HIC: Polycentric WSF – Electoral processes – HIC at WUF 3

March 2006

World Social Forum 2006
Elections of Board representatives

HIC at the 3rd World Urban Forum
Activities in Europe
Exchanges Latin America – Asia: Arpilleras Project
Highlighted Events
Membership Contributions

World Social Forum 2006

The WSF is a meeting space for social organizations and movements in which HIC promotes the debate on city, housing and land rights as well as exchange of experiences on housing the poor. The first phase of the Polycentric Social Forum took place in Bamako, Mali, and in Caracas, Venezuela. The WSF of Asia is foreseen for March 24 to 29 in Karachi, Pakistan. The WSF will have an additional event in 2006: a meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 21 and 22. (More information: www.forumsocialmundial.org.br)

According to organizers, the WSF had over 110,000 representatives and observers who participated in more than 2,500 self-organized activities. Over fifty HIC members were engaged in round tables and workshops dealing with the fulfilment of the human right to live in a place in peace and dignity.

In Caracas, the main activities were:

  • Urban Reform and the Right to the City: current challenges for democracy and social integration. Debate of tools and platforms for action among social organizations and movements against neoliberalism around the world, highlighting experiences against forced evictions and public and communitarian management of water, in opposition to its mercantilisation.

  • Fight Privatisation of Housing, Land and Water: exchanges of common struggles and identification of transnational companies interests' in the rural and urban areas.

  • Building inclusive cities: women's proposals and actions, organized by the Women and Shelter Network.

  • Participation to workshops: Sustainable habitat, public policies and co-management; Housing and Habitat; Popular University and Zero Evictions Campaign; Forum: Housing policies in Venezuela.

  • Meetings with regional networks to identify specificities and meeting points for action at regional, national and local level with the scope of housing, habitat, self-management and cooperativism.

  • The meeting of HIC regional members made a balance of annual activities, next electoral process and upcoming activities including the ones at the III World Urban Forum of Vancouver.

For more information: Lorena Zárate, info@hic-al.org

In Bamako, in collaboration with HIC-Mali, the following activities took place:

  • Monitoring the Human Right to Adequate Housing: debate on techniques and opportunities.

  • Social production of habitat: popular engagement with the right to land, adequate housing and sewage, focus on urban and sustainable development (the experiences in Senegal and Mali)

  • Discussion on land issues: analysis of women’s access to land and housing in Africa.

  • The Right to the City: overview of proposals for a sustainable urban society based in principles such as solidarity, freedom, equality, dignity and social justice.

  • Press conference

  • Participation to workshops organized by other institutions, i.e. Local authorities and sustainable development (AITEC); and the street parades at the beginning and the end of the WSF.

  • Advisory to local groups on the role of NGOs and social movement for advocacy on housing policies. A follow-up activity is foreseen for a strategic planning with HIC-Mali.

  • Visit to the place were 4.000 families were evicted in 1995. Houses and all infrastructures were demolished. The community continues a sustained struggle reclaiming the plot and their right to return, build, live and work in the site.

  • HIC stand become the meeting point for exchanges, debates and dissemination of institutional material in the frame of the WSF physical dispersion. Exchanges and meetings with local and regional organizations working in the field of human settlements were prompted. Training to members and focal points about the on-line membership management tools.

More information: Korotimy Thèra, koro_thera@yahoo.fr


Elections of Board representatives

In 2006 several HIC bodies must renew their representation at HIC Board. We invite you to get informed about the electoral processes in: HLRN, MENA, Asia, Europe (to take place before the global activities in Vancouver, June 2006) and in Francophone Africa, Latin America, HSEN and WAS (in the second semester of 2006).

Ongoing electoral processes:

  • HIC-Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN): 104 active members conform electorate. The Electoral Committee if formed by: Bola Fajemirokun (Development Initiatives Network, Nigeria) coordinator; Victor Kawanga (Human Settlement of Zambia); Barry Pinsky (Rooftops, Canada). HIC/HLRN called for nominations on February 23rd. The nominations will by announced by the Electoral Committee on March 12th and the balloting process will last until April 6th. The results of the elections will be announce April 8th. For more information contact: mobolafaj@yahoo.co.uk

  • HIC-Middle East and North Africa (MENA): HIC Board approved MENA as a new HIC region. MENA has to define its representatives to the Board in the next months. An electoral process has to take place and the Electoral Committee is to be conformed. 61 members have been identified as active in the region. For more information: rwahba@hic-mena.org

  • HIC-Asia: The electoral process will be defined by the end of March after a meeting of ACHR. The Focal Point in Asia, in dialogue with Board representatives of the region, will define the time lines and check the list of members with the right to vote.

  • HIC- Europe: after a meeting in Brussels, HIC members in the region decided begin a process to select the European representative and alternate, who will have a seat at the Board for two years, until new elections can take place.

HIC at the 3rd World Urban Forum

HIC will organise different networking events and a round table on the upcoming UN Habitat World Urban Forum (WUF). More information on the WUF can be found on the HABITAT website: www.unhabitat.org/wuf/2006, where one can also register for participation.

There is a Board decision (September 2005) that each HIC structure has to make the fund raising to support the travel and accommodation costs of HIC Board members and HIC members. We hope to meet in Vancouver at:

  1. Networking events: Monitoring the Right to Adequate Housing (HLRN/HIC); Urban watches / observatories: tools and facilities for more effective actions through better decision-making processes (HSEN/HIC); People's process for inclusive cities: reflections on social production of Habitat. The HIC Women and Shelter Network is coordinating with the Huairou Commission to register the networking events related with gender issues.

  2. Round Table: HIC has a leading role in the preparation of the civil society and NGOs roundtable, to review and assess 30 years of activity towards pro-poor, gender-sensitive and enabling urban policies, allowing peer-to-peer focused and action-oriented exchanges.

  3. Speaker corner: a booth within the WUF III Convention Center to facilitate a space for representatives of social movements and civil society organizations: people who don’t have a site at the official agenda and will like to share their experience, provide materials, present videos or have a meeting place among grassroots leaders, civil society organizations and social movements. The speaker’s corners will promote official debates to continue in a fluent and flexible arena and bring to the UN the message of the World Social Forum and will contribute to a street parade.

  4. HIC 30th anniversary: side-events and publications to commemorate HIC 30th anniversary beyond the lines of the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements.

  5. General Assembly: the annual meeting of members will give the opportunity to identify the scope and issues of the evaluation process of HIC networking activity (HIC / Misereor).

More information: Andrea Carrión, andrea@hic-net.org


Activities in Europe

During the first months of 2006 the following activities have take place in the region:

  • Madrid and Barcelona: together with local NGOs, preparation of the visit to Spain of the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing.

  • Brussels: meeting with HIC European members to debate topics and strategies for action at regional level and to define the representation of Europe to HIC Board. Agreements were: retrieve the message of the Habitat Agenda with the specificities for each country, not only for cooperation and exchanges; work from a small coordinating committee; and, identify a representative to the Board and his/her alternate for two years until new expressions arise.

  • Bochum: workshop about the social and urban impacts of neoliberal housing policies, with focus in the Chilean case, together with local organizations of tenants, INURA and Münster University.

More information: Ana Sugranyes, general.secretary@hic-net.org

Exchanges Latin America – Asia: Arpilleras Project

Arpilleras Since February 2006 two Latin-American women, from Guatemala and Chile, are living with the UPC-Link team working together with women in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Women came together to develop embroidery techniques as a mean of overcoming psychosocial collective trauma and rearticulating the narratives of local identity and cultural memory. The “arpillera” is a hand-sewn three-dimensional textile picture that illustrates the stories of the lives of the women. The technique uses colour, symbolism, shape, space, texture and different types of stitches and materials to enable women to give a new form and meaning to their thoughts and feelings surrounding their difficult experiences. Luisa Cabrera, from Guatemala and now in Banda Aceh, tells us:

“One year after the tsunami, the massive mourning in Banda Aceh is a visible path, silence sorrow tries to appear a ‘normal’ life, impossible in the frame of a destroyed city. The silence is broken with enormous grief of those who lost everything: family, neighbours, friends; even part of the political project was overtaken by the disaster. The women’s reflections about their new arpilleras are clear: FORGET IS IMPOSSIBLE, WE MADE A BROKEN HOUSE, A ROAD AND A BROKEN TREE BECAUSE THAT IS HOW WE FEEL!”

More information: HIC-GS, SELAVIP, UPC-Link



From HIC structures:

Guía “Herramientas para la promoción de ciudades seguras desde la perspectiva de género” Guía “Herramientas para la promoción de ciudades seguras desde la perspectiva de género” by Ciscsa –Red Mujer y Hábitat América Latina- in the frame of the Regional Progamme "Ciudades sin Violencia para las Mujeres. Ciudades Seguras para Todos" together with Flora Tristán with support of UNIFEM in Latin American countries. More information: gem@agora.com.ar

International Human Rights Standards on Post-disaster Resettlement and Rehabilitation: Compilation Released International Human Rights Standards on Post-disaster Resettlement and Rehabilitation: Compilation Released
HIC-SARP/PHRE, Habitat International Coalition – Housing and Land Rights Network, South Asia Regional Programme; People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning; in collaboration with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing. India. 2006

Other relevant publication:

  • Enabling shelter strategies: Review of experience from two decades of implementation" UN-HABITAT, Nairobi, 2006.

    Reviews the implementation of enabling shelter strategies since the adoption of the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000, and of the effects of the enablement paradigm on the national policies and programmes. Also examines how the roles of the various actors in the shelter process have changed with the adoption of the enabling strategies and provides an in-depth assessment of particularly successful experiences.

    Available at:   (Pdf  -> 1,4 MB)


Highlighted Events:
  • Mediterranean Consultation on Women and Adequate Housing, visit of M. Kothari to Spain in March 2006. More information: Observatori Desc, mail@descweb.org or HLRN, hlrn@hlrn.org

  • Global Land Tool Network meeting, Oslo 23-24 March (www.gltn.net)

  • World Social Forum in Karachi, 24-29 March (www.wsf2006karachi.org)

  • European Social Forum, 4-7 May (www.fse-esf.org/)

  • Parallel activities to the World Water Summit, to take place in Mexico. People’s Workshop:
    Defense and community management of water in the countryside and in the city More information: Lorena Zárate, hic-al@hic-al.org

  • The UN Commission on the Status of Women 2006 held the 34th session from 16 January to 3 February; the CEDAW 35th Session will be held from 15 May to 2 June 2006. More: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/35sess.htm

  • The UN Commission on Human Rights will meet for the last time in 2006, to be replaced by the new Human Rights Council.  An NGO Information and Coordination (NGOIC) mechanism has been established through the joint efforts of several organizations, and is offered as a free service to NGOs planning to participate in the 62nd session of the Commission and/or in the first session of the Human Rights Council when it is established. The next session of the Commission is tentatively scheduled for 13 March - 21 April 2006. More: http://www.ohchr.org

Membership contributions

Members and friends of HIC should annually renew their contact information and pay membership dues. An on-line service is available to check your own information and search other active members.

Membership dues have a sliding scale with a minimum contribution of 25 USD that can be paid to focal points, network coordinators and HIC General Secretary.

For more information: Marie Bailloux, marie@hic-net.org


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