Urgent Action Appeal: Homeless Threatened by “Sumida Nature Conservancy,”Arakawa City (Tokyo, Japan)Forced evictions, dispossession, illicit use of force, deprivation of the means of subsistence


Habitat International Coalition (HIC) has learned from the Sanya Welfare Center for Day-Laborers’ Association Currently about 20 homeless people are living in the tents and huts in the Arakawa riverside area near Horikiri Bridge (Arakawa City, Tokyo). They have lost jobs and houses, and have no other option but to eke out a livelihood while securing a living space in public. MLIT is now conducting two public works projects named “Sumida nature conservancy” and “Onagigawa weeding and maintenance.”
However, these projects are essentially intended to evict the homeless people residing in the area, while intentionally ignoring the hardships of their precarious existence. As part of these public works projects large dump trucks and heavy machineries are brought right by their tents. This raises serious concerns regarding human rights and safety of the homeless people. Housing rights defenders demand that MLIT halt these projects immediately, and consider an alternative plan.

The over-400 Member organizations of Habitat International Coalition and its Housing and Land Rights Network, in over 100 countries, oppose the exclusion of the poor and the creation of needless deprivation and deepening poverty through forced evictions Instead, we promote the many civil alternatives to such conduct, as developed in the norms of international law upholding human rights, in particular the human right to adequate housing and the corresponding obligations of the State. We urge you and your offices to apply the same minimum norms of conduct in the public service, and we look forward to hearing of your efforts to apply them to the reparation of harm done to the homeless persons threatened by the “Sumida Nature Conservancy” in Arakawa City.

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To read the letter sent by HIC to Japanese authorities click here