HIC at the WSF 2004 in Mumbai


From January 16 – 21 the World Social Forum will be held in Mumbai, India. Because of missing funds there will not be a HIC General Assembly at the occasion of the WSF this year. Nevertheless there will be a couple of important conferences and workshops (co-)organized by HIC, the Housing Land Rights Network and active HIC members in Asia (LOCOA, UPC, UPA) and Latin America (Charter of the Right to the City). Workshop: Opportunities for defending economic, social and cultural rights in the UN system Date: Jan 17, 5PM to 8PM Venue: D 128 Description: Inform about the UN system mechanisms for defending human rights. Inspire new advocacy actions by meeting with experienced NGOs, UN Special Rapporteurs and specialized agencies. International advocacy is sometimes more effective outside of the “political forums.” UN factual and implementing mechanisms provide openings that make the UN a forum for people(s) by bringing their issues before the standards-setting and policy-making bodies. HIC-HLRN will host UN Special Rapporteurs on the right to housing and the right to food in order to explain their mandates and methods of cooperating with civil society. HIC-HLRN also will host a senior representative from UN Habitat to discuss with participants their issues and expectations for UN project implementation in development. UN Special Rapporteurs and implementation agency representatives will hear people’s priorities and expectations so as to integrate them into their respective mandates. Participants will learn how to relate to certain UN mechanisms that previously may have seemed remote and unresponsive. Organizers: Housing and Land Rights Network / Habitat International Coalition Workshop: Monitoring methods for defending the human right to adequate housing Date: Date: Jan 18, 5PM to 8PM Venue: B52 Description: Informing about professional human rights monitoring methods and how to apply the resulting evidence to a variety of uses, from social mobilization to litigation. The human right to housing is recognized as a State obligation, but without sufficient enforcement. Civil society has a special role in determining whether States respect, protect, promote and fulfill this right sufficiently. To do that effectively, the organizers present the methodology step by step, and then apply it to individual initiatives (taking a case to the media or court) or collective actions (global Urgent Actions). The presenters will take participants through the monitoring steps and apply the human rights standards developed so far, showing how they can defend the rights in practical ways, as well as help develop standards further. Participants will gain new skills at organizing and implementing monitoring activities that are designed to address the human right to adequate housing, but can be equally similarly applied to other economic, social and cultural rights. Organizers: Housing and Land Rights Network / Habitat International Coalition Conference: Kurds, Palestinians, Tibetans… Peoples under Occupation or Foreign Domination Date: Date: Jan 19, 9AM to 12Noon Venue: A5 Description: We will present the common housing and land rights violations that the occupying states have been perpretating, focussing on population transfer, land confiscation and property destruction. The participants will give their testimonies on the specific violations that they face. Solutions, namely self-determination, should be discussed too. HLRN will introduce the Solidarity Network that it coordinates and gathers Kurdish, Palestinian and Tibetan representatives, and summarise the common housing and land rights violations. Representatives will present their testimonies and demands. Eminent figures supporting their causes should also participate. EXPECTED RESULTS/ OUTCOMES : Heightened public awareness on causes of occupation and their effects on the affected peoples. More-developed solidarity with and among these peoples. Popularised comparative analysis that focuses on these cases common human rights dimensions, beyond the geopolitical contexts, which often distorts understanding. Speakers: Mr. Nazmi Gur, GIYAV – Migration and Humanitarian Aid Foundation; Mr. Hamdi al-Khawaja, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics; Mr. Ngawang Drakmargyapon, Spokesman of the Tibetan Delegation Organizers: Housing and Land Rights Network / Habitat International Coalition Conference: The Charter on the Right to the City Date: Jan 19, 5PM to 8PM Venue: A3 Description: The “right to the city” concept has evolved over the years as a rallying banner under which all kinds of people excluded in the cities can claim a bundle of human rights that are often denied in urban poor living conditions. The draft Charter is a popular initiative to address common global problems and proffer their solutions through the effective implementation of existing human rights. The Charter promises to serve as a platform for advocacy, popular claims and remedies of violations. The speakers will be social activists and innovators (largely from Latin America) presenting the social process leading up to the formulation of the draft Charter. They will explain the strategic objectives and intended future steps for popular international adoption and use. Participants will realize the value in the development and popular adoption of the Charter on the Right to the City and learn ways to use it in local and international advocacy to defend existing human rights and argue for the recognition of other vital entitlements for urban dwellers on the basis of equality. Organizers: HIC, HLRN WORKSHOP ON COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION Date: Jan 17-20. 1- 4 p.m. Central issues: Vision of a world-wide Movement with a clear perspective of fighting the negative features of Globalisation Policy, which are also influencing the Government Economic Policies through “total sale” of government Public sector enterprises which will only strengthen the coffers of MNCs and Imperialist Financial Institutions who are out to destroy the already exploited third world economics. The slogan, “Workers of the World Unite is more relevant than ever before.” Expected results: Greater networking with a clear socio-economic perspective of empowering the poor people through organising formation of co-operatives, self-help groups, Income generation programmes which can build up the economic fortunes of the people. Agenda: — January 17, Venue: C 96 — Problems & Challenges of Community Organizers(COs) and Community Leaders(CLs) in the Globalizing Era — January 18, Venue: C 95 — Impact of Globalisation on Urban Poor — January 19, Venue: C 103 — Eviction of Urban Poor on Water Front settlements — January 20, Venue: C 81 — Unemployment and Homelessness Organized by: Christian Institute for the Study of Religion & Society(CISRS) “Leaders and Organisors of Community Organisations in Asia(LOCOA)” Habitat International Coalition(HIC) Urban Poor Consortium(UPC) Urban Poor Associates(UPA)