The present report, the Special Rapporteur examines the issue of the right to housing of indigenous peoples. The Special Rapporteur finds that housing conditions for indigenous peoples around the world are overwhelmingly abhorrent and too often violate the right to adequate housing, depriving them of their right to live in security and dignity. The report contains guidance for States, indigenous authorities and other actors on how to ensure that their obligations under international human rights law regarding the right to housing are met in conformity with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous peoples face significant barriers to their enjoyment of the right to housing compared with non-indigenous peoples. They are more likely to suffer inadequate housing and negative health outcomes as a result, they have disproportionately high rates of homelessness and they are extremely vulnerable to forced evictions, land-grabbing and the effects of climate change. When they defend their rights, they are often the targets of extreme violence.
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur asserts that the right to housing of indigenous peoples must be interpreted in a manner that recognizes the interdependence and indivisibility of the right to housing as articulated in international human rights law and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The meaning and application of the right to housing must therefore integrate the right to self-determination, the principle of free, prior and informed consent, the right to land, territories and resources, and access to justice. In the report, the Special Rapporteur asserts that the adequacy of housing must be defined and determined by indigenous peoples themselves. She also asserts that human rights claims framed using the Declaration will be strengthened if the accountability mechanisms and the legal obligations attached to the right to housing are deployed. She concludes with a set of recommendations to guide States, indigenous authorities and other actors in ensuring that indigenous peoples can live in peace, security and dignity and enjoy the right to adequate housing without discrimination.