The right to adequate housing is more than having a roof over one’s head, it is the right to live in safety and dignity in a decent home. Not all people are able to enjoy this right. Over one billion people live in substandard housing and informal settlements. Every year, several million people lose their home and are displaced as a consequence of development projects, conflicts, natural disasters or the climate crisis. Every individual should be able to have access to safe, adequate, and affordable housing including former Azerbaijani internally displaced persons who are eager to return to their former places of residence.
“In international human rights law, adequate housing is understood to comprise seven criteria – security of tenure, availability of services, affordability, habitability, accessibility, appropriate location and cultural adequacy” – said Balakrishnan Rajagopal, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing. The mandate of the Special Rappouteur was created to promote the full realization of adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living.
Mr. Ramil Iskandarli – Chairman of the Legal Analysis and Research Public Union participated as an NGO representative at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rappouteur on on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context on March 8, 2023 and at the Side event on the issues of the realizing the right to housing is organized by the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and the Permanent Missions of Brazil, Finland, Germany and Namibia on March 9, 2023 at the United Nations office in Geneva.
Ramil Iskandarli made an intervention at the side event by saying the followings:
“It is already more than two years since the end of the 2020 Karabakh War, but unfortunately forcefully displaced Azerbaijanis , including his family members, who forcibly expelled from Armenia to Karabakh territory of Azerbaijan in 1988 and then internally displaced from Karabakh to Baku in 1990’s and still cannot return to their homes because almost all the houses and apartments – all cities and villages in the Karabakh and Armenia have been systematically destroyed and looted by Armenia. So, simply there are no houses to return to”.
He also added that, despite the fact that Azerbaijan is implementing a large scale constuction of infrosturcture and housing in liberated territories of Azerbaijan, including by using of the ‘Smart village’ principles, Armenia laid a landmines in the formerly occupied territories and and all these destruction and landmines slow down the return of Azerbaijanis to their homes”.
At the Side event, the speakers of the Side event, were Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Finland, Ms. Terhi Lehtonen, representative of UNHCR, UN Habitat, governments of the Brasil, India, Germany and the moderated by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Namibia, H.E. Julia Imene-Chanduru.