Mega events such as the Olympics, the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, the World Expo and many more threaten the housing rights of hundreds of thousands of people globally.
The Olympic Games alone have displaced more than two million people in the last 20 years, mostly the homeless, the poor, and minorities such as Roma and African-Americans.
The number of people affected by housing rights violations in the context of mega-events such as the Olympic Games is staggering:
Seoul 1988: 720,000 people were forcibly evicted from their homes in preparation for the Olympic Games in 1988.
Barcelona 1992: housing became so unaffordable as a result of the Olympic Games that low income earners were forced to leave the city.
Atlanta 1996: 9,000 arrest citations were issued to homeless persons, mostly racial minorities, as part of an Olympics-inspired campaign to, quote, “clean the streets”. Additionally, some 30,000 persons were displaced in Atlanta by Olympics-related gentrification and development.
Athens 2004: hundreds of Roma residents were displaced under the pretext of Olympics-related preparations.
In the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, over 1.25 million people were displaced due to Olympics-related urban redevelopment.