Issue: Forced Evictions

Forced EvictionsForced eviction numbers are on rise in several parts of India. Most development projects, at face value, seem aimed at improving the lives of people: a new dam will generate more electricity to power industry; a new shopping mall will create new businesses and therefore more jobs. The reality for communities living at or near a project – be it a dam or a shopping mall – is often quite different. A project being developed on their land, on their homes, is often about the destruction of communities, the disruption of lives, and the impoverishment of people. Each year an estimated 15 million people across the globe are forcibly uprooted from their homes, farmlands, fishing areas and forests to make way for dam reservoirs, irrigation projects, mines, plantations, highways, and tourist resorts. Urban slums are bulldozed to make way for luxury condominiums, sporting facilities and shopping centers. Human rights abuses do not end after a forced eviction. A community may not be formally resettled and often find themselves living without adequate housing and without access to water, work, schools and hospitals. A forced eviction exacerbates poverty, social unrest, environmental degradation and loss of cultural identity. Its affects remain long after the last home is torn down.