Violating Housing Rights of Tsunami Survivors: Tamil Nadu

What is affected
Housing Social/public
Housing private
Land Social/public
Land Private
Roads, Schools, Hospitals
Type of violation Demolition/destruction
Date 26 December 2004
Region A [ Asia ]
Country India
Location Tamil Nadu

Affected persons

Total 647556
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Land losses

- Land area (square meters)

- Total value
Housing losses
- Number of homes
- Total value € € 173000000

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Local and International Relief Agencies
Brief narrative In Tamil Nadu, India, the tsunami of December 26, 2004, displaced close to 650,000 people and caused approximately 228 million USD worth of damage to housing.

The response of the state and federal government and aid agencies has been inadequate and there have been serious violations of human rights in efforts to provide adequate housing to affected populations.

A fact-finding mission conducted in August 2005 discovered the following:
- Relief and rehabilitation assistance had not reached all those affected
- Assistance was not entirely based on a comprehensive needs assessment
- Most relief and rehabilitation efforts were conducted in a gender-neutral manner, ignoring the unique needs of women, and often increasing the level of discrimination against them
- Most measures did not account for the special needs of other populations, children and refugees for instance, and were not sensitive to local cultures and conditions
- Participation of affected communities in planning and implementing relief and rehabilitation policies was limited.
- An effective mechanism was not present to implement and monitor the provision of assistance and compensation and to ensure accountability of the government and of relief agencies.
- Temporary shelters were inadequate with respect to habitability, sanitation, security, location, and culture. The planning of permanent structures was slow or not yet initiated [as of August 2005]. Poor health conditions and physical insecurity were common in temporary shelters.
- Many people did not have adequate access to water, food, and sanitation services
- Counselling for affected people, particularly children, was limited

For the full report on these post-tsunami violations of human rights in Tamil Nadu, particularly the human right to housing, please see:

Fact-Finding Mission Report 8 "Post-tsunami relief and rehabilitation: A Violation of Human Rights" published by South Asia Regional Programme, Housing and Land Rights Network, Habitat International Coalition. The document can be found at:

See also:

Fact-Finding Mission Report 10 “Do People’s Voices Matter? The Human Right to Participation in Post-tsunami Housing Reconstruction” published by South Asia Regional Programme, Housing and Land Rights Network, Habitat International Coalition. The document can be found at:
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