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To mainstream and implement human rights, a framework for action is required. Within this framework it is necessary to have a strategic result that indicates the intended impact of mainstreaming on the lives of claim-holders. The strategic result aimed for, is that the human rights to adequate housing and basic services are realised for the urban poor and the most vulnerable urban dwellers. The strategic result is supported by four expected accomplishments
- UN-Habitat is enabled to empower stakeholders on human rights issues related to adequate housing and basic services.
- Claim-holders are able to assert rights to adequate housing and basic services.
- Duty-bearers are held accountable for achievement of rights to adequate housing and basic services.
- Human rights standards for adequate housing and basic services are protected, fulfilled and respected by duty-bearers.
UN-Habitat is bound by the UN Charter, which recognize human rights as one of its pillars, and is specifically mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. Further, as part of the UN family, UN-Habitat is mandated to respect, promote, and protect human rights in all of its activities. All of UN-Habitat’s interventions are underpinned by values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that promote the right to an adequate standard of living, of which the right to adequate housing is a part. UN-Habitat is also a key agency in the implementation of the right to safe drinking water and sanitation.
Applying a HRBA to development has become one of the essential platforms for recent transformations in development strategies and – due to their successful implementation – has received strong support from the UN leadership and the UN Member States.
How is the Human Rights based approach contribute to a better urban future?
According to the human rights-based approach, the process of urbanization should adhere to the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination, inclusion and participation, accountability and the rule of law. Concurrently, the city, as the outcome of this process, should meet specified human rights standards, for instance: adequate housing, access to water and sanitation, health and education services, work, participation in decisions that affect city inhabitants, or any other rights codified in the human rights treaties ratified by the country in question.
The human rights-based approach adds value to urban planning by legitimizing prioritization of the interests on the most marginalized in society and their participation in the planning process. Indeed, the creation and implementation of an appropriate form of urban planning is a precondition in many national contexts for the fulfilment of human rights obligations in the urban context.