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New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2003 Sep. 61 p. (Croatia Vol. 15, No. 6(D))Between 300,000 and 350,000 Serbs left their homes in Croatia during the 1991-95 war. This report describes the continued plight of displacement suffered by the Serbs of Croatia and identifies the principal remaining impediments to their return. The most significant problem is the difficulty Serbs face in returning to their pre-war homes. Despite repeated promises, the Croatian government has been unwilling and unable to solve this problem for the vast majority of displaced Serbs. In addition, fear of arbitrary arrest on war-crimes charges and discrimination in employment and pension benefits also deter return. Human Rights Watch believes that these problems are a result of a practice of ethnic discrimination against Serbs by the Croatian government. The report concludes with a list of recommendations to the government of Croatia and the international community to deal with these persistent problems and finally make good on the promise of return. (author's)
The right and access for all to housing and to the city. Contribution to Habitat II from French associations of international solidarity.
Paris, France, Centre de Recherche et d'Information pour le Developpement, 1995 Nov. 8 p.This paper was prepared, discussed, and adopted by a working group representing most associations of international solidarity (AIS) working in France and in partnership with associations in Europe and countries of the South, on living conditions and urban development. AIS supports the principles of sustainability, equality, citizenship, and solidarity. They believe that translating these principles into urban development strategies and programs would make it possible to achieve the two main aims announced by the UN in the context of Habitat II: adequate housing for all and sustainable human settlements. The inventory drawn up by AIS is the result of observations made during their practical experience at local level and with regard to their principles. This inventory on housing and the urban scene can be drawn up at four levels: local, national, geopolitical regional, and global. The proposals of AIS are organized around eight themes: partnership; institutional framework; specific methods and policies; AIS projects and interventions; national policies on housing, habitat, and the city; strategies and interventions by national institutions; the international system; and relations with other actors such as municipalities, researchers, experts and professionals, administrations, companies and the economic sector, cooperation agencies, international institutions, residents' associations, popular movements, and trade unions.
ROSHNI. 1996 Jan-Jun; 1-3.This article summarizes the recommendations of the All India Women's Conference and the UN Information Center's Regional Seminar on Human Settlement which was held in 1996. The conference was attended by about 100 persons and 20 speakers. The main topics were megacities and infrastructure deficits; governance, poverty, and employment; and the role of women and nongovernmental organizations in human settlements. The article identifies 24 recommendations on community participation by women: the availability of drinking water and sanitation, access to schools and health care, provision of sanitary facilities, training programs for women in basic health care and hygiene, toilet facilities in slums and rural areas, housing provision for the poor, income generation programs for women, shelter to the homeless, available housing, equity in political representation and elections, sustainable development, rural development, resettlement of slum dwellers, improvements in quality of life, female ownership of housing, networking, and integrated approaches to the concept of habitat, among others. This regional conference followed up the Global Habitat II Conference. Provision of housing and shelters to millions worldwide will require creative programs, adequate financial support, and dedication to the ideals of Habitat II.
EARTH TIMES / HURRIYET. 1996 Jun 7; 5.The head of the UN Development Fund for Women's delegation at Habitat II, Achola Pala Okeyo, held a press conference to voice her concern that the women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) attending the conference were not receiving enough visibility. Issues raised at the press conference included the important role played by the NGOs in taking the Habitat agenda to the grassroots level, the promotion of cooperative ownership of houses and equal inheritance rights, and the lack of input sought from "everyday" women in planning and development efforts in their communities. Okeyo noted that the Habitat conference was the first organized attempt to bring women's NGOs together since the women's conference in Beijing and that women were disappointed at their lack of progress in attaining equal rights.
EARTH TIMES. 1996 Jun 10; 1, 7.Women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have worked hard to successfully advance women's concerns in Habitat II's Global Plan of Action because women must have safe, secure settlements in order to achieve social and economic advances. The NGOs considered it vital that the Plan of Action call for greater reinvestment of businesses in communities, reduction of the negative impact of structural adjustment programs, opportunities for women to receive small loans with flexible collateral, and prevention of the sexual and economic exploitation of women. The most important consideration for some advocates is how implementation of the Plan of Action will be funded. Women still have not achieved the right to equal inheritance, and the Plan of Action calls for an equal right to inheritance for women but not the right to inherit equal amounts as men. The women attending Habitat are also seeking recognition of the facts that women and men use cities differently and that the needs of women are often overlooked. Advocates believe it is vitally important to help women articulate what changes they desire.
COUNTDOWN TO ISTANBUL: HABITAT II. 1996 May; 1(7):18.In 1994, the Super Coalition on Women, Homes, and Community was formed from four worldwide networks so that women working on community development could be involved in Habitat II planning and could incorporate human settlement issues into the Fourth World Conference on Women (WCW) and it attendant NGO (nongovernmental organization) Forum. The Super Coalition paved the way for grassroots women to contribute ideas to the Preparatory Committee for Habitat II. When the women discovered that many of the gains achieved at the WCW were not reflected in the Habitat agenda, they drafted amendments that were later discussed by official bodies. The women also lobbied delegations and governmental groups on gender issues and found that many of their concerns were included in bracketed paragraphs for further consideration during Habitat II. Another success occurred when the Secretary-General of Habitat II appointed many women to the newly-created Huairou Commission, which will offer advice on gender issues and highlight women's concerns during Habitat II.
Super Coalition highlights women's perspective on housing: our practices take center stage in Istanbul.
GROOTS NETWORK NEWS. 1996 May; 5(1):1, 9.The Women, Homes, and Community Super Coalition, a network of NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) accepted responsibility for organizing the NGO Coalition program for Habitat II. The goals of the Super Coalition are to 1) highlight the role of women's leadership in the building of sustainable communities, 2) establish a consensus on common problems and priorities of grassroots women and other activists, and 3) discuss action strategies to address these problems and assert these priorities. The Super Coalition maintains that a socially responsible design of housing and communities will emerge when 1) women's household-based income is valued as an important form of economic activity, 2) grassroots people are empowered to participate in all negotiations affecting their lives and communities, 3) it is recognized that communities must be sustainable and culturally viable, and 4) mere shelters become homes offering safety and sustenance for children, the aged, and the ill.
GROOTS NETWORK NEWS. 1996 May; 5(1):1, 3.In February 1996, the Secretary-General of Habitat II announced formation of a "Huairou Commission" named for the village where nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) met during the NGO Forum of the Fourth World Conference on Women. In Huairou, a grassroots Super Coalition on Women, Homes, and Community (that included a diverse group of women from around the world) worked night and day to develop a Statement of the Women and Shelter Strategizing Group for presentation to the Secretary-General of Habitat II. The Huairou Commission is the only UN working commission this decade that includes community-based organizations, private sector leaders, local authorities, NGOs, development agency officials, and senior UN officials. The mandate of the Commission is to 1) highlight women's concerns in the development of sustainable human settlements, 2) ensure that the Habitat Agenda reflects women's central decision-making roles and responsibilities, 3) develop a program for women's organizational capacity-building, and 4) identify and publicize the best practices that have evolved from women's perspectives.