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Haiti-Housing: Organizations launch “lasting solutions” campaign for displaced people

P-au-P, Oct 8, 2012 [AlterPresse] --- From July 2 until October 1, 2012, several national and international organizations launched an international campaign called under the tents, with the aim to ensure the right to housing.

This international campaign intends to demand permanent housing solutions for the 400,000 displaced people that still live in camps, more than two years after the earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital on January 10, 2010.

The campaign organizers intend to mobilize both the US Congress and the European Parliament, to raise global awareness through the media, to mobilize public pressure through petitions and to engage housing organizations across the globe.

A series of activities are being defined to mark World Habitat Day on October 1, 2012, explains Ellie Happel, a human rights lawyer and one of the organizers of the campaign.

The organizers of this initiative are requesting that the government put an immediate end to forced evictions until affordable or public housing for displaced people is put in place.

They deplore the absence of a comprehensive plan by the Haitian government to resettle in safe housing while hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tents.

They are calling for urgent action by the Haitian government, with the support of its allies and donor governments, including the US, Canada and a range of European countries.

The international campaign aims to help designate land for the construction of housing and to create a central government institution mandated to coordinate and implement a plan for social housing.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced people who live under plastic tarps and tattered tents are facing extreme levels of gender-based violence, reports the organizers of the campaign.

Along with a lack of access to safe drinking water and exposure to cholera, these displaced people are facing, among other things, threats of eviction.
Of the 1.5 million displaced people in 2010, just under 400,000 are still without proper housing two years later.

Most were driven away from the areas that they occupied by both arbitrary means but also by violence.

The mobilization in favor of permanent housing solutions for people displaced by the January 2010 earthquake includes, among other groups, the organization Strength of Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA, from its acronym in Creole), the Haitian platform for the organizations of human rights (POHDH) and the support group for returnees and refugees (GARR). [rs gp apr 09/0/2012 23:00]