Forced Evictions in the Name of Development
Most development projects, at face value, seem aimed at improving the lives of people. A new dam will generate more electricity to power industry; a new sports complex for a major event like the World Cup will bring in new revenue and evoke national pride; a new shopping mall will create new businesses and therefore more jobs.
The reality for communities living at or near a project – be it a dam, a sports complex, or a shopping mall – is often quite different. A project being developed on their land, on their homes, is often about the destruction of communities, the disruption of lives, and the impoverishment of people. These development projects result in the forced eviction of an estimated 15 million people each year. Forced evictions are involuntary, and regularly do not uphold obligations to fairly compensate, resettle and rehabilitate people and the physical and social infrastructures that once made them a community. Human rights abuses such as a lack of adequate housing, no access to water, schools or hospitals, can be the results of a forced eviction.
WITNESS and the Habitat International Coalition (HIC) are working together to incorporate video advocacy into local and global campaigns on forced evictions across HIC’s worldwide network in Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, India and Mexico and will continue into other countries over the course of the 3-year partnership.
Read and watch more on the blog »
WITNESS has worked previously on development-induced displacement, most notably with our partner CEMIRIDE in Kenya; the Video Advocacy Workshop with International Accountability Project where 15 activists in 9 Asian countries were trained to produce advocacy videos on development-induced displacement; with our partner LICADHO in Cambodia; and with our former partners NAKAMATA in the Philippines and Burma Issues in Burma.