The right to adequate housing is a core component of the right to an adequate standard of living (Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, “ICESCR”). The right mandates a range of protections, such as (1) legal security of tenure, which encompasses protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats, (2) availability of services, facilities, and infrastructure, (3) accessibility and (4) habitability. Thus, when a State forcibly evicts someone they are violating their obligation to respect that person’s right to adequate housing.
In India, the Supreme Court has recognized the right to adequate housing as a fundamental right protected under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Central Government and various Indian States have enacted several schemes ensuring adequate housing for low and medial income strata of populations, such as the National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal and the Indira Aawas Yojana.
In Bangladesh Article 15 of the Constitution recognizes a right to housing as a fundamental right and the country has adopted a National Housing Policy with the aim of ensuring a sustainable urbanization and access to housing for all. The Government has also created a national authority in charge of overseeing implementation of the policy and developed ad hoc schemes to increase security of tenure and basic affordable services for low class urban citizens.
In Nepal the right to housing is enshrined in Article 33 of the Nepali Interim Constitution. The government hasrecognized a need to develop specific policies on integrated slum and squatter upgrading and prevention as part of the broader poverty reduction policies and programs. To that end, the government enacted a policy to develop housing for Dalits and disadvantaged groups in the Tarai belt, enacted countrywide legislation such as the National Shelter Policy (1996), and established new agencies.
Housing is a core component of the right to an adequate standard of living. Read More.
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