Leilani Farha will be the next United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing

Canadian human rights
expert and civil society activist Leilani Farha will be the next United
Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. Leilani, who is
Executive Director of the Canadian national anti-poverty organization called
Canada Without Poverty – Canada Sans Pauvrete, has worked within Canada and
internationally on housing and human rights issues for 20 years. At the UN
level, she helped to create the first human rights standards on women and the
right to adequate housing. In Canada, she has worked with civil society groups
across the country on a variety of initiatives including, most recently, an
historic legal challenge to the federal government on the right to housing for
those who are homeless.

Leilani is recognized
as being smart, capable and very effective in advancing a rights-based agenda –
and her candidacy was supported by a range of non-governmental groups in Canada
and internationally. The Habitat International Coalition supported her appointment,
noting that the combination of a sharp legal mind, a strong commitment to civil
society and a deep understanding of international housing and human rights
issues makes her an ideal candidate for the position.

As a UN Special
Rapporteur, Leilani will be an independent expert responsible for globally
monitoring the status of the right to adequate housing, responding to alleged
violations of this right, and representing the United Nations on visits to
review housing conditions on official fact-finding missions to countries around
the world. She has been appointed for a three-year mandate. She will continue
in her national work in Canada tackling the root causes of poverty and

The appointment of
Leilani is a special honour for Canada’s civil society organizations. She joins
two other Canadians recently appointed to UN human rights’ positions: Chief
Wilton Littlechild was appointed as a Member of the Expert Mechanism on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Francois Crepeau was appointed as the UN
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

* To read
the Canada Without Poverty (CWP) press release, click here:
CWP ED Appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Housing | Canada
Without Poverty

To download the appointment of Leilani Farha as the United Nations’ Special
Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, click here.