Olympics 2008 – Displaced for International Sports

6 Dec

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), an NGO, which campaigns on the protection of human rights with regards to housing rights and the prevention of forced evictions, has accused the Chinese government of evicting 13,000 people monthly for the Beijing Olympics. According to the AP article, “Group: China to Evict 1.5M for Olympics” dated 5 December, the human rights group predicted that 1.5 million people would be displaced by the time the sporting event is held.

The group also released a report, “Fair Play for Housing Rights: Mega-Events, Olympic Games and Housing Rights” which documented that more than two million people were displaced for the last 20 years by the Games. Most of those affected are mainly the “homeless, the poor, and minorities such as Roma and African-Americans.”

Housing Rights is recognised as a human right by the UN in 1948 with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under Article 25.1 which states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

The UN “Human Right to Adequate Housing (Fact Sheet No.21) “ further clarifies governmental obligations, international communities’ obligations, entitlement of housing rights, monitoring the rights to adequate housing amongst other specifications. Housing Rights is mentioned in international conventions and covenants such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979); Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951); and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (1990).

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