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SERAP Calls for Legal Framework to Protect People from Forceful Evictions

Staff Attorney of the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC), Andrew Maki, on Wednesday in Abuja called for a legal framework to protect people from forceful evictions.

Maki, who made this known in an interview in Abuja, said the call for a legal framework became necessary, following increasing cases of forced eviction across the country, which leaves residents poorer and more vulnerable.

Maki said there was need for a legal framework or legislation to protect people, particularly the poor, from forced eviction, adding that it was an infringement on their rights.

``There is a need for a clear legal framework on evictions to fight against forced evictions, which often affect the poor that will have a legal binding effect,” he said.

He also advised that people who live in slums should be given security of tenure or legal rights to remain in areas earmarked for demolition for a period of time while upgrading is being done on them.

``The solution to slum problem is to give the people some sort of security of tenure, which means legal rights, be it ownership or rent or a form of lease.

``This will make them have confidence that government will not bulldoze them out of their residents on short notice.

``If you find ways to give poor people security of tenure, they will upgrade their houses and communities and slums will begin to get transformed,” he said.

SERAC aims to increase public participation in the design and implementation of social and economic policies and programmes through its monitoring and advocacy programme, community action programmes and legal action programmes.