Researching the right to housing (December 2018)

  • Title: Researching the Right to Housing, by S M Atia Naznin, a Lecturer at the School of Law, BRAC University (Bangladesh) and a PhD in Law at Macquarie University (Australia). Naznin is usually focusing on issues related to litigation and forced slum eviction in Bangladesh. In this article, you will find an overview of Components of the Right to Housing

  • Summary:

    • Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) contemplates housing as adequate housing that requires living a standard life with dignity, peace and security and enables a person to utilize and expand his capabilities. The contents of adequacy must include the presence of legal security of tenure, availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure, affordability, habitability, accessibility, location and cultural adequacy.

    • The article also defines forced eviction is a ‘permanent or temporary removal against the will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection.’ In brief, forced eviction is a form of arbitrary displacement.

    • It further details state obligations towards the right to housing. The obligations to realize the right to housing can be categorized as specific and general obligations - which refers to a tripartite typology of state obligations to, respect, protect, and fulfil this right.

    • Justiciability of the Right to Housing is defined in the article as well, as to the capacity of the court to enforce the violation of a right due to non-performance of state obligations.

    • There are both international (i.e. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), 1966) regional ( i.e. the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1990) and national (the constitutional provisions either recognize housing as a justiciable meaning legally binding right or a non-justiciable directive or fundamental principle of state policy) instruments on the Right to Housing.

    • The article also lists a number of useful resources in the end: from domestic (Indian) judicial decisions on the right to housing to useful books, journals and specific journal articles.

    Keywords: right to housing, law, jurisprudence, human right, human right to housing, international right to housing.

Last updated