Working with treaty bodies

The Special Rapporteur is mandated to work in close cooperation with relevant United Nations treaty bodies in the promotion of the full realization of the right to adequate housing (resolutions 15/08 and 34/9). Ms Farha has taken this aspect of her mandate to heart, and has been directly contributing to various processes initiated by treaty bodies. In her view, synergy between human rights mechanisms and greater interaction are key to enhancing protection and ensuring implementation of human rights norms and standards as related to the rights to adequate housing and to non-discrimination in this context.

In this page, she presents some of her written contributions and information:

Human Rights Committee

  • Elaboration of General Comment N. 36, on article 6 of the ICCPR

The Special Rapporteur welcomes the work of the Human Rights Committee in preparation of its general comment No. 36 on article 6 (right to life) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the ensuing second draft prepared by the Rapporteur, that has been shared publicly for comments and contributions (as adopted on First Reading during the 120th session).

The Special Rapporteur has provided comments and contributions in two occasions. First, a submission to the Committee (dated 8 July 2016) which was also discussed in an informal meeting with some members of the Committee (11 July 2016). This submission was made in keeping with her report on the right to life and the right to housing presented to the General Assembly, 71st session (A/71/310).

Second, on 6 October 2017, she has also provided comments and suggested language for a number of the paragraphs to the second draft (as adopted on First Reading during the 120th session) prepared by the Rapporteur and shared publicly for comments and contributions. See these comments here.

Third, on 9 November 2017, the Special Rapporteur held an informal meeting with some members of the Committee to present her views and comments.

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • Third Party Intervention: Communication 5/2015 – MDB et al. v. Spain

The Special Rapporteur is the first ever special procedure mandate holder to present a third party intervention to a Treaty Body mechanism considering a specific petition. In a letter dated 25 October 2016 the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights accepted the request by the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing to provide a third-party submission in relation to Communication 5/2015, under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Committee invited the Special Rapporteur to do so with a focus on the following issues:

    • State obligations to prevent and respond to homelessness, including human rights obligations of sub-national governments;
    • Security of tenure as a requirement following from the right to adequate housing; and
    • Forced evictions and protecting the right to adequate housing in the context of austerity measures.

Without taking a position on the authors’ allegations, the Special Rapporteur addressed important questions regarding the nature and scope of State obligations with respect to the right to adequate housing. Read her submission here, and also a non-official translation in Spanish here.

The Committee’s decision was reached on July 2017. See it in Spanish, French and English here.

Committee on the rights of Children

  • Elaboration of general comment No. 21 (2017) on children in street situations

The Special Rapporteur had the opportunity to join the Committee in a consultation held on 14 January 2016 via skype, and based on her thematic report on homelessness (at the time still not public and scheduled for presentation at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/31/54).In addition, the Special Rapporteur offered a summary of her comments based on a zero draft dated 10 December 2015 as kindly shared for her consideration prior to the consultation.