Acts of Commission, Acts of Omission. Housing and Land Rights and the Indian State.


India became a State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on 10 July 1979. Although articles 16 and 17 of the ICESCR require State parties to submit periodic reports on “the measures they have adopted and the progress made in achieving the observance of the rights recognized” in the Convenant, Indias is now three reports overdue in submitting to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights .

The report provides an overview of seven groups that have been particularly vulnerable to violations of the right to adequate housing in India: the urban poor, forest dwellers, Dalits, victims of the 2002 riots in the State of Gujarat, communities displaced due to large-scale development projects (including large dams and mining projects), the urban homeless, and nomadic communities. In each case, it is clear that violations of the right to adequate housing occur because of a failure on the part of the central government to respect and protect the right to adequate housing.

In the case of each of the marginalized groups examined (Dalits, forest dwellers, nomads, riot victims, victims of development-based displacement, the homeless and victims of urban forced evictions) it is clear that the Government of India has fulfilled neither its obligations of conduct nor of the result with respect to Article 11 of the ICESCR.