Port-au-Prince, Oct 8, 2012 [AlterPresse]
From July 2 until October 1, 2012, several national and international
organizations launched an international campaign called under the tents, with
the aim to ensure the right to housing.
This international campaign intends to demand
permanent housing solutions for the 400,000 displaced people that still live in
camps, more than two years after the earthquake that devastated the Haitian
capital on January 10, 2010.
The campaign organizers intend to mobilize both the US
Congress and the European Parliament, to raise global awareness through the
media, to mobilize public pressure through petitions and to engage housing
organizations across the globe.
A series of activities are being defined to mark World
Habitat Day on October 1, 2012, explains Ellie Happel, a human rights lawyer
and one of the organizers of the campaign.
The organizers of this initiative are requesting that
the government put an immediate end to forced evictions until affordable or
public housing for displaced people is put in place.
They deplore the absence of a comprehensive plan by
the Haitian government to resettle in safe housing while hundreds of thousands
of people are still living in tents.
They are calling for urgent action by the Haitian
government, with the support of its allies and donor governments, including the
US, Canada and a range of European countries.
The international campaign aims to help designate land
for the construction of housing and to create a central government institution
mandated to coordinate and implement a plan for social housing.
Hundreds of thousands of displaced people who live
under plastic tarps and tattered tents are facing extreme levels of
gender-based violence, reports the organizers of the campaign.
Along with a lack of access to safe drinking water and
exposure to cholera, these displaced people are facing, among other things,
threats of eviction. Of the 1.5 million displaced people in 2010, just under
400,000 are still without proper housing two years later.
Most were driven away from the areas that they
occupied by both arbitrary means but also by violence.
mobilization in favor of permanent housing solutions for people displaced by
the January 2010 earthquake includes, among other groups, the organization
Strength of Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA, from its acronym in
Creole), the Haitian platform for the organizations of human rights (POHDH) and
the support group for returnees and refugees (GARR).