Special Rapporteur

The role of UN Special Rapporteurs:

Special Rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine and report on a country situation or specific human rights theme, in this case adequate housing.  They “research and study issues of concern, carry out country visits, receive and consider complaints from victims of human rights violations, and intervene with Governments on their behalf.”

About the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing:

Mrs. Raquel Rolnik has been the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context since May 1, 2008.

She is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil working as a professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Sao Paolo.  An architect an urban planner with over 30 years of experience in planning and urban land management, Rolnik has advised national and local governments on planning and management of housing, local development programs, policy reform and institutional development.

What was the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing’s role in the 2009 U.S. mission:

During the visit to the United States, Mrs. Rolnik met with both governmental and non-governmental actors in pursuit of these general objectives:

(a) to examine and report on the status of the realization of housing rights in the country, with particular attention to aspects of gender equality and non-discrimination and the protection of the poor, the vulnerable and minorities;

(b) to engage in dialogues with the government, United Nations and intergovernmental agencies and civil society in their efforts to secure these rights;

(c) to identify practical solutions and best practices in the realization of rights relevant to the mandate;

(d) to follow up on relevant concluding observations made by treaty bodies and other international bodies and assess their impacts on policies adopted by the countries concerned.

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