The right not to be evicted falls within the right to housing, along with other recognised human rights. However, the right is not absolute and can be reasonably limited by law.
Forced evictions might take place in a number of different contexts, both urban and rural. Instances of forced eviction occur in connection with conflicts over land rights, development and infrastructure projects (e.g. the construction of dams or other large-scale energy projects), and land acquisition measures (e.g. the clearing of land for agricultural purposes or for major sporting events like the Olympic Games).
The consequences of forced evictions (such as homelessness, deprivation of the means of earning a livelihood, and lack of access to legal and other remedies) raise a number of human rights concerns. These include rights to livelihood, work, security of the person, privacy, family, and home, and the peaceful enjoyment of possessions.
Rights against forced eviction do not mean that a person can never be evicted from their home. For example there can be justifiable reasons for forced evictions, such as the non-payment of rent, or the compulsory acquisition of one’s home by the government accompanied by appropriate consultation and compensation. However, forced evictions should only be carried out according to law, with adequate notice, and force should only be used as a last resort. A person should not be rendered homeless by a forced eviction.
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