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UN expert on the right to housing to visit India


GENEVA / NEW DELHI (6 April 2016) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha will visit India from 11 to 22 April. She will be examining the housing and homeless conditions of vulnerable groups in different parts of the country, as well as legislation, policies and programmes in place or gaps for the enjoyment of the right to adequate housing at the national and subnational levels.

“I will focus on the housing related challenges and opportunities faced by the most vulnerable and marginalized in the worlds’ biggest democracy,” said the independent expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with promoting the full realisation of adequate housing and non-discrimination in this context.

The Special Rapporteur monitors, reports and advises on the realisation of the right to adequate housing globally, including by identifying best practices, obstacles and protection gaps. Her work is guided by international human rights law and standards.

“I look forward to engaging with authorities, civil society and residents to better understand how the right to housing is implemented in India, what practical approaches have been prioritised, and what policies, programmes and decisions have either helped or hampered the realization of this human right,” Ms. Farha said.

“I will visit the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, as well as urban peripheries and rural areas, to explore what still needs to be undertaken to ensure the right to adequate housing is enjoyed by all in India,” she noted.
The human rights expert, who will visit the country for two weeks at the invitation of the Government of India, will meet with government representatives at national and local levels, as well as with civil society, community organisations, residents in urban and rural areas, and UN officials.

Ms. Farha will share with the media her preliminary observations at a press conference in New Delhi on 22 April at 4:00pm in the UN Conference Hall, UN House, 55 Lodi Estate, New Delhi-110003. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.
The Special Rapporteur will submit a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council, including her findings and recommendations, in March 2017.

Ms. Leilani Farha (Canada) is the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. She took her function in June 2014. Ms. Farha is the Executive Director of the NGO Canada without Poverty, based in Ottawa, Canada. A lawyer by training, for the past 20 years Ms. Farha has worked both internationally and domestically on the implementation of the right to adequate housing for the most marginalized groups and on the situation of people living in poverty. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Housing/Pages/HousingIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – India: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/INIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:
During the visit:
Rajiv Chandran, UNIC- New Delhi (+91 11 4653 2242 / rajiv.chandran@unic.org)
Juana Sotomayor (+41 79 444 4078 /   +91 99 580 24097 / jsotomayor@ohchr.org)
Mariannick Koffi (+41 79 444 3993 / +91 704 264 8877 / mkoffi@ohchr.org )

In Geneva (before and after the visit):
Juana Sotomayor (+41 22 917 9445 / jsotomayor@ohchr.org)
Mariannick Koffi (+41 22 917 9642) or write to srhousing@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Mr. Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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