CAMBRIDGE MA—MIT’s Displacement Research & Action Network (“The Network”) is pleased to announce the launch of its new website The site is a collaboration of academics from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Harvard, Northeastern and New York University (NYU); and activists from the Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Network (ESCR-Net) and the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN). The Network hopes that the platform will ignite a global discussion on issues surrounding forced evictions and internal displacement, notably the lack of an enforceable framework to ensure the human rights of internally displaced persons.

“The website will serve as a platform for academics, civil society organizations, and the public sector to collect and share stories which draw international attention to the human rights violations of internal displacement.”

–Balakrishnan Rajagopal, founder

The website, an evolving platform designed to suit the needs of its constituents, houses a blog, displacement mapping tool, and resources for communities that have already faced forced evictions and displacement or are currently threatened by this devastating global phenomenon. Aligning with the Network’s focus on development and market induced displacement, the website’s content centers on cases of forced evictions associated with development (such as large dams, mega events, urban renewal and redevelopment including large-scale infrastructure projects). The Network also addresses climate- and conflict-induced displacement, especially as they relate to internal displacement.

The Network held a launch event of the website on the MIT campus on 4 December 2013.

UN OHCHR Collaboration

The Network is also announcing a new collaboration with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UN OHCHR). The Network looks forward to working with OHCHR to draw international attention to the significant impact of forced evictions and internal displacement on the realization of human rights.

About The Displacement Research & Action Network

The Displacement Research and Action Network, an initiative of the Program for Human Rights and Justice at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, is the first-ever inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral global network on displacement. Founded in 2012 by MIT DUSP Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the Network has been shaped by Miloon Kothari, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, who is a Martin Luther King Visiting Scholar at DUSP, with contributions from Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. The Network brings together activists, academics and policy makers to build new theory and evidence of the increasing incidence of mass internal displacement around the world due to development, conflict, or climate disaster.

For more information

Displacement Research & Action Network Department of Urban Studies & Planning

77 Massachusetts Avenue Room 9-430

Cambridge MA 02139–4307 USA

Phone: +1 (617) 253–9315