The United Nations has called on Brazil to end all evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, almost one month after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed efforts by the Congress to do so.
In a statement on Thursday the UN Special Rapporteur on housing Balakrishnan Rajagopal called on Brazil “to end all evictions during the Covid-19 crisis, after more than 2,000 families were thrown out of their homes. Thousands more are at risk of evictions in cities and in the countryside in São Paulo state.”
Rajagopal expressed concern that Bolsonaro vetoed an effort by the Brazilian Congress to limit the impact of evictions. Congress has not yet voted on a broader bill that would suspend all judicial or administrative evictions during the pandemic.”
On June 11, Bolsonaro vetoed an article — which was part of a larger piece of legislation — that suspends, until October, evictions due to a delay in paying rent or end of the vacancy period.
Another law specifically about suspension of evictions during the pandemic was presented to Brazil’s Congress on March 18 and is awaiting a vote.
Rajagopal said evictions pose a health risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic and added, “some courts are suspending eviction orders until the health crisis is over, others continue to issue new orders.”
CNN has reached out to the Brazilian government for comment.
The UN Special Rapporteur’s statement comes as Brazil’s total number of Covid-19 cases tops 1.7 million and the country saw its highest weekly death rate on July 8 — averaging 1,047 in the seven days since July 1.
A week ago, by comparison, the average was 972 fatalities.