In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and caused widespread devastation. The United States government was not prepared to respond to the magnitude of this disaster and Gulf Coast residents were forced to flee their homes. International human rights standards, including the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, guarantee the rights of every person displaced by a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, including the right to return.

Amnesty International USA calls upon the federal government to uphold the right of all Katrina survivors to return to their homes. We urge officials to provide access to affordable, safe and habitable housing so that survivors can exercise their right to return.

Survivors should be able to genuinely and effectively participate in their return, resettlement and reintegration into their communities. The U.S. government must ensure that the principles of equality and non-discrimination are applied to the return or resettlement of all internally displaced persons.