FEANTSA attended the 34th session UN Council of Human Rights on 1 and 2 March, where it had the chance to listen to the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha, presenting her latest reports: on Financialisation and after the two missions to Portugal and India.
Farha stressed that her report on financialisation intended to give a Human Rights Framework. Human rights obligations from states should govern financial investment and states should manage the interaction between financial actors and housing systems in accordance with international obligations.
The Special Rapporteur admitted that target SDG 11.1 (ensuring access to adequate, safe and affordable housing for all) will need huge amounts of investment and capital but that investment must be directed in a way that is consistent with Economic, Social and Cultural Rights obligations, and mentioned the importance of impact assessment if, for example, investment could lead to evictions. Most importantly, she referred to the need to develop guiding principles on Business and Human Rights specifically addressed to financial agents that operate with housing and real estate.
FEANTSA published a written position supporting the Report on financialization of housing on our website.
The External Debt Report 2017 by Independent Expert Juan Pablo Boholavsky is worth mentioning as this year's theme was austerity measures, labour restrictions and their consequences and the report included some references to homelessness.
FEANTSA member, Sonia Olea, Human Rights Advocacy Officer at Caritas Spain did an oral statement on the role of the New Urban Agenda and how to move forward with a rights-based approach.
In connection to this, Caritas Internationalis invited FEANTSA to the side event they organised under the title "The New Urban Agenda as a tool for the achievement of a common home where all people can live with dignity."
The side event was presided over by Ivan Jurkovic, permanent representative of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva. Leilani Farha and Maria Aldanas, Policy Officer at FEANTSA, were invited to speak. FEANTSA’s presentation focused on the role of FEANTSA to monitor international commitments at EU level. Sonia Olea chaired the event and organised the discussion.
FEANTSA looks forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur.