Habitat International Coalition
Global network for the right to habitat and social justice
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HIC: A brief timeline

1976: A committee of civil society organizations took on a leading role in the development of the Habitat Forum, held in parallel with the United Nations Conference on human settlements (Habitat 1) in Vancouver. HIC emerged from this initiative.


1978: The institutionalization of a HIC Board with a General Secretariat located in The Netherlands. The institutional registration of HIC was in 1984.


1987: Surrounding the UN Conference in Nairobi and the Habitat Forum in Berlin during the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, HIC transforms into a Coalition and centers its work in the South. The General Secretariat is set up in Mexico City.


1992: During the UN Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, more than 140 organizations from around the world signed the Treaty Towards Just Democratic and Sustainable Cities, Towns and Villages.


1996: The Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (City Summit) is held in Istanbul. HIC influenced the inclusion of the right to adequate housing in the Habitat Agenda.  During that time, HIC revised its strategy, mission and organizational structure, which led to the adoption of a new Constitution (1997).


2000: HIC organized the First World Assembly of Inhabitants in Mexico. Community organizations and popular urban movements gathered together to define a common strategy for mobilization on a global scale.


Beginning in 2001: The first World Social Forum (WSF). HIC has participated in every WSF: Porto Alegre 2002 and 2003; Mumbai 2004; Porto Alegre 2005; Bamako, Caracas and Karachi 2006; Nairobi 2007; Belem 2009; and Dakar 2011. HIC also joined the WSF International Committee in 2003.


Beginning in 2002: UN-Habitat’s World Urban Forum in Nairobi 2002, Barceloa 2004, Vancouver 2006, Nanking 2008, Rio de Janeiro 2010, and Naples 2012. 

2004: the General Secretariat is set up in Santiago, Chile.


2005: Signing of the World Charter for the Right to the City in the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre.

2009 and 2012: HIC-Housing and Land Rights Network held its Land Forum I and Land Forum III in Cairo.

2010: The first Urban Social Forum is a dynamic construction from urban civil society, held in parallel to UN-Habitat’s World Urban Forum. Its first instance took place in Rio de Janeiro in 2010 and it hopes to reemerge in Naples in September 2012.

More details of the HIC history are available in the 30th anniversary memoire.




Habitat International Coalition
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