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One Billion Slum Dwellers Cannot Be Ignored

LONDON - Governments cannot celebrate the UN World Habitat Day on 4 October
while ignoring one billion people living in slums, Amnesty International
said today.

“A couple of weeks ago in New York, governments promised to help 100
million living in slums. The problem is that more than a billion people
live in slums. They don’t have water, schools, sanitation, or health
care,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and
Policy at Amnesty International.

Mass forced evictions of people living in slums are being carried out
around the world, with Roma communities evicted across Europe, slum
dwellers in Delhi forcibly evicted to make way for the Commonwealth
games and more than 200,000 people facing eviction in Port Harcourt,

The recent Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit failed to call on
governments to stop forced evictions, despite evidence that such
evictions drive people further into poverty and undermine all the MDGs.
It instead asked governments to ‘reduce slum populations’, raising fears
that this could encourage more forced evictions.

“From France to Zimbabwe to Cambodia, we have documented how
governments are destroying homes of some of the poorest people in their
countries. Those whose homes are destroyed are failed by the law, they
get no compensation and have no place to live,” said Widney Brown.

“It is time for World leaders to move beyond the rhetoric we heard in
New York and take urgent action to protect the rights of people living
in slums.”


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