Zimbabwe: Statement on Forced Evictions
Zimbabwe: Statement on Forced Evictions
Statement / Africa 8 minutes

Zimbabwe: Statement on Forced Evictions

Noting with grave concern the deepening humanitarian and human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, the International Crisis Group and more than 200 African and international human rights and civic groups have come together to call on the African Union and the United Nations to take action:

Over the past four weeks the Government of Zimbabwe has orchestrated the widespread forced eviction of tens of thousands of informal traders and families living in informal settlements. During these forced evictions homes have been burnt and property destroyed. Many individuals have been arbitrarily arrested, detained, fined, abducted and/or beaten. Such actions continue unabated, and with impunity.

Tens of thousands of people are now living in the open - during winter - without access to adequate shelter, food or clean water. No care has been shown for these people, many of whom are vulnerable. Thousands of children, the elderly and the ill face the prospect of disease and in some cases death from hunger, exposure and drinking unsafe water. Some of the most vulnerable are dying already.

The complete and wholesale destruction of people’s homes and livelihoods -- conservatively estimated to have affected at least 300,000 people so far -- constitutes a grave violation of international human rights law, and a disturbing affront to human dignity. There can be no justification for the Government of Zimbabwe’s action which has been carried out without prior notice, due process of the law or assurance of adequate alternative accommodation. We condemn it in the strongest terms.

The African Union (AU) and the relevant bodies of the United Nations (UN), including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Security Council and the Secretary-General, cannot fail to act in the face of such gross and widespread human rights violations and appalling human misery. We urge the Chair of the AU and all member states to address the situation in Zimbabwe as an urgent matter at the forthcoming AU Assembly in Libya from 4 to 5 July. Similarly, the UN must act on the serious concerns raised by the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing in respect of the ongoing and massive violations of human rights in Zimbabwe.

We welcome the appointment by the UN Secretary-General of Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, as the Special Envoy for Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe. We strongly urge the UN to ensure there is no delay in either her visit to Zimbabwe or the publication of her findings. Furthermore, in light of the scale of the humanitarian crisis and the fact that forced evictions continue, the UN must call for an end to these violations and for humanitarian assistance to be provided to all those affected.

We urge all member states of the AU and UN to ensure that the relevant bodies of the two organizations:

  • Take immediate and effective action -- consistent with their mandates -- to ensure an end to the mass forced evictions and destruction of livelihoods in Zimbabwe, including by publicly condemning these violations and calling for their immediate end.
  • Call for the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that all those who are currently homeless as a result of the mass forced evictions have immediate access to emergency relief.
  • Call for the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the right to an effective remedy for all victims including access to justice, and appropriate reparations which can involve restitution, rehabilitation, compensation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.

Supporting Organisations

  • Angola
    • Development Workshop, Angola
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Angola
    • SOS Habitat
  • Botswana
    • Amnesty International, Botswana
    • Ditshwanelo (The Botswana Centre for Human Rights)
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
    • Fondation Aimé Nikiema pour les Droits de l'Homme
    • Mouvement Bukinabè des Droits de l'Homme et des Peuples (MBDHP)
    • Union Interafricaine des Droits de l'Homme
  • Cameroon
    • Absolute Dispute Resolution
    • Human Rights Education Centre
  • Egypt
    • Egyptian Centre for Housing Rights
  • Gambia
    • African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
  • Ghana
    • Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)
    • Centre for Public Interest Law
    • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (Africa Office)
    • Media Foundation for West Africa, Ghana
    • People's Dialogue for Human Settlements
    • Third World Network Africa (TWN)
  • Kenya
    • Amnesty International, Kenya
    • Basic Rights
    • Catholic Diocese of Kitale, Kenya
    • Chemichemi ya Ukweli
    • Coalition on Violence Against Women - Kenya (COVAW-K)
    • Hakijamii Trust
    • Illishie Trust
    • Kenya Human Rights Commission
    • Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
    • Kisumu Urban Apostolate Programes – Pandipieri, Kenya
    • Kituo Cha Sheria
    • Shelter Forum
    • Trocaire
    • Umande Trust
  • Lesotho
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Lesotho
  • Liberia
    • Amnesty International, Liberia
    • Centre for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE)
  • Malawi
    • Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR)
    • Institute for Policy Interaction
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Malawi
  • Mauritius
    • Amnesty International, Mauritius
  • Mozambique
    • APFIVA, Mozambique
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Mozambique
    • Mozambican Action on Crime Combat and Social Rehabilitation of Prisoners
    • National Association of Demobilised Soldiers of Mozambique
  • Namibia
    • Clement Daniels Legal Practitioners
    • Forum For the Future
    • Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation
    • Katutura Community Radio
    • Legal Assistance Centre
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Namibia
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa - Regional Secretariat
    • Namibia Non-Governmental Forum
    • National Society for Human Rights
    • The Rainbow Project
    • Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA)
  • Nigeria
    • Action Health Incorporated (AHI)
    • Africa Alive
    • African Development Network
    • Ama Dialog Foundation
    • Baobab for Women's Rights
    • Borno Coalition for Democracy & Progress (BORCODEP)
    • Care Organization Public Enlightenment (COPE)
    • Central Educational Services (CES)
    • Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG)
    • Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)
    • Centre for Development Support Inititatives (CEDHPA)
    • Center for Law and Social Action (CLASA)
    • Centre for the Advancement of Democracy and the Rule of Law
    • Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI)
    • Child Help in Legal Defence of Rights to Education in Nigeria (CHILDREN)
    • Civil Liberties Organisation
    • Civil Resources Development & Documentation Center (CIRDDOC)
    • CLEEN Foundation (formerly Center for Law Enforcement & Education)
    • Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP)
    • Constitutional Rights Project (CRP)
    • Development Alternatives and Resource Centre
    • Development Concerns
    • Development Network Development Options for Humanity (DOH)
    • Freedom House
    • Gender and Development Action (GADA)
    • Gender Rights Project
    • General Action Against the Violation of Human and Childrens Rights (GAAVOHCR)
    • Girls Power Initiaitve (GPI)
    • Global Alert for Defence of Youth and the Less Privileged
    • Hope Worldwide
    • Human Development Initiative (HDI)
    • Human Rights Law Services (HURI-LAWS)
    • Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDR)
    • Institute for Human Settlement and Environment
    • International First Aid Society (IFAS)
    • International Foundation for African Children (IFAC)
    • International Press Centre
    • Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS)
    • League for Human Rights
    • Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP)
    • Legal Resources Consortium (LRC)
    • Media Concern for Women & Children (MEDIACON)
    • Media Development Network (MDN)
    • Movement for Cultural Awareness (MOCA)
    • Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)
    • Multimedia Centre for Democracy
    • NGO Guide 2000
    • Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations
    • Peace And Development Projects (PEDEP)
    • People's Rights Organization
    • Project Alert
    • ProjektHope
    • Save-a-Soul Foundation
    • Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)
    • Social Economic Rights Initiative (SERI)
    • Society for Shelter, Education, Food and Agricultural Development in Africa
    • West Africa Bar Association (WABA), Nigeria
    • West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), Nigeria
    • Women Advocates Research & Documentation Center (WARD C)
    • Women Aid Collective (WACOL)
    • Women's Optimum Development Foundation
    • Youth Development Education and Leadership for Africa (YORDEL)
  • Senegal
    • Amnesty International, Senegal
    • Convergence Africaine pour la Démocratie et les Droits Humains (CADDHU)
    • Organisation Nationale des Droits de l'Homme (ONDH)
    • Rencontre Africaine pour la Defense des droits de L'homme (RADDHO)
  • Sierra Leone
    • Lawyers for Legal Aid Assistance
  • South Africa
    • Amnesty International, South Africa (AISA)
    • Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)
    • Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA)
    • Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
    • Community Law Centre
    • Concerned Zimbabweans Abroad, South Africa
    • Crisis Zimbabwe Coalition, South Africa
    • Disabled Zimbabweans Abroad, South Africa
    • Free State Rural Development Association (FSRDA)
    • Glynn Hunters International
    • Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), South Africa
    • Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA)
    • Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA)
    • Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), South Africa
    • Masisukumeni Women's Crisis Centre
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, South Africa
    • National Land Committee (NLC)
    • Nkuzi Development Association
    • Solidarity Peace Trust (SPT), South African
    • National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO)
    • Southern African Action Network on Small Arms
    • Southern African Women’s Institute of Migration Affairs (SAWIMA)
    • Southern Cape Land Committee (SCLC)
    • Support Centre – ACTION for Conflict Transformation
    • Surplus People Project (SPP)
    • TRAC Mpumalanga
    • Transparency International - South Africa
    • Transkei Land Service Organisation (TRALSO)
    • Treatment Action Campaign
    • Zimbabwe Advocacy Campaign (ZAC), South Africa
    • Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), South Africa
    • Zimbabwe Human Rights Lobby Group, South Africa
    • Zimbabwe Liaison Office (ZLO), South Africa
    • Zimbabwe Political Victims Association (ZIPOVA), South Africa
    • Zimbabwe Torture Victims Project, South Africa
  • Sudan
    • Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT)
  • Swaziland
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Swaziland
  • Tanzania
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Tanzania
    • Same network of NGOs/CBOs (SANGO Network)
    • Zanzibar Legal Services Centre
  • Zambia
    • Civil Society Trade Network of Zambia
    • Legal Resources Foundation, Zambia
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Zambia
    • National Civil Society MDG Campaign
    • Transparency International, Zambia
    • Zambia Civic Education Association
  • Zimbabwe
    • Amani Trust
    • Amnesty International, Zimbabwe
    • Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
    • Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
    • Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    • Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe
    • Legal Resources Foundation, Zimbabwe
    • Media Institute for Southern Africa, Zimbabwe
    • Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
    • National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
    • Nonviolent Action and Strategies for Social Change
    • Southern Africa Human Rights Trust (SAHRIT)
    • Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
    • Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of the Offender
    • Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights
    • Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET)
    • Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
    • Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
  • International
    • Alliance for Southern African Progress (ASAP)
    • Amnesty International
    • Association of Zimbabweans Based Abroad
    • Catholic Centre for International Relations
    • Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions
    • CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation
    • Fahamu - Networks for Social Justice
    • FIAN International
    • Habitat International Coalition
    • Housing Land Rights Network, representing:
    • Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem, Palestine
    • Arcilla Research, Netherlands
    • Asia Eviction Watch, Philippines
    • Asociaciòn de Vivienda Económica (AVE), Argentina
    • BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
    • Centre for Environmental Tourism Culture, Syria
    • Centro de Capacitación Social Ciudad de Panamá
    • Centro de Investigaciones CIUDAD, Ecuador
    • Centro de Intercambio y Servicios Cono Sur (CISCSA), Argentina
    • Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan, Peru
    • Centro Feminista de Información Acción (CEFEMINA), Costa Rica
    • Coalición Internacional para el Hábitat, Mexico
    • Comunidades Automas, Venezuela
    • Coordinación Red Mujer y Habitat de America Latina, Argentina
    • Defence for Children International, Palestine
    • Egyptian Centre for the Rights of the Child
    • Geography Department, University of Akron, USA
    • Habitat International Coalition, Chile
    • El Instituto para la Superación de la Meseria Urbana de Guatamala
    • Land Centre for Human Rights, Egypt
    • Middle East/North Africa Program, Housing and Land Rights Network
    • Popular Development Centre, Palestine
    • Red Mexicana de Agricultura Urbana, Mexico
    • Rooftops Canada/Arbi International, Canada
    • Servicio Latinamericano, Asiático y Africano de Vivienda Popular, Chile
    • Shelter for the Poor, Bangladesh
    • South Asia Regional Program, Housing and Land Rights Network
    • Human Rights First
    • Human Rights Watch
    • Inter Africa Network for Human Rights (AFRONET)
    • International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI)
    • International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute
    • International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
    • International Crisis Group
    • International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
    • Refugees International
    • Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE)
    • Safeguards International

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