To the Government of Angola

  • Immediately cease forced evictions carried out in violation of international human rights law and standards and national laws.

  • Take immediate steps to provide assistance, including alternative accommodation and other remedies to those affected by forced evictions, in particular to vulnerable groups such as women, children, and elderly persons.

  • Investigate allegations of excessive use of force and other human rights abuses by police, military, and other state officials, as well as by private security forces and unidentified civilians involved in the evictions. Hold all those responsible for abuses to account.

  • Inform the public of the results of such investigations and promptly reply to individual complaints about evictions submitted by victims to police or administrative authorities.

  • Provide adequate compensation to all those individuals evicted who have not received such compensation.

  • Ensure that law enforcement officials receive appropriate professional training on how to conduct their functions while respecting the rights of residents, monitors, and the public in general when carrying out law enforcement activities in support of involuntary removal of population.

  • Review the rules of engagement of law enforcement officials to ensure their compliance with international law enforcement standards, in particular the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms.

  • Update the real estate registry and improve existing land registration mechanisms or establish new procedures that are simple and expeditious (and which are accessible to women, the elderly and other vulnerable groups). If necessary, seek international technical assistance.

  • Prioritize adequate financial, human and material resources for effectively carrying out the regularization of all informal occupation in Luanda within the three-year period established by the 2004 Land Law and regulation.

  • Carry out a public information campaign with residents of informal settlements about the three-year period for regularization of their occupation. Information sessions should be conducted in each community and all residents should be clearly guided through the steps to be taken to regularize their land plots and housing units, as well as the possible consequences of not doing so. Such sessions should use means of communication that are accessible to all and take account of the high illiteracy rates in the country.

  • Ensure that the mechanism and procedures for regularization are available beyond the three-year period established in the land law.

  • Comply with legally applicable impact assessment and public hearing requirements regarding development and infrastructure projects to be developed in land claimed by the state and occupied by residents before they are approved by the government.

  • Ensure that all urban planning and management instruments for the province of Luanda, be they proper urban plans as required by law or alternative large scale development or urbanization projects, are widely publicized and approved and implemented with the participation of local residents and respect for their fundamental rights and freedoms.

  • Urgently adopt the remaining implementing regulations to the 2004 Land Law and the Law on Territorial and Urban Management that impact the right to adequate housing, in particular on:

    o Rehabilitation of areas that were initially illegal;

    o Demolition and restrictions to demolition of buildings;

    o Evictions for rehabilitation of damaged buildings;

    o Relocation operations;

    o Expropriations for implementation of public interest projects.

  • The regulation on expropriation for public interest projects should:

    o Stipulate that expropriations are carried out according to international and regional human rights standards, including with respect for the rights to due process and just compensation;

    o Set out clear procedures and criteria for defining form and value of compensation and for consulting the population about this;

    o Ensure that expropriations for public interest projects are carried out in full compliance with the procedural and substantive rights applicable to forced evictions.

  • Urgently enact a specific law against forced evictions and ensure that the legislation in the recommendations above and any other relevant legislation and regulations are in accordance with this law. This law should strictly regulate the circumstances under which evictions may be carried out, in particular:

    o Ensure that all residents of areas affected by planned involuntary evictions have an opportunity to register title claims to the land they occupy;

    o Promote and carry out genuine consultation with all those affected by planned development or “beautification” projects that may entail relocation of population;

    o Provide reasonable and accurate notice, in writing, to affected communities of the scope, purpose and precise area of proposed land acquisition in connection with planned involuntary evictions, as well as actual eviction dates and reasons for such action at that time;

    o Provide for a meaningful—impartial, fast and free—process for compensating people for real estate and personal property taken or destroyed;

    o Require documentation of the eviction process, including written and photographic inventories, prior to the evictions, of any real estate and personal property to be demolished or taken during those evictions;

    o Ensure that resettlement locations for all evictees are specified before any eviction takes place and consultations are held with affected communities on possible alternatives to relocation, such as site upgrading or integration into existing development plans for the area;

    o Ensure that evictions do not take place in particularly bad weather or at night;

    o Ensure that basic shelter, water, food, education, health and transportation services are available for evicted persons at relocation sites at the time they move to these sites;

    o Define clearly the authorities entitled to issue and carry out eviction orders and for what purposes;

    o Ensure appropriate supervision of the eviction process and that anyone involved in it is clearly identified when contacting affected communities at all times prior, during or after evictions;

    o Publish and enforce an appropriate code of conduct and complaint procedure for the persons carrying out the evictions;

    o Carry out periodic monitoring of and accounting for all evictions and resettlements.

  • Carry out a meaningful consultation process with civil society organizations on all legislative and regulatory processes regarding land and property matters.

  • To the United Nations

  • The United Nations should extend the mandate of its Human Rights Office in Angola to include the protection of victims of forced evictions, including fact-checking alleged evictions in violation of national and international law, following up on individual cases to verify that victims have access to legal and other remedies, and taking up those cases with the competent authorities. 

  • The United Nations Human Rights Office in Angola should extend its technical assistance to the government to include assistance in drafting legislation on land and housing rights that is in accordance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

  • The United Nations Human Rights Office in Angola should provide or facilitate legal and other technical support to civil society organizations and victims of forced evictions in formulating complaints to national authorities and to international bodies that verify the fulfillment of the governments’ obligations under the right to adequate housing.

  • The United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living should continue to monitor the situation of housing rights in Angolan and agree with the government on a date for his mission.

  • The UN Human Rights Council should endorse the basic principles and guidelines on development-based evictions and displacement presented by the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing in his 2006 report to the Council, and invite all states to approve guidelines for such displacement as soon as possible.

  • UN-Habitat should provide technical assistance to the government on managing urban informal areas and defining measures to improve security of tenure for the urban poor, including site upgrading and mediation programs involving the government, civil society organizations, and the communities affected by planed forced evictions. 

  • To the donor community

  • Provide capacity building assistance to local NGOs and civil society groups so they can better monitor the compliance of government agencies with human rights obligations such as those required to be respected in all evictions. 

  • Provide assistance and training to national and local government agencies to build or reinforce their long term capacities regarding: knowledge and implementation of rules and procedures on land administration; design, management, and implementation of policies for urban land use and development; public information and outreach services; and routine assessments of the human rights impact of their work.

  • Ensure that international development aid is not channeled to projects that involve forced evictions in violation of national and international law and standards, and that all bilateral or multilateral development programs include mechanisms to guarantee respect for individuals’ fundamental rights.  

  • To the European Union

  • The European Union should fulfill its obligations under the EU-ACP Cotounou Agreements to undertake regular political dialogue with the Angolan government and ensure that all such dialogue includes discussions on the human rights situation in Angola and in particular forced evictions.

  • The European Commission should ensure the explicit inclusion of human rights and the rule of law in the Country Strategy Paper for Angola (currently being drafted). 

  • The European Commission should expand the financing of projects by Angolan civil society organizations aimed at enhancing security of tenure in urban areas. It should in particular provide technical or other assistance to national civil society organizations and the government to carry out information campaigns to residents of informal areas in Luanda about the possibility of and requirements for regularizing their land and housing rights. 

  • The European Commission and the EU member states’ representations in Luanda should effectively apply the EU guidelines on human rights defenders to protect those who defend the victims of forced evictions, including through demarches with the government and public statements.