The realization of the human right to adequate housing of all urban residents is a prerequisite for inclusive and sustainable urban centres for all. Yet, almost 1 billion people of the world’s urban population live in inadequate housing conditions in slums and at least 2 million people in the world are forcibly evicted every year, while 100 million people face homelessness and this growing number is severed by the threat of forced evictions all over the world. Violation of the right to adequate housing leads to spatial fragmentation and increases the risk of a deficit of also other human rights, by groups who are discriminated, marginalized and excluded.
UN-Habitat is committed to the realization of the right to adequate housing by establishing the United Nations Housing Rights Program (UNHRP) with OHCHR jointly, to support governments, the civil society and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in their work on the advancement of the right to adequate housing and forced eviction preventions, with a focus on the homeless people, urban poor and other marginalized groups.
To achieve this objective, the UNHRP is involved in the following actions at the global level:
- Development of standards and guidelines;
- Elaboration of existing international legal instruments and support for enhanced compliance by governments; and
- Development of a system to monitor and evaluate progress in the realization of housing rights.
"Losing Your Home" is an important and long overdue book, which I warmly welcome and recommend to the worldwide readership that it addresses and fully deserves. This book offers us a fresh and compelling look at one of the global and still unheralded enough crisis of our times: the increasing eviction and displacement of large numbers of people – no less than tens of millions every year – who are uprooted from their houses mostly without receiving the support they need for rebuilding their lives from society as a whole. House displacement, which much too often results in homelessness or slum dwelling, is a paradoxical result of many legitimate development projects that need a footprint but nonetheless do not care enough to resettle and re-house the people they displace; it is also a result of the bigger tragedies inflicted by destructive conflicts.
Michael M. Cernea,Brookings Institution NR Senior Fellow, Washington DC and Research Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, GWU
Related Sustainable Development Goals
Donors and partners
UN-Habitat and OHCHR jointly launched the United Nations Housing Rights Program (UNHRP) in 2002. The overall goal of this initiative, launched and championed by the Executive Director of UN-Habitat and the High Commissioner on Human Rights, is to support governments, the civil society and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in their work on the advancement of the right to adequate housing. Under this programme, UN-Habitat supports the UN human rights mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Other joint activities include normative tools development and technical assistance for the States and other stakeholders in building and improving technical capacities for implementation and monitoring of housing rights. On the same topic UN-Habitat also works collaborate with UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, particularly on the work of forced evictions prevention and housing rights advocacy.