Home is where we, as people, develop and become capable of claiming and exercising all of our rights.Why Housing?
Housing is a human rights issue — it makes or breaks us. It is the difference between life and death.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Leilani Farha, and her team seek to implement and realize the right to housing, as prescribed in international human rights law, around the world.
Leilani facilitates conversation between rights-holders, governments and international organizations regarding the right to housing, and provides thematic guidance on implementing the right in support of states adhering to their international obligations rooted in the right to housing.
Housing and real estate markets worldwide have been transformed by global capital markets and financial excess. Known as the financialization of housing, the phenomenon occurs when housing is treated as a commodity – a vehicle for wealth and investment rather than a social good.
Housing is the cornerstone to life and human well-being. Home is so much more than four walls and a roof. It is somewhere to live in peace security and dignity. Although it is increasingly being treated as a commodity, housing is a fundamental human right.
In the year 2000, the Commission on Human Rights created the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing mandate. Individuals would be independent experts appointed to monitor the right to housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living.
Leilani monitors, researches and reports on the right to housing worldwide. She produces reports twice a year to the UN – to the General Assembly in New York in October, and to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March.
Leilani offers guidance on the interpretation of international law offering a deeper understanding of the right to housing. During country missions she observes and reports on the state of human rights on the ground, meeting with governments, civil society and community members.
As Special Rapporteur, Leilani encourages dialogues between state and civil society as well as reviews complaints of the right to housing. When alleged violations of the right to housing occur, Leilani formally communicates with governments and connects with civil society to identify remedies.