Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blog Action Day: Stop Forced Evictions in Kenya

400 Kenyan families were forcibly evicted on 10 May 2013 from an informal settlement in the capital, Nairobi.
They are homeless and in urgent need of food, water and adequate accommodation.
Police, who were present during the eviction, used live ammunition and teargas. - © Amnesty International 

Today is Blog Action Day, a time when bloggers from around the world join together to write about a universal problem. This year's theme is human rights, and I will be focusing specifically on human rights violations in Kenya, where many people in Kenya have suffered from forced evictions. Amnesty International defines these as "evictions carried out without legal protections. This means those affected are not consulted about suitable alternatives to eviction nor are they given adequate notice. Communities are not compensated for the loss of their homes nor are they offered adequate alternative housing."

This sardonic video gives you an idea of what it is like to be forcibly evicted:
(Click here to see embedded video)

According to the Amnesty International report on forced evictions in Kenya published earlier this month:
Amnesty International...found that even if the eviction had been legally justified and the court had indeed ordered an eviction, the authorities failed to put in place the safeguards required by international law. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has emphasized that even when an eviction is considered to be justified, “it should be carried out in strict compliance with the relevant provisions of international human rights law and in accordance with general principles of reasonableness and proportionality.
Forced evictions not only make people homeless, they can also lead to loss of livelihoods and loss of access to education and health care. They are often violent. International human rights standards are unequivocal: forced evictions are illegal; they are never justified and they constitute a grave violation of the right to housing. Moreover, they can lead to violations of a number of other human rights such as the righ ts to life, food, water, sanitation, health, education, work and security of person. The UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement underline that: “Forced evictions intensify inequality, social conflict, segregation and 'ghettoization’, and invariably affect the poorest, most socially and economically vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society, especially women, children, minorities and indigenous peoples.” 

If you would like to help, please sign this letter to the Kenyan government asking for an end to forced evictions, and share it with your friends.

Related posts:
Blog Action Day: Water for All
International Literacy Day
Women Bear the Brunt of Hunger
World Aids Day

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