Housing must now be recognised as a human right, no different than the right to vote or express yourself freely. This means understanding that housing cannot be viewed first and foremost as an economic driver or a commodity to add to an investment portfolio; that forced eviction is not development; that land has more than monetary value; and that the private market must be regulated. — the Guardian
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has announced the launch of a body to oversee the treatment of workers on Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.
Fifa has been under pressure from Amnesty International, among others, over the alleged human rights abuses suffered by construction operatives at World Cup venues. — globalconstructionreview.com
Previously in the Archinect news:"7,000 construction workers will die in Qatar before a ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup," new ITUC report findsBBC journalists arrested for reporting on Qatar's World Cup laborersRevealed: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves' to Build InfrastructureDire safety conditions...
The fort community houses 59 families, and is well-known for its wooden houses in the early Rattanakosin-style. Faced with strong resistance from the community, and academics and activists, City Hall the plan but dusted it off early last month amid a public outcry. — Bangkok Post
A report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has estimated that 7,000 workers will die before the first ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup. [...]
“Qatar’s labour laws are ruinous for workers. All the government has done is to codify slavery. Employers can now even lend out workers to another employer without the worker’s consent for up to a year” — globalconstructionreview.com
On 22 October, [United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing Leilani] Farha challenged the General Assembly to promote urban development through the lens of human rights.
“Human rights can be transformational,” she said. “A human rights framework can provide the coherence and consistency sorely needed to achieve sustainable, inclusive cities for all.” [...]
“Human rights have been largely absent from discussions of urban development,” Farha cautioned. — citiscope.org
Migrant workers building branches of the Guggenheim Museum, the Louvre and the Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi continue to face crushing debt, substandard wages and harsh working conditions despite recent efforts to improve treatment, according to a report published this week by Gulf Labor, a coalition of artists and activists.
[...] the researchers found that “underpayment is far and away the primary concern” for the workers themselves. — theartnewspaper.com
With all the cultural, sports and real-estate projects launched throughout the United Arab Emirates, there have been persistent protests about the working and living conditions [...] ”Serious concerns about workers’ rights have not been resolved”, claims the advocacy group, asking for a commitment for ”more serious protection” from these institutions and Saadiyat Island’s developers. [...] appears to have made a serious effort to address the concern expressed by Western museums and architects. — theartnewspaper.com
Qatari authorities have confirmed they are holding two British researchers who are investigating the 2022 World Cup facilities, which is linked with a scandal over poor working conditions and dozens of deaths of foreign workers.
"All of the actions that have been taken against the two Britons are consistent with principles of human rights enshrined in the constitution," read the statement released by the Qatari QNA news agency on Sunday. — RT
Baku is gaining international recognition as a centre of cutting-edge architectural design thanks in part to a major award given recently to London-based architect Zaha Hadid for her Heydar Aliyev Centre. The Azerbaijani capital’s new look has plenty of local fans, but also some detractors. [...]
The latest wave of protests occurred in February and March, prompted by a government announcement that 40,000 downtown residents would be evicted to make way for a “green zone” [...]. — theguardian.com
Human Rights Watch said that, along with the Crystal Hall, stage of the 2012 Eurovision song contest, and the park-cum-shopping mall of the Winter Garden, the centre is one of the city's many oil-fuelled grand projects that have seen local people evicted by force. — theguardian.com
"It’s an attempt to really use architecture intelligence and design intelligence to unpack violations of international law," Weizman says of Forensic Architecture. Along with SITU Research, he and his team have developed a technique called video-to-space analysis to harvest spatial data from cell phone videos and photos, analyzing footage, sometimes from multiple sources, to model and recreate chaotic events to better understand what happened on the ground. — fastcodesign.com
"Ai Weiwei, who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, stayed away from the opening ceremonies because he said he wanted his building to represent freedom, not be a trophy for an autocratic regime uninterested in change." — hyperallergic.com
A hunger strike in California state prisons calls for an end to indefinite solitary confinement in Security Housing Units, known as SHUs. Raphael Sperry has challenged fellow architects to ban the design of SHUs. Beverly Prior responds, reflecting on a career designing for incarceration. Joe Day sees societal values mirrored in the growth of both American prisons and museums. — kcrw.com
It might not seem like an architect’s area of expertise to reform inhumane prison conditions. But like attorneys, journalists and doctors, architects have a code of professional ethics. They’re required to “uphold human rights in all of their professional endeavors.”
Architect Raphael Sperry says that prisons designed for prolonged solitary confinement violate the human rights of the inmates, and that he and other architects are ethically bound to do something about it. — thestory.org
Daniel Libeskind, who has built a reputation working on historically and culturally sensitive projects such as the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the reconstruction of New York’s World Trade Center site, said beautiful architecture was no excuse for working with “morally questionable” clients.
“Even if they produce gleaming towers, if they are morally questionable, I’m not interested,” he said in the interview with The Architects’ Journal. — independent.co.uk
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