• Habitat III, regional meeting for Europe,
    March 15-18
    conference website
    - Prague Declaration, finalpdf




Housing  and Energy


Links to the United Nations

UN Human Settlements Programme


          Regional Offices

  • Africa and the Arab States
    UN-HABITAT Regional Office for
    Africa and the Arab States
    P.O. Box 30030, GPO,
    Nairobi, 00100, Kenya
    Tel: (254-20) 7621234/7623221
    Fax: (254-20) 7623904/7623328
    (Regional Office)
    7624266/7 (Central Office)

    Asia and the Pacific
    UN-HABITAT Regional Office for
    Asia and the Pacific
    ACROS Fukuoka Building, 8th Floor
    1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
    Fukuoka 810-0001, Japan
    Tel: (81-92) 724-7121
    Fax: (81-92) 724-7124

    Latin America and the Caribbean
    UN-HABITAT/ ROLAC (Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean)
    Oficina Regional para América Latina y el Caribe
    Rua Rumânia, 20 - Cosme Velho
    22240-140 - Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    Tel: +55 (21) 3235-8550 +55 (21) 3235-8550
    Fax: +55 21 3235-8566
    Sitio Web:

    UN Habitat Information Offices

  • Switzerland
    UN Habitat Information Office
  • New York Office
    UN-HABITAT New York Office
    Two United Nations Plaza
    Room DC2-0943
    New York, N.Y. 10017, U.S.A.
    Tel: (1-212) 963-4200/963-8725
    Fax: (1-212) 963-8721

  • EU, Belgium Office
    UN-HABITAT Liaison Office
    with the European Union and
    14 rue Montoyer
    B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
    Tel: (32-2) 503-35-72
    , (32-2) 503-1004
    Fax: (32-2) 503-46-24

  • Russia UN-HABITAT
    UN-HABITAT Executive Bureau in
    8, Stroiteley Street,
    Building 2
    Office 809
    Moscow, 119991
    Russian Federation
    Tel: (7-095) 930-6264
    Fax: (7-095) 930-0379


  • Hungary Liaison & Information Office
    UN-HABITAT Office
    H-1124 Budapest
    Németvölgyi út 41.2.Ép.1.1., Hungary
    Tel: (36-1)-202-2490
    Fax: (36-1) 356-0602 or
    Tel/Fax: (36-1) 316-4604

  • China Liaison & Information Office
    UN-HABITAT Beijing Information Office
    No.9 Sanlihe Road, Beijing 100835
    People’s Republic of China
    Tel: 86-10-58934750
    Fax: 86-10-58934749

  • India Liaison & Information Office
    Chennai Office,Thalamuthu
    Natarjan Building
    Egmore, Chennai 600 008, India
    Fax: (91-44) 8572673

UN Habitat Commissions:

Other UN Agencies with relation to Housing:



UN World Urban Forum, WUF

2012 WUF in Naples, September 1-5
More than 8,000 delegates from 152 countries attended the 6th World Urban forum in Naples.

Presentations from September 3

  • Tenants make cities - cities need
    affordable rental housing!
    IUT report from IUT networking event pdf
    - Barbara Steenbergen pdf
    - Marja Elsinga pdf
    - Claudio Acioly pdf

  • Rental Housing
    - Alan Gilbert pdf
    - Vicente Fretes Cibils pdf
    - Andres Blanco pdf
    - Clara Salazar and Gabriela Ponce pdf
    - Magnus Hammar pdf     full text: pdf


Previous WUFs:


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UN ECE and the Committee on Housing and Land Management

About UN ECE
The UN / ECE - UN Economic Commission for Europe, is a regional commission with member states from 55 states, including United States, Israel, the Russian Federation + the former federal states of the Soviet Union.
The Commission has seven principal subsidiary bodies, of which the Committee on Human Settlements is one.

The IUT has since 1996 been a working partner with the ECE / Committee on Housing ad land Management.
The Committee on Housing and Land Management meets annually, in Geneva, and deals with questions like;

  • Promoting democratic governance
  • City development
  • Demographic trends
  • Facilitating social cohesion and security
  • Problems with housing, tenure, land rights, etc. in countries in transition
  • Urban renewal and Housing Modernization - forms of tenure
  • Residents´ influence on urban renewal
  • Legal and institutional framework
  • Problems connected with housing /tenure and privatisation
    ...and many more issues

The Committee promotes partnership between the public, NGOs and the business sector of the ECE countries at regional, national and local levels. 
In 1997 the Housing and Urban Management Advisory Network (HUMAN) was established. HUMAN consists of experts from the private sector, including industry, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations, professional associations, research institutions and local authorities.



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Housing and Human Rights, and other UN texts

Fact Sheet on the right to adequate housing pdf
Fiche d'information sur le droit à un logement convenable pdf
Folleto Informativo sobre el derecho a la vivienda adecuada pdf

适足住房权实情表 pdf

Housing and Human Rights are being monitored by the;

1. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
through the:
- UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing
Address: OHCHR-UNOG 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.
Tel: +41.22 917 9408
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06 

Ms. Leilani Farha (Canada), appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing May 2014

How to present a complaint, please go to: 

2. COHRE, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions
Address: 83 Rue Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva. Switzerland

To read and learn:

UN: The Right to Adequate Housing Toolkit, 2012.

Right to Adequate Housing, 50 page fact sheet No 21 from UN Habitat/Office of UN OHCHR. Nov.2009

UNCHR: The Human Right to Adequate Housing - Fact Sheet

Land rights, confiscation - refugees, August 2005

Conference report: Housing Rights in Europe - Helsinki September 18-19, 2006.

Women and Secure Tenure

The rights to adequate housing is embodied in numerous international human rights texts:

  • Universal Declaration of Human rights (UN Assembly 1948)
    "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-beeing for himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and the medical care and necessary social services... (Article 25.1)

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)
    "The State parties to the present Covenant the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The states..." (Article 11.1)
    Ratified by 106 states, including all EU countries. Six Member States, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands have enshrined the right to adequate housing in their national constitutions. In Belgium and in France, specific laws ( Law Onkelinx and Law Besson) have been passed.

  • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)
    obliges states "to prohibit end eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right to everyone,...(e)...(iii) the right to housing". (Article 5 (e) (iii)

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979)
    "States Parties shall undertake all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas in order to particular, shall ensure to such women the right...h) to enjoy adequate living conditions, particulary in relation to housing, sanitation..." (Article 14.2)

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child, (1989)
    "No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondance ,...
    (Article 16.1)
    "States Parties , in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shall take appropriate measures to assist parents...provide material assistance and support programmes, particulary with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing." (Article 27.3)

  • Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, (1951)
    provides that: "As regards housing, the Contracting States, insofar as the matters regulated by laws or regulations or is subject to the control of public authorities, shall accord refugees lawfully staying in their territory..." (Article 21)

  • International Convention on Civil and Political Rights
    (Article 17.1)
  • International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families  (Article 43.1)

  • The Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, 1976
    This declaration reiterates the principles of the Univ. Decl. of Human Rights and calls for human settlement policies to be in conformity with universal human rights.
    "Adequate shelter and services are a basic human right which places an obligation to ensure their attainment by all people...
    Of special importance is the elimination of social and racial segregation, inter alia, through the creation of better balanced communities which blend different social groups, occupations, housing, and amenities." (Section III, 8)
  • The UN Habitat Agenda, Istanbul 1996.
    Chapter IV. § 8  Adequate shelter for all
    "Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the right to adequate housing has been recognized as an important component of the right to an adequate standard of living. All Governments without exception have a responsibility in the shelter sector..."
    § 68 g "Promote the supply of affordable rental houses and the legal rights and obligations of both tenants and owners."
    § 72 h "Develop, as appropriate, flexible instruments for the regulation of housing markets, including the rental market, taking into account the special needs of vulnerable groups."
    § 81 f " Encourage the private sector to mobilize resources to meet varying housing demands, including rental housing, maintenance and rehabilitation

August 2005
UN adopts new Global Standard which demands Return of Confiscated Refugee Land and Housing.
It is the natural wish of refugees and displaced persons - whether in from Bhutan, Bosnia, East Timor, Guatemala, Kosovo, Palestine, South Africa or elsewhere - to one day return to their former homes or places of residence once it is safe to do so. Often, however, they are unable to do so. Lands and dwellings formerly home to the displaced may have been intentionally destroyed or, where the home remains intact, are commonly occupied by unlawful secondary occupants making the restitution of their former property invariably difficult.

UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights recently endorsed 'Principles on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons' and encouraged their application and implementation by States, intergovernmental organisations, and other relevant actors. The Principles represent the culmination of a four-year long study by the Sub-Commission, led by its Special Rapporteur Mr Paulo Sergio Pinheiro.
The Principles provide important guidance to all relevant actors, national and international, in addressing the legal and technical issues surrounding housing, land and property restitution in situations where displacement has led to persons being arbitrarily or unlawfully deprived of their former homes, lands, properties or places of habitual residence.
The Principles were developed in collaboration with international organisations including the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as non-governmental organisations such as the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE).

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The UN and NGO:s

NGO Committee on Human Settlements
A Committee of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council, CONGO.

Mandate International, is an NGO aiming at helping delegates of non governmental organisations to attend international conferences in Geneva.

UN ECOSOC NGO Section Website
At this website you can read relevant information, download documents and read latest NGO news.

UN World Habitat Day
The UN World Habitat Day is observed every year on the first Monday of October.

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Habitat III

  • UN Habitat III
    Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development
    Where: Quite, Ecuador
    When: October 17-20
    More info: 




At the first UN Conference on Human Settlements in Vancouver in 1976 a number of recommendations were adopted concerning housing and human settlements, land and urban planning, infrastructure, development of social services and civil participation.
In 1988, a Global Strategy for Shelter up to the year 2000 was adopted, which established the right for all to an adequate shelter and the responsibility of all countries for guaranteeing the settlement of their citizens.

However, housing conditions have deteriorated in many parts of the world and today an estimated one fifth of the worlds population live without adequate shelter.
For many, urban life implies unhealthy living with few opportunities to produce employment.
Population growth and difficult living conditions in rural areas put further pressure on cities of the world.
Considerable measures are needed to create sustainable housing for all.

To agree on such measures the UN General Assembly decided, in 1992, to convene a second World Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II. This conference took place in Istanbul on June 3-14, 1996.
Representatives from 171 states assembled, together with some 8550 registered participants from Non Governmental Organizations


The International Union of Tenants was represented at the Habitat II, and participated at many of the work shops and seminars during the Conference.

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International Union of Tenants

Tenants United - participation across borders