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Latino Daily News

Tuesday April 26, 2011

UN:  Housing at Risk as Brazil Prepares for World Cup and Olympics

UN:  Housing at Risk as Brazil Prepares for World Cup and Olympics

Photo: Brazil Housing

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An independent United Nations human rights expert today voiced concern about alleged displacement and evictions in various cities across Brazil as the country prepares to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

“I am particularly worried about what seems to be a pattern of lack of transparency, consultation, dialogue, fair negotiation, and participation of the affected communities in processes concerning evictions undertaken or planned in connection with the World Cup and Olympics,” said Raquel Rolnik, the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing.

Allegations concerning displacement and evictions potentially leading to rights violations were received from different cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Recife, Natal and Fortaleza.

Numerous evictions have already been executed without the families concerned being given sufficient time to propose and discuss alternatives, and without adequate plans for relocation. “Insufficient attention is being given to access to infrastructure, services and means of subsistence in relocation sites,” she said in a news release.

The Special Rapporteur also voiced concern about the very limited compensation offered to the affected communities, which is even more striking given the increased value of real estate in locations where building is taking place for the sporting events.

Ms. Rolnik called on federal, state and municipal authorities involved in World Cup and Olympics projects to engage in a transparent dialogue with Brazilian society, particularly with the sectors of the population directly affected.

Ms. Rolnik reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council in an independent and unpaid capacity.