19 October 2010

Undemocratic evictions continue in Timor-Leste


The Commission to Defend the Rights of Communities to a living plave (CDDHFK) asks the Directorare of Land and Property who recently with good faith sent an invitation to the community of Aitarak Laran to consider the recommendations below so that we can create together an open process for dialogue that is just and follows the rules and rights that are consecrated in the RDTL Constitution and International Law

According to Article 58 of the RDTL Constitution that guarantees all people the right to housing, Article 11.1 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) which guarantees to all people the right to an adequate living place and General Comment 7 on Development based evictions which came into force in 1997, before making a decision to evict with force a community the state must for example;

·         Look at and study all possible alternatives through a consultation with those who will be evicted with the objective of avoiding and/or reducing the need to use force;

·         Offer solutions and show the legal options to those who will be affected;

·         There must be an opportunity to do real consultation with those who will be affected;

·         All information about the planned project, and alternative solutions must be given to the community

·         Legal assistance and access to the courts must be guaranteed to all

Based on these laws and the other rules laid down in the RDTL Constitution and International law the Commission (CDHFK) asks DNTPSC and the Minister of Justice to create a dialogue process which follows at minimum the requirements laid out below.

The Commission and DNTPSC should identify together;

1.       An appropriate date and location for the dialogue.

2.       An independent facilitator (A mediator from an independent institution such as the church)

3.       Who will be involved in these dialogues ( For example, the Minister of Justice, DNTPSC, Members of the Aitarak Laran Community , CDDHFK, Legal advisors, Local Authorities, the Media, Commission A of the National Parliament, others)

4.       The methodology that will be used during the dialogue process (for example a proposal of the needs of both parties and other steps)

5.       Security for the duration of the dialogue

Before the dialogue;

6.       The competent Ministries (DNTPSC and the Ministry of Education and Culture) and the Company ENI must make available to the Commission and the Community all documents relating to the library project so that they can study and analyze these documents before the dialogue begins.

7.       The Minsiter for Justice must identify legal aid and/or a legal advisor who can support the community to analyze legal documents, give them information about their legal rights and represent them.

8.       Enough time must be allowed for the community to read and analyze the relevant documents and laws before the dialogue begins.

After the dialogue;

9.       The results should be given to all of the competent authorities.

10.    The Minister for Justice, DNTPSC and the Community of Aitarak Laran should make a joint declaration to the media about the results of the dialogue.


Land Issues Mentor
Rede ba Rai Timor-Leste (The Timor-Leste Land Network)
Fundasaun Haburas,
Rua Celestino da Silva,

+670 730 7800
+353 85 1461435

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