Document - Haiti: Families in Haiti at risk of forced eviction

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UA: 217/11 Haiti Index: AMR 36/008/2011 Haiti Date: 14 July 2011

URGENT ACTION

Families in Haiti at risk of forced eviction

More than 500 homeless families are at risk of being forcibly evicted from a makeshift camp located in central Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where they have been living since the January 2010 earthquake. Amnesty International is seriously concerned that they will not receive adequate alternative accommodation.

The City Council of Port-au-Prince has announced it will evict homeless families living in a makeshift camp just outside the Sylvio Cator Stadium in central Port-au-Prince on Friday 15 July. There are 514 families who have sought shelter there since the earthquake of January 2010. They are among the hundreds of thousands of people left homeless by the earthquake and who had no alternative but to make their own shelters wherever they could.

The mayor of Port-au-Prince went to the camp on Tuesday 12 July to inform the inhabitants that they had to leave before Friday 15 July; no judicial order was presented to them. This was the first notification of impending eviction that the families had received. The mayor was supposed to return to speak with them on Wednesday 13 July but did not appear. Although the authorities have reportedly designated alternative accommodation less than two kilometres away, the families have said that they have been offered a small area of marshland where only 40 families will be able to build new makeshift shelters. Their concern is heightened by the fact that Haiti is currently in its rain and hurricane season. They have reportedly been told they will be forcibly removed if they do not leave willingly. The reason for the eviction is reportedly related to an upcoming sporting event being held at the stadium.

The families were among the 7,000 people who had sought shelter inside the Sylvio Cator Stadium in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, by setting up makeshift shelters on the pitch. They were forcibly evicted from the stadium in April 2010 without being offered alternative accommodation. With nowhere else to go, around half of those evicted established a makeshift camp in the area immediately surrounding the stadium. They now face a second forced eviction and may find themselves without shelter for a third time in eighteen months.

Please write immediately in French or your own language:

  • Urge authorities to halt any evictions of people from the internally displaced people camp outside the Sylvio Cator Stadium until such time as adequate alternative accommodation can be provided;

  • Urge the authorities to ensure that no one is being evicted without due process, adequate notice and consultation and ensuring that all of those affected have access to adequate alternative accommodation;

  • Remind them that UN Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons state that such persons have the right to an adequate standard of living, including basic shelter and housing and protection against arbitrary displacement.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 25 AUGUST 2011 TO:

Mayor of Port-au-Prince

Monsieur Muscadin Jean Yves Jason

151, Angle Avenue Jean Paul II et Impasse Duverger

Turgeau

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Email: mairiedeportauprince@gmail.com Salutation: Monsieur le Maire / Dear Mayor

President

Monsieur Michel Martelly

Palais National

Rue Magny

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Fax: + 1 202-745-7215 (via Haiti embassy in the USA)

Email: communications@presidentmartelly.ht

Salutation: Monsieur le Président,/ Dear President Martelly


And copies to:

NGO

Groupe d'Appui aux Rapatries & Refugies

69, Rue Christ-roi

P.O. Box 19273

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

E-mail: garr@garr-haiti.org

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

Families in Haiti at risk of forced eviction

ADditional Information

Approximately 7,000 people took shelter in the Sylvio Cator sports stadium following the January 2010 earthquake. They were forcibly evicted in April 2010 without being provided with alternative accommodation. Faced with nowhere else to go, around half of those evicted set up a makeshift camp in the area immediately surrounding the stadium. There are currently 680,000 persons living in more than 1,000 camps in Haiti and 70% of these face threats or imminent evictions, in most cases without due legal process.


A devastating earthquake struck Haiti on 12 January 2010, with the epicentre localised near Port-au-Prince, leaving nearly 1.5

million persons homeless. Makeshift camps sprung up overnight on every single patch of open space, private or public. Eighteen months after the earthquake, living conditions in most of the camps remain dire in spite of massive humanitarian relief efforts. Construction of temporary shelters to accommodate tens of thousands of families living in the camps is progressing slowly. Forced evictions exacerbate the plight of Haitian families with no access to alternative shelter.





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