum and those of the First Session of the International Evictions Tribunal in 2011.
Equally, the Tribunal has become an increasingly efficient tool given that it is a common weapon of the organizations and networks of inhabitants who fight to defend the right to housing without borders.
Once the recommendations are sent to all concerned parties, including the governments responsible for the evictions, the United Nations who should keep watch over human rights issues and civil societies who should be used strengthen joint action, a follow-up is planned to take place. In effect, two reports have been requested for the end of February and the end of August 2013 to verify the implementation of ending evictions and violence, the compensation of inhabitants affected, as well as their eventual relocation within the proximity i.e. without breaking their territorial ties. Given that the requests are based on international standards, notably General Comments n. 4 and n. 7 of article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a lack of response will require organizations to take immediate action and other measures at all levels to ensure that the violated legality be respected.
In the meantime, inhabitants organizations are already in the process of presenting the recommendations from the Tribunal during the planned initiatives within the October Days frameworks.
To foster this effort, the networks have decided to continue their collaboration, particularly with the aim of establishing a Permanent International Evictions Tribunal. With this perspective, the launch of an appeal case for the 2013 session has been envisaged within the framework of the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WSF Tunis, 23-28 March 2013)