The XIX Commonwealth Games (CWG) took place in New Delhi, India, from 3–14 October 2010. Marked by corruption, financial scandals and human rights violations, the Games continue to generate a negative image of India, both within the country and abroad. Much has been discussed and written about the embezzlement of funds and financial irregularities of the Games. Several independent and official investigations are also underway to determine the lack of transparency and due process, the extent of corruption, and to identify those
responsible. The human impact of the Games, however, has been largely ignored both in the ongoing investigations and by the media.
The preparations for Delhi’s Commonwealth Games witnessed a range of human rights violations of the city’s working poor, including the homeless, ‘beggars,’ street vendors, slum dwellers, and construction workers. One of the least reported violations has been the forced eviction and demolition of the homes of thousands of Delhi’s residents. These evictions have been carried out for various reasons, including construction of stadiums, building of parking lots, widening of roads, city ‘beautification,’ and grounds of ‘security.’
Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) undertook a fact-finding mission on forced evictions carried out across 19 sites in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. Based on field work and research, HLRN estimates that since 2004, at least 200,000 people in Delhi have been forcibly evicted as a result of the CWG. The city, however, witnessed many more demolitions and evictions in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games.
This report uses the human rights framework, especially the human right to adequate housing and international standards on forced evictions (in particular the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement), to analyse the forced evictions in Delhi. While exposing the rampant violations of the human rights of the urban poor and highlighting the continued suffering and plight of Delhi’s displaced communities, the report aims to promote state accountability and to bring about redress, restitution, and justice from relevant government ministries and agencies at the central and state level.
The following section summarises the main findings of the report for each stage of forced evictions: prior to, during, and after, as specified in the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement....
To download the full text of the Report, please click here.