Following her mission to the U.S. in 2009, the UN’s top expert on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, issued a report spotlighting the many failures of the wealthiest country on the planet to secure adequate housing for its people. This November 5, the U.S. will appear before the UN Human Rights Council for the first time undergoing the Universal Periodic Review of its human rights record, and will be held accountable for the violations, and recommendations made in that report.
The first Monday in October each year is World Habitat Day, a day to consider the housing needs of all people. The Habitat International Coalition (HIC) and International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI) have issued global Calls to Action for today, and the entire month of October. All local housing rights organizations are asked to sponsor a public action or protest in their communities in October, starting with the UN’s World Habitat Day on October 4, to raise the profile of the struggle for housing rights in opposition to policies of massive forced evictions, criminalization of the homeless, speculation and destruction of land and housing.
National and local organizations are called to link their current issues, demands and targets related to the right to housing to an October action leading up to the Universal Periodic Review and beyond. Groups can link any currently or newly planned actions—demonstrations, marches, cultural events, take-overs, take-backs, truth commissions, public hearings, and the like–to this global and national campaign.
To participate, simply forward a brief description of the your action for posting to the HIC website at www.hic-net.org, the IAI website at www.habitants.org, or the National Alliance of HUD Tenants website www.saveourhomes.org. We also ask local groups to post video or news clips about their actions on the campaign websites.
-Eric Tars, Human Rights Program Director