Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 20 - August 2020 عربى

Root Causes

For centuries, wise people have been saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same can easily be repeated in this era of pandemic, climate change and intractable conflict, leaving little excuse for forgetting that age-old maxim. While governments, politicians and human organizations of all kinds persist in relearning old More

Regional Developments

Global Civil Society Seeks Accountability in Palestine

Palestinian, regional, and international human rights organisations submit joint report on accountability to UN Special Rapporteur Al-Haq, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, and Habitat International Coalition – Housing and Land Rights Network, have submitted a joint report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation More

MENA States at the High-level Political Forum 2020

At this year’s High-level Political Forum (7–16 July), reviewing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s Agenda 2030, four countries in the MENA region presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), among a total of 47 reporting states.  HIC-HLRN cooperated with HIC Members and other partners on the VNRs from this region, in addition those of Argentina, Nepal, More

Palestine: Patterns of Crime against Land & Housing amid COVID-19

Palestine`s Land Research Center has issued an important new report, charting the principal patterns of violations of Palestinian housing and land rights under “Israeli Occupation of Palestine’s West Bank during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” With maps and field research data, the report analyzes how these major patterns of Israeli military and settler activity combine to represent three simultaneous objectives, ostensibly to: Accelerate More

Documenting Housing, Land and Property Violations in War

Despite prohibitions in international law, conflict and war is till characterized by systematic bombing and destruction of civilian neighborhoods and theft of property, amounting to war crimes. Victims, fleeing for their lives, face another battle in the event of peace or other voluntary return, perpetuating frustration for IDPs, refugees and their host countries. The perpetual hostility facing these victims has More

Lebanon UPR

In early July 2020, civil society organizations concerned with the crisis in Lebanon have submitted analysis of the human rights situation there to the UN Human Rights Council. This outpouring of critical assessment comes in preparation for Lebanon’s upcoming 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the country’s human rights performance, which will take place at Geneva in October–November 2020. HIC-HLRN has More

Sudan: Decommissioning the Bashir Regime to Empower the People

After the overthrow of the Omar al-Bashir regime, in April 2019, a transitional Sovereignty Council was formed in September 2019, with a military presidency, membership of 6 civilians and 5 soldiers, the formation of a civilian cabinet, and a Constitutional Charter for the Transition Period toward a three-year  system (2019–2022) and, in November, the Transitional Council passed three priority laws More

“Neom” Project: What New Saudi Future?

The preparations for a half-trillion-dollar futuristic city-state in Saudi Arabia’s Tabruk Province has developed into a full-blown international controversy. Forming an integral part of Muhammad Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan for an ultra-modern and diversified economy, the planned metropolis of “Neom” takes its name from a mash-up of the Greek word for new, “νέος” [n(y)ū]) and the Arabic for a future More

Landless in the Middle East/North Africa

Persons and groups rendered landless is a global phenomenon afflicting millions. Those who are considered landlessness have harrowing stories to tell. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, land-based communities and indigenous peoples have expressed how the return to their land is essential to their sustenance as a matter of survival. Both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) [AR] More

NGOs Remind UNSC of Western Sahara Obligations

NGOs –– Geneva Support Group for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Western Sahara Open letter to the President of the UN Security Council H.E. Mr. Christoph Heusgen   Your Excellency,   Having followed the discussion at the high-level open debate held on 7 July on the theme "Peace operations and human rights," the 214 signatory organizations recall the primary responsibility of the United Nations More

Member News

A Call from Nuba Mountains

This article forms the second part of a two-part series. Following the problem statement in Land Times No. 19, this article focuses on the proposed solutions put forward by the Kushian Society for Development and Human Rights in light of the political changes taking place in Sudan. The people of the land, victims, and grievances, in addition to experts and researchers, More

HIC-MENA Elections

Habitat International Coalition has started the process to elect the new HIC Board Member representing the MENA region for the next four-year term that will run from September 2020 through September 2024. The new Board Member will serve in her/his personal capacity, replacing Ms. Raja al-Kassab (Right to Water Forum in the Arab Region), whose second and final term has expired. More

International Developments

CSOs Assess Food Security Efforts in Crises

CSM Questionnaire on FFA Monitoring Survey Open This year the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is undergoing a monitoring process on the use and application of the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises (FFA). The FFA represents the first global consensus on how to support the progressive realization of the human right to adequate More

HLRN’s Women’s Land and Home Project Expands

HLRN’s project “Assessing Impacts of Women’s Dispossession from Land and Home” has concluded its first phase with an on-line workshop that brought together participants from India, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, along with staff from the HLRN Cairo office, for knowledge exchange and planning of steps going forward. The workshop, initially scheduled to take place in Kenya in March 2020, More

HIC Concerns about Sustainable Development

In advance of the UN’s High-level Political Forum (HLPF), 7–16 July 2020, to review Sustainable Development Goal progress, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) solicited 1-page statements from the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders (MGOS) in the upcoming Forum. For its part, Habitat International Coalition summarized its own perspective on the HLPF process as follows: In addition to More

All Left Behind: Forced Eviction Crisis amid COVID-19

The economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis risks has put the livelihoods of millions — perhaps billions — of people around the globe in jeopardy. Physical-distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders have completely halted many sectors that require physical interaction among people, leading to social estrangement and massive job losses in every country. While global health advice has demanded people stay More

HIC Members Review Peru’s SDG Progress

In June and July 2020, HIC Members engaged in Peru’s National Voluntary Review (VNR) on the progress of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) held at UN Headquarters. The HLPF was conceived as a platform to review the performance of the SDG commitments, including the full and effective participation of Major Groups More

Global Forces against Land Defenders

The world is witnessing the convergence of two global phenomena: land grabbing and the COVID-19 pandemic. This deadly combination forms the climax of a long story of communities vulnerable to the human onslaught of land grabbing at the expense of land-based communities and entire peoples. Brazil exemplifies this double threat as the country with the second-most COVID-19 fatalities and spreading More

Vonovia: Profiting from Crisis

The Germany-based real estate trust, Vonovia, was born from social-housing seel-offs is now the largest private landlord in Austria and Sweden, with stakes also in a French housing company. On 26 June, Vonovia announced its further expansion to The Netherlands. Tenant activists and other critics in affected countries know well the harsh consequences of transnational corporations (TNCs) as landlords who inflated rents More


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