The Habitat International Coalition (HIC) is the global network for rights related to habitat. Through solidarity, networking and support for social movements and organizations, HIC struggles for social justice, gender equality, and environmental sustainability, and works in the defence, promotion and realization of human rights related to housing and land in both rural and urban areas.
The HIC strategic approach corresponds to three lines of intervention:
- Strengthen networks between members, among them and with other networks and organizations, to promote the HIC mission through democratic practices and transparent management and in the spirit of gender equality and generational renewal.
- Accompany and support community processes in building alternatives towards a good living with dignity for all people by promoting gender equality and the social production of habitat, defending the right to a healthy environment, and fighting against violations of the rights to housing, land, and the city.
- Influence public policies related to housing and habitat at the local, national and global levels based on human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability.
HIC’s work aims to meet four central objectives:
I: Advance towards gender equality and equity
- Through the HIC gender mainstreaming plan, place gender as a fundamental issue that cuts across all aspects of habitat-related rights.
- Strengthen women’s leadership at all levels to influence public policies. Challenge inherited cultural concepts and prejudice surrounding gender-based violence and link this issue with the rights to housing, land and the city.
- Promote gender equality in the HIC inner and outer world, ensuring that women of all ages hold decision-making positions.
- Strive to eliminate all forms of legal discrimination against women and to implement national legislation and international conventions that guarantee women their habitat rights, including inheritance rights. Towards this objective, focus on the promotion of legal instruments ratified by states and on raising women’s awareness about their rights.
II: Defend the right to a healthy environment
- Place environmental protection as a fundamental issue that cuts across all aspects of habitat rights.
- Increase efforts to raise awareness, educate and provide training on the importance of the environment in human habitat and on the challenges associated with climate change through the Coalition’s tools, such as HICademy.
- Support the collection and dissemination of research on the impacts of climate change faced by the most vulnerable populations. Promote a critical analysis of environmental policies and advocate for the implementation of renewable energy policies and popular technological alternatives to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. Through networks of ecological specialists, develop campaigns that propose alternatives made collectively and publicly. Support risk prevention and disaster victims’ claims, and defend the rights of all people affected by disasters to emergency relief and temporary resettlement, the right to remain in their place, and the right to their genuine and effective participation in reconstruction processes.
III. Promote and implement the Social Production of Habitat
- Develop the social production of habitat as an alternative to neoliberal policies such as the commodification of territory, land and housing.
- Act against territorial expulsions and land grabbing; fight against gentrification and for the upgrading and regularization of popular settlements.
- Support the self-management of habitat through cooperatives and grassroots organizations. Promote self-production and mutual assistance to build alternatives.
- Fight against the criminalization of inhabitants living in vulnerable situations (those who have housing as well as those who do not) and against their precarious living situations in general, promoting the right to the city, the rights of indigenous people and of migrants, and the right to food sovereignty.
IV: Fight against violations of all rights related to habitat
- Produce information and take actions to denounce all violations of rights related to habitat as well as their structural causes derived from the capitalist system in its current neoliberal phase.
- Support organizations and movements that fight against the negative effects of globalization and the capitalist system (in particular against the social and territorial effects of megaprojects, privatization of public services and the commodification of social housing) with tools like the Violations Database developed by the HIC-Housing and Land Rights Network (HIC-HLRN). Urge international institutions, state authorities and the private sector to adopt and implement legislation to prevent and halt violations of rights related to habitat and the criminalization of those who defend these rights.
- Through networking and solidarity campaigns, support civil society organizations in their struggles against authoritarianism and dictatorial regimes. Provide resources for legal support and protection of habitat rights activists. Develop more effective links and solidarity between HIC members through HICademy tools (training, technical assistance, internships, the habitat library, etc.)