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Kazakhstan: UN expert to focus on the transition to market economy and its impact on housing rights

ASTANA (6 September 2010) – UN Special Rapporteur Raquel Rolnik is visiting Kazakhstan from 6 to 13 September 2010 to examine and report on the status of realisation of the right to adequate housing and other related human rights in the country. “I intend to focus on the challenges that the transition to a market economy pose to the realisation of the right to adequate housing,” said Ms. Rolnik.

“Development and infrastructure projects, city beautification programmes and measures associated with urban renewal should be conceived and implemented in such a way as to ensure the protection of individuals and communities against large-scale evictions or displacement without the provision of appropriate protection and compensation,” noted the Special Rapporteur, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government.

Ms. Rolnik will also assess the impact of the global economic and financial crises on the enjoyment of the right to adequate housing. In particular, she will analyse the measures adopted by the Government to protect the most vulnerable individuals and communities within its jurisdiction, such as low-income families, migrants and minority groups, from the adverse consequences of the crisis.

During her eight-day mission, the UN independent expert will hold meetings with Government officials, local authorities and civil society organisations, to discuss the progress made and the difficulties encountered by Kazakhstan in the implementation of the right to adequate housing.

Based on the information collected during the visit, Ms. Rolnik will prepare a report containing her findings and recommendations on how to strengthen the implementation of housing rights. The report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2011.

A press conference will be held on Monday 13 September 2010 at 11:30 am at the United Nations Common Premises in Astana, Bokei Khan street 26.

Raquel Rolnik (Brazil) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context by the UN Human Rights Council, in May 2008. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. An architect and urban planner, Rolnik has extensive experience in the area of housing and urban policies.

For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, please visit the website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Housing/Pages/HousingIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Kazakhstan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/KZIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Shynar Jetpissova, Communications Associate, UNDP (Tel: + 7 (7172) 59-25-50 (ext. 2124); email: Shynar.Jetpissova@undp.org).