In 1991, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) held
their joint international conference in Bangkok, bringing over 10,000
delegates from more than 160 countries to the city. In the months before the
event, the Thai government forcibly removed over 2,000 slum dwellers
from the areas immediately surrounding the new $90 million Queen Sirikit
National Convention Center that hosted the conference.2 Hundreds of
shanties in informal settlements were destroyed and a huge metal wall was
erected to conceal the devastation left behind.3 Similarly, when the World
Bank and IMF held their conference in the Philippines in 1976, President
Marcos initiated a "beautification" campaign in which 400 families were
evicted from slums in Manila during the months preceding the event.
Despite the array of slum improvement programs financed by the World
Bank,5 Thailand and the Philippines both relied on shortsighted strategies
of forced removal in order to conceal the existence of slum dwellers and, in
doing so, protect national claims of "development."
Greene, Solomon J.
"Staged Cities: Mega-events, Slum Clearance, and Global Capital,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol6/iss1/6