News

Hungary accused of persecution of the poor

In Autumn 2010, the Hungarian Law on Constructions was amended to allow municipalities to ban homeless people from public spaces. The Hungarian Parliament imposed a $700 fine or jail upon those who repeatedly broke municipal laws regarding “residential habitation in public spaces.” Although this law was ruled unconstitutional by the Hungarian Constitutional Court, the Hungarian Prime Minister has announced that the government intends to prohibit street homelessness in the country’s constitution. This has attracted significant international attention and criticism, and highlights key issues affecting people affected by poverty and homelessness.

Lands Commission extends eviction of veterans to June

The Northern Regional office of the Lands Commission has given retired soldiers and their families occupying the old Kaladan Barracks in Tamale up to June 15 this year to vacate the place. This followed a meeting held at the premises of the commission last Wednesday at the behest of the Board Chairman of the Northern Regional Lands Commission, Alhaji Alhassan Ishmail, to find the best way of evicting the old soldiers and their families without creating much inconvenience and hardship for them.

Land Commission Continues Consultations in Liberia

The Land Commission is expected to hold a consultative meeting with the media this Wednesday in Monrovia. The one-day meeting, aimed at gathering views and opinions of cross-session of the Liberian population on key issues and recommendations advanced in the draft Land Rights Policy, is in continuation of what the Commission started last year.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, Raquel Rolnik

The present report is submitted by the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 15/8. In the report, the Special Rapporteur elaborates upon the concept of security of tenure as a component of the right to adequate housing. To download the complete report, click here.

Myanmar’s ‘worrying’ transition

Scott Leckie

Myanmar’s icon of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, has let down people protesting for land rights, saying she wasn’t in politics for popularity. Scott Leckie, director of the Switzerland-based NGO Displacement Solutions, has worked on Myanmar’s human rights issues for more than 25 years and tells DW about the country’s concerning developments.

Threat of Foreclosure on California Homes Disproportionately Affects Minorities

An overwhelming majority of homes in California’s major cities that are in danger of foreclosure are also in majority-minority ZIP codes, according to a report released this week. The report focuses particularly on homes with mortgages serviced by Wells Fargo. Of the 21 major California cities examined, more than eight in 10 homes in danger of foreclosure are in areas where at least half of its residents are minorities—evidence, the report’s authors say, that further supports the idea that the housing crisis has been particularly harmful to African-American and Hispanic homeowners.

Communities at war over land disputes in Nigeria

Two communities have been at war for over five decades over a farmland between the them with the crisis claiming several lives and several others injured. Since the recent hostilities in the area, lives have been lost while several properties worth billions of naira have been destroyed. Early this year, about 13 Adadama people, both men and women including children were reportedly murdered, while some had their heads cut off as a result of the farmland dispute.

Homeless at Lakewood’s Tent City will be offered indoor housing instead of evicted

An encampment of homeless people in the woods near the Jersey shore will gradually be phased out as its 80 or so occupants are given at least a year of housing under an agreement reached today. The deal would eliminate the need for Lakewood’s so-called Tent City and end a seven-year dispute about local governments’ responsibility to care for the poor.

Why Are We Funding Abuse in Ethiopia?

In 2010, the Ethiopian government began moving thousands of people out of the rural villages where they had lived for centuries to other areas several hours’ walk away. The Ethiopian government calls this program the “Commune Center Development Plan and Livelihood Strategy” and claims it is designed to bring scattered rural populations closer to schools, health clinics, roads, and other public services. But the Commune Center program has been marked by a string of human rights abuses linked to government attempts to clear huge tracts of land for foreign investors. According to testimony collected by Human Rights Watch and other groups over the past two years, the relocations have involved beatings, imprisonment, torture, rape, and even murder. In many of the new “villages” the program has created, the promised services do not exist. Deprived of the farms, rivers, and forests that once provided their livelihoods, many people fear starvation, and thousands have fled to refugee camps in Kenya and South Sudan.

Threats to right to food and ancestral sovereignty over territory

Indigenous Communities and Organizations for the Ancestral Forest, made up of about twenty Mapuche groups, presented on March 11 a declaration directed to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs Oliver De Schutter, about the right to food, and Raquel Rolnik, about the right to housing, denouncing the damaging effects of the Chilean forest policy, which endangers their right to food and ancestral sovereignty over their territory.