HIC at the International Human Rights Day


Vowing that “another world is possible” for the 1.2 billion people
with inadequate housing and more than 100 million who are homeless, and
decrying the realities of war and forced evictions, Habitat International
Coalition (HIC), reaffirms the human right of all to an adequate place to
live in peace and dignity.

The Right to Housing is a collective right of every children, youth,
men and women that includes access to land, housing, secure tenure, clean
water, sanitation, a healthy environment, access to social health services,
education, basic goods, transportation, recreation, provision of
infrastructure; access to subsistence means and social protection, and
preservation of natural, historic and cultural patrimony. All of these are
related to economic, social and cultural rights.

Besides the income distribution among and within Nations, what
enables or obstructs people from securing their Right to Housing are: 1)
policies 2) laws, 3) financial instruments 4) administrative practices and
5) custom and practices. Sustainable human settlements, adequate shelter,
and basic services for all are goals that can only be achieved through
progressive policies, education and training in Human Rights. A return to
human rights law as a common framework—particularly in the fields of
housing, physical planning and development policy and practice— is one
essential ingredient that has to be reinforced with the analysis and
socialization of values to advance ESC rights.

Housing rights guaranteed under international law and commitments of
development targets made at global summits including the Millennium Summit
and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, have
fallen back the line already achieved in Rio and in Istanbul. International
instruments as the Habitat Agenda were not taken as one of the basis for the
Johannesburg plan and therefore human settlements only played a marginal

HIC commits towards strengthening the justiciability of ESCR though
the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social &
Cultural Rights, to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and a Human
Rights approach at the Commission of Sustainable Development.