An open letter to movements, organizations and networks struggling for the right to housing, land, and the city


For a democratic construction of the World Assembly of

3 May 2013

In 2000, activists from Africa, Asia, Latin America,
North America and Europe established the World Assembly of Inhabitants in
Mexico City to demand more democratic and equal territories.

This initiative resulted in the convergence of
different movements that struggle for the right to housing, land, and the city
around the world, and provided a global space for debates and the formulation
of common demands.

Since then, the World Assembly of Inhabitants has
continued to convene through the World Social Forum as it adheres to the same
principles of alter-globalization.

We would like to reaffirm the political importance of
this indispensable space for meeting, debating, and implementing common
strategies to build international solidarity and uphold human rights.

The World Assembly of Inhabitants was conceived of as
an open space for all movements, organizations and networks. However, we have
observed a nondemocratic deviation in the way the Assembly has been built and
run over the last few years, which counteracts its original political
objectives and does not facilitate the articulation of alliances or support to
movements’ struggles.

In Tunis, a provisional declaration was proposed by
the World Assembly of 
Inhabitants which emphasized the importance of forming
alliances with peasant movements in our common around the social function of
land and housing. This was a big step forward in the convergence of our
struggles; however we cannot be fully content with having produced only one
single document. The Assembly must maintain collective and democratic processes
in order to be an effective space for concrete support to movements’ struggles.

We therefore insist that the World Assembly of
Inhabitant be built through transparent, collective and democratic processes.

To this end, we propose developing the following
urgent and collective actions:

· A Charter to ensure the democratic operation of the
World Assembly of 

· A website for the World Assembly of Inhabitants

· A mailing list accessible
to everyone to ensure horizontal, direct and transparent communication

* To download the open letter, click here.

Initial signatories:

Via Campesina


Habitat International Coalition