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International Tribunal in Venice - Strengthening the Voices of People Evicted by Tourism

Press release

While the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) celebrates today, 27th September, as World Tourism Day, local communities in many parts of the world see no reason to celebrate. On the contrary: From India and Sri Lanka, from Kenya, Argentina and Italy, people affected or threatened by evictions related to tourism are gathering in Venice for their cases to be heard by an International Tribunal on Evictions (ITE), launched by the International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI).

From 28th  to 30th  September, they will provide testimonies on how tourism as one of the world’s largest industries has become instrumental in displacing farmers, herders and pastoralists, fisherfolk and urban communities from their homes and depriving them of their livelihoods.

The cases selected by the ITE Steering Committee for this year’s session include:

India: Expropriation and evictions to make room for a third airport for the national capital, New Delhi  
Sri Lanka: Land grabbing for tourism development, Panama Village  
Argentina: Evictions and gentrification in the historic neighbourhood of La Boca, Buenos Aires  
Kenya: Violent evictions of the Masai in the name of protecting wildlife to support elite tourism  
Italy: Fake tourist rentals on the Island of Pellestrina, Venice

Very active and dedicated social movements and civil society groups in Venice are hosting the tribunal. Venice itself has been suffering from massive tourism-driven depopulation, which reduced it from 175,000 inhabitants in 1953 to 54,000. 28th September as the first day of the ITE session will start with a field visit  to Santa Marta’s neighbourhood where there are struggles against real estate speculation leaded by the University Ca’ Foscari. Then to the Island of Giudecca to meet squatters who recuperated buildings abandoned by ATER, the public company for social housing

On 29th and 30th, the tribunal’s jury of activists and experts will be hearing the testimonies of people threatened and/or affected by evictions and will make recommendations. On 30th afternoon, a broader debate will focus on alternatives and solutions based on respect of the rights and responsibilities of inhabitants to help them cope with abusive and excessive tourism.


The IAI is a global network of grassroots associations of inhabitants, communities and social movements. It has been holding International Tribunals on Evictions since 2004. This year’s tribunal takes the "International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017" as an occasion to focus on tourism-related displacement and evictions. It is linked to the Transforming Tourism initiative that places tourism in the context of the 2030 Agenda. The tribunal also marks the opening of the World Zero Evictions Days which will happen throughout the month of October.

For further information:

International Tribunal on Evictions - Session on tourism - 28-30 September 2017

International Tribunal on Tourism-Related Evictions

Transforming Tourism initative


Soha Ben Slama, Coordinator of the International Tribunal on Evictions (ITE), ITE2017@habitants.org

Cesare Ottolini, International Alliance of Inhabitants, global.coordinator.iai@habitants.org

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