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3 October 2007

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, Miloon Kothari, will undertake an official visit to Canada starting 9 October 2007, at the invitation of the Canadian authorities.

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur will travel to several locations in urban and rural areas, as well as indigenous ones. These will include Montreal, Kahnawake (Ontario), Ottawa, Edmonton, Lubicon (Alberta), Vancouver and Toronto.

While in the country, the Special Rapporteur will examine and report on the status of realization of the right to adequate housing and other related rights in the country, paying particular attention to four issues: homelessness, women and adequate housing, indigenous peoples adequate housing and the effects of mega-events on housing, e.g. the upcoming 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Mr. Kothari will engage in dialogue with the Government and civil society on their efforts to secure these rights. He will try to identify practical solutions and best practices in the realization of rights related to his mandate. The Special Rapporteur will also attend a number of civic forums that have been organized in different parts of the country.

The Special Rapporteur’s visit to Canada will end on Monday, 22 October 2007, when he will hold a press conference in Ottawa

Mr. Kothari was appointed in September 2000 as Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. His mandate involves reporting annually to the Human Rights Council on the status of the realization of the right to adequate housing throughout the world, and identifying practical solutions and good practices towards this end. An architect by training, Mr. Kothari has extensive experience in the area of housing and land rights. Since his appointment as Special Rapporteur, he has carried out many missions and visits to countries such as Romania, Mexico, Peru, Afghanistan, Kenya, Brazil, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Cambodia, Australia, Spain and South Africa.

For further information on the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at: http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/housing/index.htm

For journalists and media wanting to attend the press conference: please contact Ms. Nanda Na Champassak, UNHCR Office in Ottawa, Tel: 613-232-0909 ext.236, E-mail: CHAMPASS@unhcr.org.


For use of the information media; not an official record