Submitted to the Italian Presidency of the European Union The Recommendations of the International Tribunal on Evictions
A delegation of the International Alliance of Inhabitants and of the Unione Inquilini (Tenant’s Union) has delivered to the Prefecture of Milan the Recommendations drawn up by the Jury of the 4th Session of the International Tribunal of Evictions (TIE), so that they can be passed on to the Italian government and to the EU Ministers of Social Cohesion meeting in the Lombard capital. They emphasize the request for a moratorium of evictions at the European level with a view to a European Union directive prohibiting evictions without adequate rehousing and a previous agreement. The Recommendations relating to evictions in Latin America, Africa and Asia will be sent to the governments concerned and, together with those relating to the European Union, to the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations and UN-Habitat with a views of the alternative to the 2016 United Nations Habitat III Summit.
The Prefecture has committed to passing on to the government, in particular, the request for a suspension of the use of police force on national territory during the winter, and to respond, by Wednesday, October 15, to the request to enact its own competences to immediately carry out such a suspension in order to protect public health and public order.
Prefecture of Milan and the Italian Government called upon to respond within a few days to the request for a winter moratorium on evictions
Three days of mobilization against work and housing instability
The meeting in the Prefecture, accompanied by a sit-in of the evicted and homeless, ended the three days of mobilization against work and housing instability organized by the Confederazione Unitaria di Base and other independent organizations on the occasion of the meetings of the EU Ministers of Work and Social Cohesion. In particular, the 4th Session of the International Tribunal on Evictions, launched by the International Alliance of Inhabitants in collaboration with Clochard alla Riscossa (the Homeless to the Rescue), the Unione Inquilini (Tenant’s Union) and the Comitato di Lotta per il Diritto alla Casa (the Committee for the Right to Housing), made Milan the capital of “World Zero Evictions Days” 2014. The initiative was moved this year from Geneva to Milan to bring attention to the housing crisis being made worse by the European Union’s politics of austerity. It was held at the Aldo Dice Social Residence 26x1, housed in the ex-Alitalia building in Sesto S. Giovanni, which has been occupied by the evicted and homeless since last March.
Thirty-two cases, concerning evictions in 24 cities in 11 countries on every continent, were examined by a Jury composed of international experts and jurists. In particular, the Jury listened to the testimony of those evicted in Italy for non-payment that is not their fault, and to cases caused by the restitution of property expropriated by the previous Romanian government.
Recommendations: Concrete measures to respect the legality of housing rights, European moratorium on evictions, structural funds, and investment in public housing outside of the fiscal compact
The recommendations of the TIE are based on the request to the states for complete compliance with international regulations, in particular article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and articles 30 and 31 of the Revised European Social Charter, which require respect for housing rights, and the prohibition of evictions without agreed-on and dignified rehousing. These regulations have real legal effect since they have been ratified by the member states.
TIE has underlined the urgency of abandoning the austerity measures that are increasing the number of the more than 30 million people who live in precarious housing conditions or who are homeless in Europe.
TIE has proposed concrete measures to fight against the increase in evictions. Among them:
- The public redemption of mortgaged residences and the public right of pre-emption for residences under eviction that are for sale, guaranteeing the permanence of the inhabitants;
- The implementation of a European moratorium of evictions, with the view of a European directive that requires the allocation of new adequate, dignified housing before any eviction;
- The rigorous implementation of the recommendations of the European committee on Social Rights set out in Collective Complaint 53/2008, FEANTSA v. Slovenia on the right to effective rehousing of tenants of formerly expropriated residences “returned” on the joining of the European Union.
- Significant increase in the supply of public housing at accessible prices through the use of the structural funds of the European Union and excluding public investments within the constraints of the budget of the "fiscal compact."
The International Tribunal of Evictions is a Tribunal of opinion that gets its strength from the organizations of Inhabitants, other organizations and networks that fight for housing rights. For this reason it is the responsibility of all parties have to watch over the step-by-step implementation of the Recommendations, from the request for a moratorium made to the Prefecture of Milan to the monitoring that will be carried out at the time of the 5th Session of TIE in 2015.
The word passes to the mobilizations of the Zero Evictions Campaign.