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History of the mandate

At its fifty-sixth session, the Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 2000/9 of 17 April 2000, in which it decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur whose mandate will focus on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living.

As it is stated in this resolution, the main tasks which define the mandate are:

  • To report on the status, throughout the world, of the rights that are relevant to the mandate, taking into account information received from Governments, United Nations organizations and bodies, other relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations;
  • To promote cooperation among and assistance to Governments in their efforts to secure these rights;
  • To apply a gender perspective in her/his work;
  • To develop a dialogue with Governments, United Nations organizations and bodies, other relevant international organizations, non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions, and to make recommendations on the realization of the rights relevant to the mandate;
  • To submit to the Commission an annual report covering the activities relating to the mandate.

Moreover, the Commission requested the High Commissioner to provide all the necessary resources for the effective fulfilment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.

Between 2001 and 2004, the Commission recalled the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in several resolutions.

In 2002, the Commission also requested the Special Rapporteur to submit at its fifty-ninth session a study on women and adequate housing. For more information see Women and housing.

In 2003, the mandate was renewed for a period of three years.

In June 2006, the Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the Human Rights Council pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/251. On 18 June 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 5/1 which extended the mandate. The Council also adopted resolution 5/2, containing a Code of Conduct for special procedures mandate holders.

In December 2007, the Council reviewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing in resolution 6/27. The scope of the mandate as established by resolution 6/27 consists of the following elements:

(a) To promote the full realization of adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living;

(b) To identify best practices as well as challenges and obstacles to the full realization of the right to adequate housing, and identify protection gaps in this regard;

(c) To give particular emphasis to practical solutions with regard to the implementation of the rights relevant to the mandate;

(d) To apply a gender perspective, including through the identification of gender-specific vulnerabilities in relation to the right to adequate housing and land;

(e) To facilitate the provision of technical assistance;

(f) To work in close cooperation, while avoiding unnecessary duplication, with other special procedures and subsidiary organs of the Human Rights Council, relevant United Nations bodies, the treaty bodies and regional human rights mechanisms;

(g) To submit a report on the implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly and to the Council.