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OHCHR and the right to adequate housing

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Every human being shall have the right to be protected against being arbitrarily displaced from his or her home or place of habitual residence.

- Principle 6 of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

Internal displacement affects some 25 million people worldwide. It is increasingly recognized as one of the most tragic phenomena of the contemporary world. Generating hardship and suffering for the affected populations, displacement:  

  • breaks up families,
  • cuts social and cultural ties,
  • terminates dependable employment relationships,
  • disrupts educational opportunities,
  • denies access to such vital necessities as food, shelter and medicine; and
  • exposes innocent persons to attacks on camps, disappearances and rape. 

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2) are the key international standard on internal displacement worldwide. They identify rights and guarantees relevant to the protection of persons from forced displacement. The principles outline their protection and assistance during displacement as well as during return or resettlement and reintegration. Reflecting international human rights law and humanitarian law, they provide guidance to UN agencies, States, authorities, intergovernmental agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders. 

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