The participants of the National Conference on Evictions - "Don't Push Down My House”, who gathered in Benguela between the 29th and 31st of July with the aim of creating a national strategy and of integrating in global movements of prevention and fight against forced demolitions and evictions, decided, after several debates that included delegates from 13,720 affected families (approximately 80,000 people) from five Angolan provinces, as well as civil society organizations with an interest in this topic, people linked to the media and international partners, to commit to the following strategy and action plan:

To begin with, the community delegates present at the event have decided to pass the information and message of the conference on to their communities, in the presence of the traditional authorities, as well as the municipal administration and other local entities. They not only intend to strengthen their own residents' committee, but also seek to encourage all the committees to support one another in order to keep the will to fight alive and to increase their ability to face difficulties. They consider that it is important to continue working with local civil society organizations specializing in the field of housing rights and the protection of economic, social and cultural rights, and to call on them when they cannot find a quick solution for their problems, as well as explaining to the community members what the objectives of these organizations are.

They intend to address letters to the communal, municipal and provincial authorities demanding the implementation of their rights. With the same goal, they will also address national authorities, including the President of the Republic and the National Assembly, and international authorities (such as the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing). They also intend to demand from municipal administrations the inclusion of members of the residents’ committees in the technical teams that work on the building, housing and urbanization programme.
Several communities wish to have an attorney to protect their rights. They absolutely do not intend to use any kind of violence. Finally, the Luanda communities wish to organize a march with the communities to the Provincial Government headquarters.

As far as communication is concerned, they have decided to strengthen their links with community newspapers and other media bodies, in order to better disseminate information about their situation.

The people linked to the media have decided to disseminate all of the information on the topic of evictions and demolitions in the broadest way possible. They placed great importance in deepening and consolidating the ties between media bodies, individuals, communities and organizations, which can be achieved through social mobilization, group dynamics, visits and meetings.

They believe in the need to build capacity and to develop the skills of individuals, communities and organizations in order to “nurture” and give substance to the media product. There is the need to share experiences, information and lessons learned, as well as to organize workshops to train and capacitate information agents. Finally, the communities and civil society organizations should develop an internal and external communication strategy.

The international partners decided to think and reflect about everything that they have heard and to translate the final communiqué and other important conference documents into English, to be able to distribute them. They will get in contact with the relevant national and international institutions, as well as with the media and research centres. They have also decided to integrate the land and housing concerns into their strategies, bearing in mind that it is an issue that is becoming increasingly more important in Angola.

They believe that it is crucial to strengthen the self-representation of the communities and organizations, and to help disseminate this self-representation. They also intend to facilitate access to information and capacity-building, in order to better prevent and/or manage land and housing conflicts through manuals, exchanges, experience-sharing, radio shows, CDs, etc. They also commit to build bridges between national and international networks. Finally, they wish to make the other sides of Angola known, apart from the diamonds and the oil, and to talk about the problems, but also the courage and strength, of the Angolan people and of the Angolan rich cultural differences.

The national civil society organizations will report to the communities and other organizations working on the issue at local and provincial level. They will inform the authorities at specific hearings about the conference. They have decided to create a network of organizations interested in this topic. They will make an inventory/registry of the cases, map them, create an updated data bank, and will also make an inventory with the contacts of the bodies that should be involved. They also intend to characterize the inventoried cases and to create a monitoring system that disseminates information on a regular basis through a website. They will lobby for the inclusion of the theme of forced evictions in the next National Civil Society Conference.

They commit to publicise the cases of successful negotiations between communities and different agents (such as the government, private bodies and others), to disseminate the right to housing through leaflets, booklets, debates, the promotion of joint trainings on land, housing and social advocacy, and to organize exchanges at local, provincial, national and international level.

They will carry out an immediate national and international campaign demanding solutions for the problems of the communities that were evicted and currently still living in precarious conditions. They will also advocate for the forced evictions to stop through the campaign “Zero Eviction”, until Angola passes a law on the subject. The intention to do so has already been announced. They also intend to organize a march against forced evictions which will take place simultaneously in several provinces of the country.The country’s civil society organizations will finally facilitate the participation of affected communities in the upcoming World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, and in other international events.

Sem comentários: