Saturday, March 05, 2005

human rights vs. slum upgrading

The news from Kenya isn't encouraging. The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), an NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland, has just issued a damning report showing that, with the UN-sponsored upgrading on the way, the government's demolition of hundreds of mud huts in Kibera was "a clear violation of the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights." You can find the report here (beware, though, that I found that I could not open some of the documents after downloading them.) COHRE argues "for a rethinking of the design of the Kibera upgrade project with better representation of residents, protection against evictions and a greater focus on water, sanitation and refuse disposal." Sounds sensible. More on this when I get a hard copy of the report.

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