An agreement has been reached on how to measure the state and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, as outlined in the Habitat Agenda and other international instruments, during an expert group meeting convened in Geneva from 26-28 November 2003. The meeting was organized by UN-HABITAT and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) - through their joint initiative, the United Nations Housing Rights Programme.
|Background report on the meeting|
The United Nations Housing Rights Programme organized the meeting in close collaboration with the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing (SRAH). It was attended by 35 participants from various United Nations agencies, regional commissions, public sector organizations and non-governmental organizations, with government representatives participating as observers.
In their opening statements both Ms. Virginia Banoan-Dandan, the Chairperson of CESCR, and Mr. Miloon Kothari, of the SRAH, expressed their appreciation for the initiative and emphasized the importance of defining a set of indicators to assist governments and other stakeholders to better understand and monitor the status and progress in the field of housing rights.
The benchmarks, which include indicators on housing adequacy and violations of the right to adequate housing, also allow measurement of performance and progress. This provides a systematic approach to statistically measure the status and the advances made in achieving the right to adequate housing globally. The establishment of these indicators also contribute to ongoing efforts to quantify other economic, social and cultural rights such as education, food, health and water.
The recommendations of the Expert Group Meeting will be finalized jointly with CESCR and the SRAH, and initially tested in selected countries.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Eibe Riedel, of CESCR, welcomed the achievements of the meeting as an important step to assisting future reporting on State Parties' compliance with regard to their commitments under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.