HLRN’s report Housing and Land Rights Crisis ! 2007: Violations Escalating around the World report, draws on data from HLRN’s Violation Database, which documents the patterns of forced eviction, demolition, and land confiscation. This has been coordinated with the mapping efforts of HIC’s activist General Secretariat, which is providing a graphic depiction and contextualization of the housing and land rights violations contained in the VDB [http://www.hlrn.org/welcome_violation.php]A second HIC Housing Rights Crisis! 2007 map goes further, giving special recognition to evictions in situations of conflict, occupation, and war, with their intractable features of forced eviction and displacement. HLRN coordinator Joseph Schechla announced the new annual report, noting that ”The responsible parties who carry out these evictions now are liable for reparations to many thousands of displaced persons throughout the review period marked by this World Housing and Land Rights Day.” The report represents a new method of tracking violations of housing rights and marks one step in a process emphasizing the interconnection of seemingly disparate factors; development, conservation, privatization, forced evictions, demolitions, and dispossession.
The Cairo, Egypt based Network also issued an extraordinary report today on the global backlash against housing and land rights activists. A Pattern of Persecution: the Growing Attack against Housing and Land Rights Defenders catalogues in brief an increasing global trend of physical violence, imprisonment, mistreatment, and murder of housing and land rights defenders. Country specific cases highlight how patterns of privatization, corruption, and urbanization inform the brutality of governments and contracted criminals in suppressing the dissent of victims of violations and their advocates. According to this HLRN report, the persecutions cover a wide geographical range, including Northern democracies. Cases featured in A Pattern of Persecution highlight repressive practices in countries as diverse as India, China, Mexico and Germany. These include the now infamous case of Dr. Andrej Holm, who faces the German prosecutor this week.
The report asserts that defenders of impoverished, disadvantaged subjects of discrimination, housing and land rights defenders are also essential sources of relevant information and alternative solutions. Both new reports and the accompanying maps are available on line at the following links: