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Copy of e-mail

From: UN Rapporteur on Right to Housing [mailto:contact@righttohousing.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:09 PM
To: branko.soric@zg.t-com.hr
Subject: New Materials on Security of Tenure in Several Languages - Newsletter # 46


      After two years of work, we concluded the Security of Tenure Project with the publication of the “Guiding Principles on Security of Tenure for the Urban Poor” , as a leaflet and as a guide.

      The leaflet presents the guiding principles on security of tenure included in the thematic report presented in March to the UN Human Rights Council. It is available on our website in five languages – Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.


   The UN Human Rights Council adopted, in its 25th session, a resolution on adequate housing, including references to security of tenure, the topic of the Rapporteur Raquel Rolnik’s final thematic report, presented on March 10-11.

   The resolution adopted by the Council welcomes the work of the Special Rapporteur and addresses a number of issues related to security of tenure, based on the Rapporteur’s guiding principles on security of tenure for the urban poor, presented in her last thematic report. It also renews the housing mandate for another three-year period.


Resolution  (26 March 2014)

http://direitoamoradia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/A_HRC_25_L18-REV1-AS-ORALLY-REVISED.pdf   ---  (Resolution)

United Nations General Assembly  26 March 2014

Human Rights Council

Twenty-fifth session

Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights….


   25/… Adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living


   Reaffirming that everyone is entitled to the right to adequate housing as part of an adequate standard of living without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,


   Acknowledges with appreciation in particular the report of the Special Rapporteur on security of tenure for the urban poor and the guiding principles on security of tenure… (……)

   Reaffirms that States have the primary responsibility to ensure the full realization of all human rights… (……)

   Requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur for the effective fulfilment of his or her mandate (……)

   Notes with appreciation the cooperation extended to date to the Special Rapporteur by different actors, and calls upon States:

  (a) To continue to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur in the discharge of his or her mandate and to respond favourably to his or her requests for information and visits;

  (b) To enter into a constructive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur with respect to the follow-up to and implementation of his or her recommendations (……)


Statement by R. Rolnik  (10 March 2014)


Statement by Raquel Rolnik


25th session of the Human Rights Council

10 March 2014, Geneva

   (……)  I am very pleased to present my final thematic report, with practical guidance for states and other stakeholders on security of tenure for the urban poor. (……)  A year ago, in this room, I underscored the importance of security of tenure (……)  My work of the past year has reinforced my conviction. Globally, tenure insecurity is responsible for many millions of people living under a daily threat of eviction, lack of access to services, or in an ambiguous situation where their tenure status becomes the basis for discrimination, or is used in their detriment by public and private actors. (……)

The concept of legitimate tenure rights extends beyond mainstream notions of private ownership and includes multiple tenure forms deriving from a variety of tenure systems.  (……)  As the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in reference to article 11 of the Covenant, has insisted for over twenty years, all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure that guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats (……)

   The ten Guiding Principles (……)

   The first principle set the foundation of this approach: Strengthening diverse tenure forms  (……)  Principle two refers to improving security of tenure by putting in place essential measures, especially for vulnerable and marginalized persons and groups living in urban poor settlements. (……)  …in situ solutions must prevail.  (……)  Security of tenure guarantees that people access and enjoy their home without fear of forced evictions. (……)  States have an obligation to ensure that all persons possess a degree of security of tenure that guarantees legal protection against all threats. They also have an obligation to take progressive measures to strengthen security of tenure for all persons currently using land or housing for their basic housing needs, and who lack such security.


Statement by R. Rolnik  (4 March 2013)


Statement by Raquel Rolnik


22nd session of the Human Rights Council

4 March 2013, Geneva


Thematic report: Security of tenure, cornerstone of the right to adequate housing

      The thematic report I present today discusses security of tenure, a key component of the right to adequate housing. (……)  Inhabitants of self-made and unplanned settlements epitomize tenure insecurity in a very visible form, but they are by no means the only example. Refugees and internally displaced persons, tenants, migrants, minorities, nomadic and indigenous communities, sharecroppers, other marginalized groups, and among all of these women - to name only a few – are often insecure. All tenure forms, including individual freehold, can be insecure, as the recent mortgage and financial crises have shown in different countries.


Security of tenure under international human rights law

      (……)  Guidance from UN human rights mechanisms is clear and comprehensive when it comes to ensuring security of tenure as a way to prevent forced evictions. The then Commission on Human Rights, already in 1993, noted that forced evictions constitute a gross violation of a range of internationally recognized human rights. It urged governments to confer legal security of tenure on all persons threatened with forced evictions.  UN human rights treaty bodies and special procedures have reiterated this call since. (……)

      Further guidance by UN treaty bodies notes that this protection against forced evictions is due to everyone, irrespective of the type of tenure held. States are further called upon to take immediate measures aimed at conferring legal security of tenure upon those persons currently lacking such protection. (……)  And while many questions remain, it must be emphasized that people already have a right to security of tenure, as part of their human right to adequate housing – what needs clarification is how precisely this right can and shall be recognized, protected and realized, through a variety of tenure forms. (……) 

      (……)  However, many land management and administration projects, by focusing on the granting of individual freehold titles to users or owners of non-contested plots, have proven ill-suited to recognize all forms of tenure and in particular to protect the most vulnerable. This is particularly the case in urban contexts. (……)  urban planning policies, laws and regulations can have a direct impact on strengthening tenure security, or, conversely, on increasing insecurity

      (……)  In the aftermath of conflict or disaster, there is a real risk that existing discrimination on the basis of tenure status will be reinforced, thus preventing individuals from accessing aid. Short-term responses by humanitarian actors and Governments addressing conflicts and natural disasters often have long-term impacts; the challenge is to ensure that these reinforce, rather than undermine, tenure security. (……)

      Ensuring security of tenure for all is one of the most compelling challenges of today‘s world and is fundamental to preventing the most egregious forms of eviction, displacement and homelessness. It is also essential for human dignity and for people to sustain adequate standards of living.

      The ‘mapping exercise‘ presented in my report is a first step in my study on security of tenure. It draws lessons from decades of practical experience in international development, land management and urban planning with respect to securing tenure, and compares and contrasts this depth of expertise with existing standards and guidelines under international human rights law (……)