Massive violations of the right to adequate housing continue in unprecedented fashion during and after violent conflict.
The attacking, bombing and shelling of civilian targets and the destruction of entire cities and villages – displacing millions into homelessness – have been largely met with impunity. In his report to the UN General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing (A/77/190) argues to recognize these violations of the right to adequate housing as "domicide", a crime against humanity of its own standing. The panel will discuss opportunities for preventing domicide and ending impunity of severe housing rights violations.
While international law outlaws all forms of arbitrary destruction of housing, arbitrary displacement, forced evictions and other serious and large-scale violations of the right to adequate housing, alarmingly gross violations of the right to adequate housing in times of conflict continue. Those severe human rights violations have been largely met with impunity.
The Special Rapporteur urges the international community to enhance its efforts to prevent and respond to such egregious human rights violations. Gross violations of the right to adequate housing should be investigated and prosecuted with similar effort as any other systematic or widespread human rights violation irrespectively where they take place. Similarly, Mr. Rajagopal suggested to ban the use explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas through a binding international treaty.
This side event will discuss his recommendations to prevent domicide and explore opportunities for ending impunity of severe housing rights violations.
José Alvarez, Professor of International Law,
School of Law, New York University.
Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate
Joseph Schechla, Coordinator, Housing and Land Rights Network, Habitat
Bree Akesson, Wilfrid Laurier University, coauthor From bullets to bureaucracy:
Extreme domicide and the right to home.
Iain Overton, Executive Director, Action on Armed Violence.
Link to the report: www.undocs.org/A/77/190