In region Global and in group Global Shelter Cluster



GSC Online Meeting 2020: Keynote address


Key points:

  • “Housing has an inherent social value of vital importance for social stability, alleviation of poverty and development”. “Housing is not only an essential fundamental human right in itself, it also facilitates the achievement of many other human rights such as the right to health, to education, to water and sanitation”. The important contribution of shelter response in humanitarian settings to advance the right to adequate housing is highlighted in the report Housing after conflict and natural disasters presented by the predecessor Special Rapporteur Raquel Rolnik.  Other key documents are the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the Guidelines to the implementation of the Right to Adequate Housing, and the Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions.
  • Housing is the front line in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic has affected more those who were vulnerable prior to the pandemic including those living in inadequate housing conditions. Evictions, homelessness and, eventually mortality will continue to increase unless measures are taken. These measures are explained in the address of the Special Rapporteur to the General Assembly and include: putting a ban on evictions during the crisis as done by many governments, leaving no one behind, putting in place temporary housing for those homeless, and finally designing human-rights compliant housing strategies. More information on COVID-19 and the right to adequate housing.
  • The Global Shelter Cluster can support the Mandate of the Special Rapporteur by providing feedback on the Mandate, raising to him concerns related to housing needs in the context of crises, and jointly advocating for access to housing. Other ways that humanitarian and human rights respondents can collaborate in housing are: humanitarian responses that do not entrench inequalities particularly in urban areas, spatial and settlement planning in collaboration with community and development actors and using tools that development actors have put out such as eviction impact assessments, community enumeration and mapping etc.


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