Dernière mise à jour le 28 août 2019

Eviction refers to the forcible removal of someone from the place where he or she lives. In principle, it occurs in the aftermath of a judicial or administrative decision. It should be preceded by an eviction noticed and trigger an eviction procedure.

Multiple Meanings

For our website, we will focus on three forms of eviction:

  • Housing eviction (as proprietor or tenant)
  • Land eviction (as proprietor or tenant)
  • Territorial eviction (an individual or group of individuals; this can include ethnic cleansing and population displacements following wars or the launching of industrial megaprojects, etc.)

The conception of eviction cannot be grasped without considering closely-related concepts such as public or private land monopolization, occupation rights, population displacements, etc.

Finally, beyond strictly legal issues, there are eviction procedures that occur in ways that are more or less respectful of the groups or individuals being evicted. In many situations, unjust or even illegal evictions are exacerbated by violence aimed at particular populations.

For some insight into public and private land monopolization in Africa, see this article from Pambazuka News, which has been republished by OKLAOLAND Institute. It should also be noted that instead of the term “eviction,” there are other words that may be refer to the specific conditions that exist in these countrie: in Senegal (and neighboring countries), one speaks of  « déguerpissement » (or involuntary resettlement); in Algeria, of “dégourbisation.”

The Engagement of the World International Assembly of Inhabitants

For several years, global networks have fought eviction in all its forms. Through their website, it is possible to announce a forcible eviction in order to mobilize the world against it.

Meeting in Rio in 2010, the Brazil’s National Forum for Urban Renovation, the Habitat International Coalition, International Assembly of Inhabitants, and NO VOX held a meeting to denounce evictions. In particular, they denounced the macroeconomic causes of evictions:

  • Climate change
  • Industrial or urban megaprojects
  • real estate and property speculation
  • the “cleansing of urban centers”
  • the volatility of local production projects under globalization’s influence.
  • the difficulty of returning to democracy after a period of dictatorship
  • and so on.

Beyond these observations on the group’s global activities, it is worth noting that they have announced a major new goal:  to obtain greater recognition for the social function of land and habitat.

Source: Compte rendu exposés de juin 2012 à l’Assemblée Mondiale des Habitants.

File translated by Michael C. Behrent – Assistant Professor – Department of History – Appalachian State University – Boone, NC  28608