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Millions of people live in Egypt’s sprawling slums. Driven into these informal settlements by an acute lack of affordable housing, they find themselves in homes unsuitable for human habitation or in areas the authorities have designated as “unsafe” because of the risk of rockslides, floods, fires and other threats.
This report documents Amnesty International’s findings on forced evictions in Egypt’s “unsafe areas” since a rockslide in Cairo’s Manshiyet Nasser informal settlement in 2008 killed at least 119 people. It highlights the authorities’ continued failure to protect slum-dwellers living in hazardous conditions and their continued resort to forced evictions that has left many families homeless. The report also highlights disturbing aspects of a masterplan to restructure Cairo by 2050 that would push slum-dwellers out of the city while marginalizing them from decisions affecting their future.
The uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak was driven by demands for social justice and dignity. Egypt’s new authorities have a unique opportunity to start meeting these demands by defining and implementing housing and development policies with the active participaton of slum-dwellers, all of whom are entitled to adequate housing, protection from forced eviction, and respect for their dignity.
AI Index: MDE 12/001/2011
Date: August 2011