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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2002/59
1 March 2002

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Fifty-eighth session
Item 10 of the provisional agenda



ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the
right to an adequate standard of living, Mr. Miloon Kothari

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Executive summary


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This report has two thematic focuses: one is discrimination and segregation in the context of follow-up to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and the other is the impact of globalization on the realization of housing rights. The realization of housing rights in an environment free from racial discrimination will have a direct bearing on other congruent human rights. In today’s context of globalization and the free market economy, there is a trend towards greater competition and market efficiency, which often results in increased marginalization of the poor. The report examines in particular the effects of privatization of water services in cases where it has negatively affected the poor. The report concludes that unfettered globalization cannot bring about the fulfilment of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to adequate housing. Governments have an important role to play in reconciling macroeconomic policies with social objectives and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable first, keeping in mind the primacy of human rights obligations.

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III. ACTIONS TO PROMOTE THE PROGRESSIVE REALIZATION
OF HOUSING RIGHTS

A. Dialogue with Governments and civil society
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2. Urgent appeals

72. In 1991, the Special Rapporteur received more than 20 allegations and urgent appeals from NGOs, civil society groups and individuals 58 related to forced evictions and demolition of houses in Argentina, Bhutan, China, Egypt, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Monaco, Nepal, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Spain, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Based on the comprehensiveness of the information received and with due consideration of the seriousness of the situation, the Special Rapporteur made selective interventions in response to these allegations and appeals. ...


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3. Country missions
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77. Separately, the Special Rapporteur had an opportunity to visit Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories from 5 to 10 January 2001, at a time when the demolition of Palestinian settlements in Rafah had intensified. He was invited by Ben Gurion University and the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah). During the visit, the Special Rapporteur availed himself of the opportunity to meet with a group of NGOs, United Nations and intergovernmental agencies and Palestinian authorities, in order to collect information necessary for reporting to the Commission during its fifty-eighth session in response to resolution S-5/1 adopted on 19 October 2000, in which the Special Rapporteur, along with several other thematic rapporteurs, was requested to undertake an immediate visit and to report the findings to the Commission and the General Assembly. Palestinian family homes. According to the Committee’s information, some 380 houses in Gaza were demolished in the first year of the current uprising. Another source pointed out that as of that date, 500 Palestinian houses had been destroyed and 2,000 persons, including children, made homeless. The Committee viewed such destruction of civilian homes, which had taken pla On 20 and 21 November 2001, during its twenty-seventh session, the Committee against Torture considered the third periodic report of Israel (CAT/C/54/Add.1). The review of the State party’s report coincided with a fresh incursion into the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza on 20 November by the Israeli occupation army, which destroyed 11 Palestinian family homes. According to the Committee’s information, some 380 houses in Gaza were demolished in the first year of the current uprising. Another source pointed out that as of that date, 500 Palestinian houses had been destroyed and 2,000 persons, including children, made homeless. The Committee viewed such destruction of civilian homes, which had taken place at night and without warning, as tantamount to cruel and inhuman treatment.

B. Cooperation with treaty bodies and other United Nations
human rights mechanisms

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4. Other treaty bodies


11. On 20 and 21 November 2001, during its twenty-seventh session, the Committee against Torture considered the third periodic report of Israel (CAT/C/54/Add.1). The review of the State party’s report coincided with a fresh incursion into the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza on 20 November by the Israeli occupation army, which destroyed 11 Palestinian family homes. According to the Committee’s information, some 380 houses in Gaza were demolished in the first year of the current uprising. Another source pointed out that as of that date, 500 Palestinian houses had been destroyed and 2,000 persons, including children, made homeless. The Committee viewed such destruction of civilian homes, which had taken place at night and without warning, as tantamount to cruel and inhuman treatment.

12. The Special Rapporteur notes with interest the concluding observation adopted by the Committee (CAT/C/XXVII/Concl.5), in which it expressed its concern that Israeli policies on closure and on house demolitions may, in certain instances, amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment The Committee further recommended that the State party should desist from the policies of closure and house demolition where they offend article 16 of the Convention”.

13. Significantly, the Committee also focused its attention on practices amounting to collective punishment under “closure” of the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1993, which has become increasingly severe over the past year and amounted to extreme deprivation of the means of livelihood for the civilian population and of their rights to adequate housing, access to water and other services.

14. Keeping in mind article 11, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and General Comment No. 7 of the Committee on forced eviction, the Special Rapporteur will further examine the important link between forced eviction and the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in his future work, bearing in mind the indivisibility and interrelatedness of all human rights. In view of this conceptual link and the new insight this brings to the relationship between the right to adequate housing and civil and political rights, the Special Rapporteur will continue to follow the work of the Committee and also seek to develop working relations with the Special Rapporteur on torture.

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