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IOC Petitioned Against Forceful Eviction For 2016 Rio De Jan

Forced Evictions, Displacement, Olympics and other Mega-Events

IOC Petitioned Against Forceful Eviction For 2016 Rio De Jan

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:02 am

IOC Petitioned Against Forceful Eviction For 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics
RTT News
11/15/2011 1:25 AM ET

(RTTNews) - Residents' groups and local housing activists, supported by human rights organizations, have sent a joint letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging the organizers of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games to stop the Brazilian authorities from forcibly evicting hundreds of families across Rio de Janeiro amid preparations for the international sporting event.

Rights watchdogs Amnesty International and WITNESS joined the local groups in bringing to the apex sports body's attention that families in dozens of the Brazilian city's low-income areas have lost or are at risk of losing their homes as the authorities build infrastructure for the Games.

"Forcing families out of their homes without adequate notice, prior consultation with those affected and without offering adequate alternative housing or provision of legal remedies flies in the face of the very values the Olympics stand for, and violates Brazil's laws and international human rights commitments," says the letter.

The Olympic organizers have been urged to "use their influence to put an end to this practice now, before it's too late. The IOC must not be complicit with human rights abuses carried out in its name, and should publicly and unequivocally condemn all forced evictions in Rio de Janeiro."

Favelas and informal settlements around the city have already been affected over the past year and more are slated for future planned evictions by the authorities.

Former community residents have not received adequate compensation or suitable alternative housing, violating international human rights standards.

This pattern of abuse has been repeated in other communities over the past year, with authorities often putting pressure on residents for months on end to accept sub-standard offers instead of following procedural and legal safeguards before evictions take place.

The situation became so severe earlier this year that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, intervened to demand that the Brazilian government "stop planned evictions until dialogue and negotiation can be ensured."

"We recognize that Rio de Janeiro's authorities need to install adequate infrastructure to ensure the success and safety of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics," said the organizations.

"But this must be carried out in a spirit of consultation and collaboration with the affected communities, to ensure that their rights are protected in the process," they pointed out in the letter to IOC.

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