The Right to Life + the Right to Adequate Housing 


For her next report to the United Nations General Assembly, 71st session, the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing intends to focus on the indivisibility and interdependence between the right to life and the right to adequate housing.

The fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides an occasion to assess the effect of the division of the unified rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into two categories, placing the right to life within the ICCPR and the right to adequate housing in the ICESCR.

While it is well recognized that the right to life belongs “at the same time to the domain of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights” the Special Rapporteur is concerned that violations of the right to life linked to homelessness and inadequate housing have too often been ignored. The report will consider whether a pattern of neglect of issues of inadequate housing and homelessness in relation to the protection of the right to life can be traced to false divisions between categories of rights, or to the misunderstanding that the right to life imposes primarily negative obligations on states, rather than positive obligations. 

The report will review data on health, mortality and morbidity rates linked to inadequate housing and homelessness as well as considering the lived experiences that lie behind the statistics. It will explore the nature of state obligations to take positive measures to protect the right to life in this context and examine responses of courts, human rights bodies and governments to violations of the right to life linked to inadequate housing and homelessness. The report will consider whether particular groups such as women, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, migrants, and others are disproportionately affected by violations of the right to life linked to inadequate housing and homelessness.

See final report A/71/310 - 8 August 2016 - in all UN languages

Questionnaire for Governments, National Human Rights Institutions and civil society

The Special Rapporteur invites Governments and other relevant actors, such as National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organisations, networks and others with relevant information to share contributions and inputs for her report.

All responses to the Questionnaires will be posted in this webpage, except if indicated otherwise.

Due to limited capacity for translation, we kindly request that you submit your answers, if possible, in English, Spanish or French and, no later than 7 July, 2016. Please keep your responses to a maximum of 4 pages (or 2,000 words).

Please send your responses preferably in electronic version via email to:, or to:
UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing 
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Special Procedures Branch, Palais Wilson 
CH – 1211, Geneva 

Questionnaire for Government and National Human Rights Institutions:
English | Spanish | French

Questionnaire for civil society organisations and networks:
English | Spanish | French

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