Access to justice for the right to housing
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, recently launched a report on Access to justice for the right to housing. According to the report, an estimated 1.8 billion people lack adequate housing; twenty-five percent of the world’s urban population lives in informal settlements, and homelessness and forced evictions are on the rise in virtually every country.
On April 23, we held a webinar organized in collaboration with International Development Research Centre, Canada, and led by Ms. Farha and a group of grassroots activists. They discussed findings from the report, how it can be used as a tool to advocate for policy change, and why “access to justice for the right to housing is inseparable from the right itself.”
The Rapporteur underscored 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.” The report identifies ten key principles, derived from international human rights law obligations, which States must satisfy to ensure access to justice for various components of the right to housing.
This webinar provided space for frontline practitioners to reflect on their experiences and catalogue the challenges and successes they’ve faced.
We heard from Justice and Empowerment Initiatives on how they support the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation to empower poor and marginalized individuals and communities to lead the changes that they would like to see in their own communities.
We also heard from Katiba Institute, on how they work in of Nairobi’s informal settlements (Kenya) with an interdisciplinary team with holistic strategies to support tenure security, equitable access to services, and justice for residents of Nairobi’s informal settlements.
The Civil Association for Equality and Justice (Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ)) from Argentina reflected on their experience working for more than ten years with informal settlement dwellers in Buenos Aires on housing rights, access to public services and urban integration.
Please check out this resource from ACIJ:
Listen to a recording of this webinar here
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