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Interview: Evictions and demolitions during the COVID-19 pandemic and the human rights perspective for victims

On 14th May 2020, UN-Habitat issued a policy statement on the prevention of evictions and relocations during the COVID-19 crisis.

While applauding the efforts of the numerous national and local governments that have issued bans on evictions and instituted moratoriums on payment of mortgages and rents, it was noted that in some countries and cities, evictions and relocations were still ongoing and these continued affecting the poorest and most vulnerable populations living in deprived neighbourhoods, informal settlements and slums.

A story by Rhodri Davies on BBC’s Focus on Africa news programme highlighted the fate of Namhla Solomon, a single mother and student living south of in Johannesburg, who was evicted from her home in the middle of South Africa’s strict lockdown with claims that her house was built illegally. According to national government regulations, no one should be evicted at this time.

BBCs Peter Okwoche (left) discusses evictions and demolitions with UN-Habitat/GLTN’s Robert Lewis-Lettington

Robert Lewis-Lettington, Chief of Land, Housing and Shelter Section of UN-Habitat and Secretary of the GLTN spoke to BBCs Peter Okwoche on the growing number of evictions and demolitions across Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the rights of people who are faced with such evictions.

Watch the story and interview here