Housing and health

The right to an adequate standard of living is one of the key rights laid out in the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). By being a signatory to the ICESCR, New Zealand has agreed to take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right. The Commission’s project will monitor this obligation with a particular focus on the right to housing.  There will also be a focus on people who may be particularly vulnerable due to their:

Housing is a human right e1347586892955 Housing and health
United Voices earthquake protest rally, September 2012
  • disability
  • gender
  • age
  • internal displacement (being forced to leave one’s home).

There are a range of government and non-government agencies involved in humanitarian and earthquake recovery efforts in Christchurch.  Some of these agencies are focused on housing and some engaged in monitoring progress of the recovery efforts.  However, there is no shared framework in place to monitor and assess the impact of recovery efforts on the right to housing and vulnerable persons. The Commission will address this gap and contribute to a shared understanding of issues, the impact of reconstruction efforts and the setting and revision of housing priorities.

The Commission is working with all those involved in this area so affected communities can:

  • come up with specific recommendations to the housing sector on the changes needed to fully realise the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to housing
  • increase capacity to advocate for a human rights approach in the government’s recovery efforts.

The project will involve government and non-government sectors and affected communities in monitoring how the recovery efforts affect the right to housing in Canterbury.

Key reference points that will be used for this monitoring process include:

This aims to ensure the recovery is inclusive, non-discriminatory and meets international best practice. The Commission’s monitoring project is a part of a broader monitoring mechanism that includes the Office of the Ombudsmen, Office of the Auditor General, Insurance and Savings  Ombudsman and Serious Fraud Office.

If you want further information on the Commission’s post-quake monitoring work please contact Margaret MacDonald: margaretm@hrc.co.nz

Further reading on housing and health:

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