Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting Since 1987

From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

- In Other Media   For further information, click here to contact us         .

Home -For the Media

How to Contact Us

Inner City Press recommends buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"

How to Contact Us


Bank Beat/ RSS Feed
Freedom of Information
Human Rights
Current Campaigns
How to Contact Us

Inner City Press Global Inner Cities Report - February 2, 2006

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press U.N. Correspondent

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 -- In the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami, human rights are being violated, including in at least one instance with funding from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.

            In a report released February 1 at the United Nations in New York, three non-governmental organizations identify land-grabs, loss of livelihood and forced relocations. While Sri Lanka’s shifting proposals for “buffer zones” prohibiting rebuilding on the short are the subject of some controversy (and reporting), less known is the UNDP-funded “safe islands” initiative in the Maldives. At the Feb. 1 report-launch briefing, a video was shown of the Hulhumale refugee came for people displaced from the islands of Villifushi, Madifushi and Kadholhudhoo. The camp consists of tin long houses with faulty plumbing that become so hot it is impossible to sleep, according to residents.

            Both during and after the briefing, Miloon Kothari, the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing to the UN Commission on Human Rights, was asked by Inner City Press whether this UNDP-funded program in the Maldives runs afoul of application human right standards, including the Commission’s 1988 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, which state that “Every human being shall have the right to be protected against being arbitrarily displaced from his or her home or place of habitual residence… Displacement shall last no longer than required by the circumstances.”  During the brief, Mr. Kothari replied that “human rights standards apply to everyone, including UN agencies.” He said that the report has been sent to “Bill Clinton’s office” (the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery).  After the briefing, Mr. Kothari added that the issue will be raised directly to UNDP.


            On the other side of Manhattan island – after a 4 p.m. fire drill cleared the UN Secretariat – the Outreach Officer for the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, Annie Maxwell, gave a lecture about the Office’s work, noting that while all are in favor of coordination, no one wants to be coordinated. When asked about the report, and the UNDP-funded displacement project in the Maldives, Ms. Maxwell replied that the report is “in her inbox,” and that she will look into it. Whether the discussed human rights standards can be substantively applied, to this UNDP-funded project, will be something of a test.  Watch this space.

Some previous reports:

Halliburton Repays $9 Million, While Iraq’s Oil Remains Unmetered

Darfur on the Margins: Slovenia’s President Drnovsek’s Quixotic Call for Action Ignored

Who Pays for the Global Bird Flu Fight? Not the Corporations, So Far - UN

Royal Bank of Scotland Has Repeatedly Been Linked to Terrorist Finance and Money Laundering, Not Only in the Current Brooklyn Case

From Appalachia to Wall Street: Behind the Mining Tragedy, UBS and Lehman Brothers

Iraqis Absent from Oil Oversight Meeting on Development Fund for Iraq, Purportedly Due to Visa Problems

Watching the Detectives: Oversight of the Development Fund for Iraq Will be Discussed at the UN on December 28, 2005

From the UN Budget, Transit Strike, to the USA Patriot Act, 2005 Ends with Extensions

Some previous highlights and special reports:

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

The United Nations' Year of Microcredit: Questions & No Answers

Older Inner City Press reports are archived on -  if you have trouble finding previous articles, please contact us


©opyright 2006 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editors [at] - phone: (718) 716-3540