第一個建議與整體立法義務相關。我們懇請專家注意到政府在會影響到居住權的處理程序中仍未建立必要性、公開透明度、磋商與民眾參與的原則，特別是在土地徵收、市地重劃、非正規住居與遊民政策的部分。我們建議專家要求政府: (1) 強制在開發計畫中進行公益性與必要性的審核；(2)主動釋出與暫定計畫中的相關資訊; (3)建立正當法律程序以確保利害關係人可以儘早參與進決策階段;(4)規劃公民參與機制。
Hello everyone, I am Yi-Fu from TAAFE. At present me and Ian represent more than 20 local organizations to state our announcement regarding to the issue of housing rights. We have participated in the review of 2013, and we feel quite ambivalent today. The Concluding Observations of 2013 is very valuable. They have articulated well with the NGO’s campaign. However, the government in general does not seem to take them seriously enough. Although we have demanded the government to take the advices of the experts, none of them regarding to housing rights are fulfilled. Other indicators are not promising as well. Eight years have passed since the promulgation of the Enforcement Act of the two covenants, following which all regulations violating the Covenants should be amended or at least reassessed. However, not even one such reassessment has been carried out. Large scale evictions induced by land expropriation and informal settlement clearance are still taking place. The amount and situation of the homeless has not been improved. It is also noteworthy that even part of the regulations of the urban renewal and urban land consolidation have been announced as unconstitutional since 2013, the government has not made effective amendments to address relevant problems.
Therefore, we are concerned with the government’s good faith in regard to the review. We are not sure if the government is really willing to meet the human rights standard, or simply take the review as some legal formalities. If the government really wants to do something, legislative recognition of the rights is the fundamental task. Thanks to Mrs. Yu who has cooperated with the civil society to amend the Housing Act in the last session of the Legislative Yuan. The amended code states that the right to housing is a basic human right, and its interpretations should accord with the two covenants and the general comments. However, the Ministry of the Interior refused to further specify the procedural and substantial elements that justify eviction. Therefore, we can well predict that the code would still be legal formalities difficult to apply in practical lawsuits.
No matter how, we still hope that the government could take the review really seriously and respect what the experts recommend. Today, we will outline our suggestions regarding the right to housing. There are six in total. Two of them relate to the legislative and judicial power respectively, and four of them are concerned with different types of housing rights infringement.
The first suggestion is concerned with general legislative duties. WE URGE the experts to observe that the principles of proportionality, transparency, consultation and participation are yet to be established in many governmental processes affecting housing rights, especially those regarding land expropriation, urban land consolidation, urban renewal, informal settlements clearance and the homeless. We suggest the experts to urge the government to: (1) Enforce detailed assessment of the public interest and necessity of developmental projects; (2) Actively release relevant data and information of tentative projects; (3) Establish due legal process to ensure that stakeholders are involved in the decision-making processes as early as possible and that ensuing controversies can be legitimately assessed by an independent third party; (4) Design the operative mechanism with the full participation of the civil society.
The second suggestion is concerned with the implementation of the covenants in judicial practices. WE URGE the experts to commend that some judicial officers have invoked the covenants in their decision-making, as the two groundbreaking verdicts made in 2016 confirming the claim to housing rights against the claim to property. However, the experts should also observe that several official interpretations have impeded such progress, for example, the Judges Meeting in August 2014 (as we mentioned in page 3, point 10 of the Shadow Report on the Government’s Response to the COR), which limits the justiciability of the covenants. We suggest the experts recommend the judiciary to ensure that judicial relief is available for the already or potentially evicted, especially the informal settlements and the tenants whose legal security of tenure is absent. The Judicial Yuan should take effective measures to catalyze the process, such as database establishment or training projects for the judges.
The third and fourth suggestions are concerned with the three major ways of land development in Taiwan: land expropriation, urban land consolidation, and urban renewal. WE URGE the experts to recommend the government to substantially reassess related regulations of “urban land consolidation” and land expropriation. The two institutions have similar structures and are currently deficient in regards to the principles of proportionality, due legal process, just compensations, and adequate relocation of the evicted, as in the case of the Underground Railway Project in Tainan ,Kaohsiung Fruit and Vegetable Market, and Wenzizhen Project. Specifically, the government should enhance the evaluations on the projects’ public interests and necessity, and should abolish zone expropriation and “private” urban land consolidation which so often induce unnecessary forced evictions in the purpose of profit-making, as in the case of Taoyuan Aerotropolis, Shezidao, Maiziyuan, Puyu, National Highway No. 1., the A7 station, and Danhai New Town.
As for the urban renewal, WE URGE the experts to recommend the government to abolish the Urban Renewal Act and to stipulate relevant laws in line with the Covenants, for the current Act is deficient in regards to the principles of proportionality, due legal process, just compensations, and adequate relocation of the evicted, as in the case of Sanchong Datong South Lot. We also suggest that the government should suspend all forceful demolitions except in cases where there is immediate public danger.
The fifth suggestion is concerned with the informal settlements in Taiwan. WE URGE the experts to note that the stigmatization and threat of eviction faced by thousands of families living in informal settlements are violations of the Covenants, as in the case of the Guishan Dahu, Huaguang, Daguan, Dagouding, Shaoxing, Wolong Street, Toad Mountain communities, and the Guimei, the Liu’s, and the Xindian Liugongjun families. The families are sued according to the Civil Code without genuine consultation and relocation plans in line with the Covenants. We suggest the experts to strongly recommend the central and local governments to reassess related regulations and introduce a moratorium on land clearance projects before effective measures are taken to ensure the legal security of tenure of the informal settlements.
The final suggestion is concerned with the situation of the homeless. WE URGE the experts to recommend the government to transcend the welfare localism that is based on the household registration system and establish a national homeless integration project including its timetables, raise finances, and conduct performance evaluations. Specific measures should be taken to guarantee the homeless with (1) adequate accommodation; (2) protection of their safety and dignity; (3) life-rebuilding measures such as employment support, medical care, and social welfare.
Besides these cases induced by specific institutional frameworks, the housing rights of other vulnerable groups should be guaranteed as well, such as the leprosy patients of the Losheng Sanatorium and several urban indigenous tribes such as the Sanyin, Sijhou, and Happy Mountain Tribe in New Taipei City.
These above suggestions are our deepest hope. Frankly, people die because of eviction in almost every single case, yet the government has kept evading all their responsibilities. For this, we have to deliver our harshest condemnation to the government, and the sincerest appeal to you experts.
- 共同聲明團體 List of Signatories：
三峽龍埔里劉家自救會 (The Liu’s Family in Sanxia Self-help Association)
大觀事件自救會 (Daguan Homeless)
世新大學社會發展研究所遊民工作坊 (Homeless Workshop of Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies)
台北大學翻牆社 (NTPU CROSS)
台灣人權促進會 (Taiwan Association for Human Rights)
台灣反迫遷連線 (Taiwan Alliance of Anti-Forced Eviction)
台灣農村陣線 (Taiwan Rural Front)
好蟾蜍工作室 (Good Toad Studio)
社子島自救會 (Shezidao Residents’ Self-help Association)
社會住宅推動聯盟 (Social Housing Advocacy Consortium)
南鐵居住正義青年小組 (Southern Railway Youth)
桃園航空城反迫遷聯盟 (Taoyuan Aerotropolis Anti-Eviction Alliance)
桃園國一甲反興建聯盟 (Alliance of Anti-National Highway No. 1 Construction)
淡海二期反徵收自救聯盟 (Tamhai Phase II Alliance of Self-Help Groups for Anti-Expropriation)
紹興學程 (Shaoxing Community Concern Group)
華光社區訪調小組 (Huaguang Community Concerned Group)
塭仔圳反迫遷連線 (Wen Zi Zhen Anti-Eviction Alliance)
當代漂泊協會 (Working Poor Unite)
經濟民主連合 (Economic Democracy Union)
旗山大溝頂太平商場自救會 (Dagouding Old Street Self-help Association)
樂生保留自救會暨樂生青年聯盟 (Losheng Self-Help Association and Youth Alliance for Losheng)
機場捷運A7站自救會 (The Airport Metro A7 stop Self-help Association)
龜山反大湖重劃自救會 (Guishan Self-help Association against Dahu Land Consolidation)
環境法律人協會 (Environmental Jurists Association)