The African representative of HIC's Board Dr.
Mrs Ifeyinwa Ofong and Habitat International Coalition General Secretariat
organized a side event entitled "Addressing inequalities and challenges to
social inclusion: Housing and evictions, Extractive Industries and land
grabbing” in the framework of the United Nations 57th Session of the Commission for Social
The event analyzed human rights violations
related to housing and land, in particular forced evictions. Through the
participants remarks, the session explored the community ownership of land and
housing cooperatives as an alternative to the private ownership of land and
housing. HIC shared
the Declaration on Human Rights Day, as well as the Zimbabwe People’s Land
Rights Movement: Stop the Evictions in Zimbabwe.
click in the following links to read the interventions of the speakers:
HIC side event generated
a strong interest among the member states, the CSOs and even the UN. The
presentations showed that addressing inequalities and the challenges to social
inclusion can actually reduce the problems of housing and shelter, as well as
the human rights violations related to forced evictions, which have led to
poverty and homelessness in most cases.
The negative impacts of
extractive and mining industries were also discussed, including but not limited
to how operators have taken over community land and resources; the eviction of settlers;
and the diversion of profits which should improve the well-being of the people.
The session also
addressed the Right to the City and how this can be achieved in and around the
cities in developing countries, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America
regions, despite high levels of inequality and social exclusion . The concern
about Women’s Rights to the City was also highlighted and how cities can be
gender friendly and safe for women. Women need to be part of the decision
making and governance structures in cities. Social facilities and amenities
should be gender friendly, accessible and affordable to all women.
This gathering was sponsored by: Habitat International Coalition (HIC); Worldwide Network Nigeria: Women in Development and Environment; ESCRNet; Habitat for Humanity; Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NewYork office.
The 57th Commission for Social Development in New York
The HIC team attended
the 57th Session from the 11 th to 21 st of February 2019, a great opportunity
to engage with other civil society organizations, member states and the UN member
states and the UN on the priorities of the commission.
On the last day of the
Commission, being 21 st February, the Commission ended the session by adopting
three draft resolutions which will be sent to the Economic and Social Council
for adoption — including one focused on harnessing the potential of tax
policies, wage floors and safety nets to combat inequality. The Council would
stress that the benefits of social growth should be inclusive and distributed more
equitably to close gaps and avoid deepening inequality.
In addition, it these
resolutions will encourage Member states to combat discrimination and social exclusion;
to promote affordable and equitable access to basic services; to use good
public spending policies to ensure universal health care; and as well as ensure
active labor policies to provide decent work for all and a fair share of
productivity for workers. They are also expected to expand social protection to
all people, despite limited fiscal resources.
The commission also
The Draft Resolution on
Youths, saying that youths remain an important global instrument. Member
States were urged to ensure that youth issues are adequately addressed in their
implementation of the 2030 Agenda, linking inequality to youth unemployment.
A draft resolution on
the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa Development, which
emphasizes the importance of promoting the integrated and coordinated
implementation, monitoring and reporting of the 2030 Agenda as well as the
African Union’s agenda 2064 through joint activities and program.
58th session of the Commission was declared opened as soon the 57th
session was closed. The priority theme for the 58th Session of the Commission
will be "Affordable housing and social protection system for all to address
homelessness”. The dates will be announced within the year.