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Housing & Shelter

Statement by Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights *

from her opening statement to an Expert Group Meeting on the Practical Aspects of the Human Right to Housing (Geneva, March 1999)

"Since all human rights are to be treated equally, in an interdependent and indivisible manner, we should begin discussions on what could be called the right to security of place. This right exemplifies the convergence of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights and places three forms of security into an indispensable human rights framework.

Firstly, this right encapsulates the notion of security - protection of physical integrity, safety from harm, and guarantees that basic rights will be respected.

Secondly, this right incorporates all dimensions of human security - or the economic and social side of the security dimension.

While thirdly, the right to security of place recognizes the importance of tenure rights (for tenants, owners and those too poor to rent or buy a home) and the critical right to be protected against any arbitrary or forced eviction from one's home."

* quoted from UNCHS Habitat Debate, Vol 5, No 3, p6


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