The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing publishes a new report on « The Right to Housing and Access to Justice »
On March 4, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Leilani Farha, presented to the 40th session of the Human Rights Council her latest report on “Access to justice as a means of realizing the right to housing” (A/HRC/40/61). The report argues that “the global housing crisis is rooted in a crisis in access to justice because without access to justice, housing is not properly recognized, understood or addressed as a human right”, and defines 10 principles states should respect to guarantee the right to housing. The Special Rapporteur also presents various initiatives taken by local authorities to promote the right to housing – mainly the UCLG Declaration “Cities for Adequate Housing”.
The A/HRC/40/61 report proposes to all parties concerned (including local authorities) a structural analysis of the housing crisis in regards to justice and accountability mechanisms. More specifically, it highlights the lack of mechanisms and tools for citizens to access justice and assert their rights in relation to housing, particularly in the case of evictions and displacements. According to the Special Rapporteur, “Millions who live in homelessness or unacceptable living conditions have no place where they can claim their right to housing”.
The A/HRC/40/61 report aims to support governments and all stakeholders involved to implement policies that strengthen their response to human rights violations in regards to housing. In the report, public administrations, leaders and policymakers will find a concrete and favorable framework for the development of new policiesand regulations in this regard, intended to support and guide their action towards the progressive realization of the right to housing.
« There is growing worldwide support for creating spaces where the right to housing can be claimed. Social movements, city mayors, and an increasing number of Governments, human rights institutions and courts are recommitting to the right to housing and to empowering rights holders to claim their rights and hold all levels of government, transnational corporations and other financial actors accountable »
Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing
In her report, Special Rapporteur Farha also highlighted the actions taken by local authorities across the world aimed at promoting the right to housing. In the words of the Special Rapporteur, “There is growing worldwide support for creating spaces where the right to housing can be claimed. Social movements, city mayors, and an increasing number of Governments are recommitting to the right to housing”. The Special Rapporteur highlights in particular how, at the local level, “at the local level, advocacy for meaningful accountability for the right to housing has become a central focus of social movements and city declarations of human rights”.