Geneva, 9 March 2023 (TDI): Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations (UN) delivered a joint statement on behalf of Nordic-Baltic countries.

The statement was delivered during the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing.

The Nordic-Baltic countries highlighted the climate crisis as a factor leading to the housing crisis. Extreme weather episodes, desertification, and rising sea levels have adversely affected housing around the world.

The ensuing effects of climate change have unfairly affected the populace residing in a vulnerable situation. Their homes have equally been impacted as well.

The condition is excessively devastating for persons with disabilities and older persons for their inability to move away from exposed areas. Native people are often forced to live on lands heavily vulnerable and exposed to climate change impacts.

In light of the foregoing considerations, there is an urgent need to ensure appropriate climate responses with equal participation of persons in vulnerable situations.

Equal participation includes decision-making, implementation, and monitoring of climate actions and policies. It is incumbent on all to realize and acknowledge the right to adequate housing alongside tackling climate change.

The UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing is mandated with providing rights to individuals to an adequate standard of living and non-discrimination.

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The right to adequate housing not only includes having a roof over oneโ€™s head but a right to live in safety and dignity in a decent home.

Regrettably, not all people enjoy equal rights to adequate housing. According to an estimate about one billion people live in poor-quality housing and informal settlements.

Each year a large chunk of the population is forced to lose their home and displaced because of development projects, conflicts, natural disasters, and now climate change.

Many a time, people are subjected to forced eviction. Housing has increasingly been treated as an opportunity for investment, not as a social good and fundamental human right.

This mandate envisaged the following;

  • promote the full realization of adequate housing as a fundamental right to an adequate standard of living.
  • recognize actionable solutions, best practices, challenges, obstacles, and protection gaps in relation to the right to adequate housing.
  • identify gender-specific vulnerabilities in relation to the right to adequate housing and land.