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Habitat II Conference                      [ Back to Habitat II ]

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III Commitments

A. Adequate shelter for all

39. We reaffirm our commitment to the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, as provided for in international instruments. In this context, we recognize an obligation by Governments to enable people to obtain shelter and to protect and improve dwellings and neighbourhoods. We commit ourselves to the goal of improving living and working conditions on an equitable and sustainable basis, so that everyone will have adequate shelter that is healthy, safe, secure, accessible and affordable and that includes basic services, facilities and amenities, and will enjoy freedom from discrimination in housing and legal security of tenure. We shall implement and promote this objective in a manner fully consistent with human rights standards.

40. We further commit ourselves to the objectives of:

(a) Ensuring consistency and coordination of macroeconomic and shelter policies and strategies as a social priority within the framework of national development programmes and urban policies in order to support resource mobilization, employment generation, poverty eradication and social integration;

(b) Providing legal security of tenure and equal access to land to all people, including women and those living in poverty; and undertaking legislative and administrative reforms to give women full and equal access to economic resources, including the right to inheritance and to ownership of land and other property, credit, natural resources and appropriate technologies;

(c) Promoting access for all people to safe drinking water, sanitation and other basic services, facilities and amenities, especially for people living in poverty, women and those belonging to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

(d) Ensuring transparent, comprehensive and accessible systems in transferring land rights and legal security of tenure;

(e) Promoting broad, non-discriminatory access to open, efficient, effective and appropriate housing financing for all people, including mobilizing innovative financial and other resources - public and private - for community development;

(f) Promoting locally available, appropriate, affordable, safe, efficient and environmentally sound construction methods and technologies in all countries, particularly in developing countries, at the local, national, regional and subregional levels that emphasize optimal use of local human resources and encourage energy-saving methods and are protective of human health;

(g) Designing and implementing standards that provide accessibility also to persons with disabilities in accordance with the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities;

(h) Increasing the supply of affordable housing, including through encouraging and promoting affordable home ownership and increasing the supply of affordable rental, communal, cooperative and other housing through partnerships among public, private and community initiatives, creating and promoting market-based incentives while giving due respect to the rights and obligations of both tenants and owners;

(i) Promoting the upgrading of existing housing stock through rehabilitation and maintenance and the adequate supply of basic services, facilities and amenities;

(j) Eradicating and ensuring legal protection from discrimination in access to shelter and basic services, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status; similar protection should be ensured against discrimination on the grounds of disability or age;

(k) Helping the family, in its supporting, educating and nurturing roles, to recognize its important contribution to social integration, and encouraging social and economic policies that are designed to meet the housing needs of families and their individual members, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members, with particular attention to the care of children;

(l) Promoting shelter and supporting basic services and facilities for education and health for the homeless, displaced persons, indigenous people, women and children who are survivors of family violence, persons with disabilities, older persons, victims of natural and man-made disasters and people belonging to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including temporary shelter and basic services for refugees;

(m) Protecting, within the national context, the legal traditional rights of indigenous people to land and other resources, as well as strengthening of land management;

(n) Protecting all people from and providing legal protection and redress for forced evictions that are contrary to the law, taking human rights into consideration; when evictions are unavoidable, ensuring, as appropriate, that alternative suitable solutions are provided.

41. Providing continued international support to refugees in order to meet their needs and to assist in assuring them a just, durable solution in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions and international law.

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