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Haitian quake victims 'forced out of camps' by landowners

The owners of land used as emergency refuge camps are evicting refugees, looking to get their land back.

Image: Rodrigo Abd/AP

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of refugees in Haiti could face eviction from their refugee camps, after it emergent that many of the private landowners who gave over their land to be used for emergency accommodation were seeking to reclaim the land.

The Global Post reported that the owners of one major sports complex – which is currently housing around 6,000 people whose homes were destroyed following the earthquake in January 2010 – are warning of the camp’s closure.

They have also begun to daub spray-paint on the tents in which the people are living, writing: “Let go of Henfasa”, the name of the sports complex.

Human right lawyers and humanitarian organisations in the area say the eviction is not uncommon – with over 28,000 people already having been evicted from camps as early as September, while another 115,000 or so had been threatened with eviction.

Such forced movements were happening “with increased regularlity,” one said.

Many aid organisations believe evictions would have already become more commonplace, but for the loss of many land registry records during the earthquake on January 25 last year.

Read more on the evictions at GlobalPost.com >

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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