Nairobi 10 December 2015-- As part of the United Nations family, UN-Habitat celebrates Human Rights Day on 10 December 2015, in recognition of the important role that cities and towns play in the realization of human rights for all.The highlight of the day was a function at the United Nations Offices at Nairobi where there was a screening of videos on human rights in cities an forced evictions, as well as a discuss the UN-Habitat publications entitled “Informal Settlements: Alternative solutions to slum demolition and forced eviction of local communities. Case studies from Africa, Asia, Central and South America”.
In his statement, UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos said: "Human Rights is at the heart of the New Urban Agenda. We at UN-Habitat, view urbanization as the engine of development, as a transformative force which can lead the world to overcome challenges related to sustainability, climate change, poverty, exclusion and inequality. With an emphasis on urban legislation, urban planning and urban economy and municipal finances, we have developed an integrated framework for planned urbanization - the “Three-Pronged approach” – designed to better respond to the challenges and harness the opportunities of cities and human settlements. Within this context, our ‘Housing at the Centre’ approach places the right to adequate housing at the centre of national and local urban agendas. ‘Housing at the Centre’ aims at shifting the focus from simply building houses to a holistic framework for housing development, orchestrated with urban planning practice and placing people and human rights at the forefront of sustainable urban development"
The agency had lined up various activities for the whole month. The events were internal to UN-Habitat staff, and were designed to share knowledge and experience on best practices and opportunities for collaboration related to human rights mainstreaming in UN-Habitat’s programmes and projects. On 1 and 2 December, a Human Rights in Cities Training and Lab was held relating to the Human Rights-Based Approach to sustainable urban development. On 3 December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a presentation was held on the UN-Habitat publication entitled “Right to Adequate Housing for Persons with Disabilities”. The presentation was followed by a broader discussion and sharing of experiences related to the inclusion of people in vulnerable situations in UN-Habitat programmes and projects. People in vulnerable situations may include children, youth, elderly, persons with disabilities, displaced persons and migrants, indigenous people, homeless persons, minorities, people living with HIV/AIDS, and especially women in these categories. A lunch hour Brown Bag was held on 9 December where UN-Habitat hosted UNHCR Kenya Representative, Mr Raouf Mazou.