Stamp noting the First UN Human Rights Seminar held in Kabul in 1964
Everyone should have the right to housing. The statement is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t really tell us much about what it means on the ground. As well, when confronted with a situation like homelessness, where the right to housing is obviously absent, verbally invoking the ‘right to housing’ doesn’t say much about how we would achieve it.
When we’re working at the local or even the national level, the idea of an international resource about the right to housing might not be top of mind. Yet, the United Nations has thought and written extensively on the subject. This post present some of the UN’s resources and joins others in the terms and concepts section of affordablehousingaction.org
Monitoring and tracking results are foundational to knowing what’s working and what’s not. In the context of the right to adequate housing, the United Nations agrees. The UN’s guidance states that data collection and reporting are essential when holding states accountable to their commitments to achieve the right to adequate housing.
The guidance about the right to adequate housing is posted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights. The UN’s guidance includes several references to monitoring and reporting. The section about holding states accountable through monitoring and reporting begins on page 37: The Right To Adequate Housing
And for a look at how this can play out at a country level, see this recent post about data collection in the United States: Complexities In Data Collection – Small Choices With Big Effects