The right to housing is a basic human right. This was reaffirmed in June 1996 when governments from around the world gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, for Habitat II — the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements. Yet, in all corners of the globe, people are homeless and continue to be forcibly, and sometimes violently, removed from their dwellings. Despite the good intentions of national governments, the right to housing and guarantees against forced eviction are not yet reality.
This book tells the story of evictions and planned evictions in the Canadian cities of Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary. It explores the housing plight of Santiago de Chile's urban poor during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. It looks at how the 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in America resulted in mass evictions in Santo Domingo. From South Africa, this book visits the Witwatersrand region in the years prior to the elimination of apartheid. Finally, the book looks at the startling results of Seoul's "urban renovation" policies.
With a concluding chapter that draws together the lessons from these various locales, Evictions and the Right to Housing examines both the political and economic forces driving evictions and is a new and important reference in the struggle for the right to housing for all.
Antonio Azuela holds degrees in law (University of Warwick) and urban planning (Universidad Iberoamericana). He is currently a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales of the Universidad Autónoma de México in Coyoacan, Mexico, and Mexico's Federal Attorney for the Environment.
Emilio Duhau holds degrees in sociology (Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires) and urban development (El Colegio de México). He is currently professor of urban sociology in the Department of Sociologyat the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Azcapotzalco, Mexico.
Enrique Ortiz is executive secretary of Habitat International Coalition (HIC) in Mexico City. HIC is a federation of over 200 community-based organizations from 56 countries, all of whom are working to defend and advance the right to housing.