RIGHT TO SHELTER


Introduction

People made landless by poverty, disaster and the effects of climate change build shelters where they are able. Large numbers of people in Bangladesh, having nowhere else to go, live in temporary housing structures put up on public land. Article 15 of the Constitution of Bangladesh states that the Government has a responsibility to provide access to basic necessities, including shelter. Article 31 and 32, which protect the right to life, have been interpreted by the High Court to include and incorporate the right to livelihood and accordingly the right to shelter. While the Government does not have the responsibility to immediately provide shelter to all persons, it does have a responsibility to ensure that citizens are not arbitrarily or forcibly evicted. Recent High Court decisions have determined that before evicting slum residents from their dwellings, the Government must provide written notice, in accordance with law, and, through an interpretation of the state’s obligations to ensure protection from forced eviction, have required the authorities not to carry out any eviction without prior rehabilitation or resettlement.


Slum dwellers, who are critical to the functioning of the urban economy, operating in both the formal and informal sectors (for example as workers in garments factories, or as rickshawpullers, domestic workers etc), and as individual citizens, they deserve to have their rights recognized. BLAST challenges threatened evictions of slum dwellers to ensure that persons living in poverty in slums can exercise their basic rights. This includes not only asking the Supreme Court to enforce the requirement of prior notice and arrangements for rehabilitation, but also preventing and remedying situations of arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment in the name of eviction, as well as conducting advocacy for recognition of the rights to freedom from forced eviction and to adequate housing.


Keynote Paper

  • National Building Code and its Implementation [Download]


Public Interest Litigation

Disposed:

  • BLAST and another vs. Bangladesh and others [Jhilpara Slum Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 2760 of 2008
    Summary

Pending:

  • Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) and Others vs Bangladesh and Others
    Case No: Writ Petition No. 3841 of 2013 [ Forced Eviction of Women Sex Workers and their Children]
    Summary
  • BLAST and others vs. Bangladesh and others [Cox's Bazar Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 1778 of 1999
    Summary

  • BLAST vs. Bangladesh and others [Railway Pavement Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 6252 of 2001
    Summary
  • BLAST vs. Bangladesh and others [Mohajerpara Area of Cox’s Bazar Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 2935 of 2002
    Summary
  • BLAST vs. Bangladesh and others [Bhashantek Basti Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 567 of 2003
    Summary
  • BLAST vs. Bangladesh and others [Shahid Lane Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 3326 of 2003
    Summary

  • BLAST vs. Bangladesh and others [Jelepara Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 7069 of 2003
    Summary
  • Nijera Kori, BLAST and others vs. Bangladesh and others [Noakhali Char Eviction Case or Shrimp Farming Case]
    Writ Petition No. 5194 of 2004
    Summary
  • BLAST, ASK and others vs. Bangladesh and others [Sagarika Basti Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 5298 of 2005
    Summary
  • BLAST and others vs. Bangladesh and others [Rangamati Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 6302 of 2006
    Summary
  • BLAST and others vs. Bangladesh and others [Barisal Slum Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 6385 of 2007
    Summary
  • BLAST and others vs. Bangladesh and others [Kachukhet Basti Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 10380 of 2007
    Summary

  • BLAST, ASK and others vs. Bangladesh and others [Argagaon Basti Eviction Case]
    Civil Petition No. 405 of 2007 (arising out of Writ Petition No. 5588 of 2004)
    Summary
  • ASK, BLAST and another vs. Bangladesh and others [Korail Basti Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 9763 of 2008
    Summary

  • ASK, BLAST and another vs. Bangladesh and others [Gudarghat Basti Eviction Case]
    Writ Petition No. 4456 of 2009
    Summary

Publications

 

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