People’s right to a place

Ted explains.  Governments assume a primary obligation to define and protect the right to life and property.  In well ordered governance, revocation of these rights are subject to the highest level of legal and public scrutiny. Improperly or capriciously done, even a seemingly small taking of life or property by governing authorities may threaten the legitimacy of the authority or the system of government itself.

When the taking of property is for the purpose of development, improving the general welfare of the people, a major contradiction appears.  Those who are “in the way of development” are forced to sacrifice for the good of others.  Tens of millions of people and communities are forcefully displaced by development projects each year.  For over 50 years, scientists have documented development-induced displacement.  They have found that people in the way are at risk of not only their loss of a right to place, but development-induced impoverishment through loss of land, joblessness, health, access to common property, marginalization, and socio-cultural support mechanisms. Most disturbing, they have found that forced displacement may create a “new poverty” generated by the project itself. This result is unnecessary.

Ted and his colleagues have documented this a loss of physical and social capital. They have worked to avoid or mitigate these risks by instituting policies, procedures, training, appraising, evaluating and supervising forced displacement. Ted’s work includes appraising, preparing for the forced displacements at the Zimapan dam in central Mexico, the Aguamilpas (aka Solidarity) dam in western Mexico, the Pangue/Ralco dam complex in the Alto BioBio region – Chile, the West African Gas Pipeline, the Bujagali dam in Uganda, the Yacyreta dam in Paraguay/Argentina, and more.

See research and advocacy for peoples who are forcefully displaced by development projects.