The right to housing is found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in many other international human rights treaties ratified by most governments around the world. In its broadest sense, the right to housing under international human rights law is understood as the right to live in peace, security and dignity. It is interdependent with a number of other human rights such as the rights to life, health, and water and sanitation. The deprivation of the right to housing is most commonly experienced by marginalized and disadvantaged groups including – Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized, and ethnic and religious minority communities, migrants and refugees, women, single mothers, and LGBTQ+ persons.

The UN human rights system has provided extensive commentary on the meaning and application of different aspects of the right to housing. The right to housing can only be enjoyed if housing is “adequate”. You can find more information on the criteria for housing adequacy here.

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