Growing privatization of property drives homelessness, UN rights expert says

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Growing privatization of property drives homelessness, UN rights expert says
11 May 2005
 

11 May 2005 – The growing privatization of property and increased land speculation were among the driving forces behind the 1.6 billion inadequately housed people across the world, including an estimated 100 million who are completely homeless, a United Nations human rights monitor said today.

Miloon Kothari, the UN Human Rights Commission’s Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said inequality in global land ownership was a rising trend, and cited recent figures which showed that a mere 2.5 per cent of landowners controlled nearly three-quarters of all private land.

The main concern was a phenomenon of "urban apartheid" taking place across the world, partly due to an urban gentrification process – seen very strongly in New York City – and a colossal gap in the supply of formal-sector housing, he told a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

He also noted a trend across the globe towards reducing public housing expenditures and subsidies, pointing to, as an example, a $28 billion drop between 1976 and 2002 in the budget authority for federal housing assistance in the United States.

Mr. Kothari said there was also a lack of legal provisions to enable communities to inhabit or own land as well as a growing tendency to criminalize the homeless and the landless. His annual report to the Commission contained recommendations concerning the need for States to apply diligently their human rights obligations and to control land speculation and land mafias and cartels operating across the world.

He also referring to a progress report he had presented to the Commission concerning a global study on

Themes
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Adverse possession
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Architecture
• Architecture
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Children
• Children
• Commodification
• Commodification
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Demographic manipulation
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Disability
• Disability
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Education
• Education
• Elderly
• Elderly
• Energy
• Energy
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Fact finding mission/field research
• Farmers/Peasants
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Gentrification
• Gentrification
• Health
• Health
• Historic heritage sites
• Historic heritage sites
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Housing crisis
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• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Immigrants
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• Research
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• Right to the city
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• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Stateless
• Stateless
• Subsidies
• Subsidies
• Temporary shelter
• Temporary shelter
• Tenants
• Tenants
• UN system
• UN system
• UN system
• Unemployed
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