PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS, CIVIL,
POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS,
INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT
Report of the Special Rapporteur 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, Raquel Rolnik*
Summary of communications sent and replies received
from Governments and other actors
1. In the context of his mandate, the Special Rapporteur 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, receives a large number of communications alleging violations of the right to adequate housing and related rights worldwide. Such communications are received from national, regional and international non-governmental organizations, as well as intergovernmental organizations and other United Nations procedures concerned with the protection of human rights.
2. The present addendum to the annual report of the Special Rapporteur contains, on a country-by-country basis, summaries of communications sent by the Special Rapporteur to States, responses received from States, observations of the Special Rapporteur, and follow-up communications and activities relating to earlier communications, from the period of 6 December 2008 to 22 December 2009 and replies received for the period of 3 February 2009 to 3 February 2010.
3. Where appropriate, the Special Rapporteur has sent joint urgent appeals or letters with one or more special procedures of the Human Rights Council where the allegations raised concerned the right to adequate housing as well as rights addressed under other mandates.
II. SUMMARY OF COMMUNICATIONS SENT TO GOVERNMENTS
44. On 18 June 2009, the Special Rapporteur together with the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation sent an urgent appeal to the Government of Israel inquiring about the on-going demolitions of houses and forced evictions carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the West Bank, specifically in East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. According to the information received on 4 June 2009, the IDF reportedly destroyed the houses of 18 Palestinian families in the hamlet of Ras al-Ahmar in the Jordan Valley. It is also reported that the Israeli military forces demolished animal pens and confiscated the water storage tank. In all, 128 people were reportedly displaced. In the nearby hamlet of Hadidiya, 5 families were under threat of imminently forced eviction, while 12 other were fighting eviction and demolition orders before an Israeli military court. In this case more than 150 people, most of them children, risked being evicted. Concerning East Jerusalem, on 11 June, residents of 20 homes in the Bustan neighbourhood of Silwan received demolition orders. More than 1,000 Palestinians reportedly risked losing their homes. On 10 June, the residents of a four storey building in Al Abbasiya were reportedly ordered to report to the Jerusalem municipality for building without the requisite building permits. A demolition order was also allegedly issued on a five storey building with 13 apartments (where 95 people reside) in Beit Hanina. In addition to comments on the accuracy of the facts of the allegations, the Special Rapporteurs requested further information on the grounds for the demolitions and evictions; on the legal framework governing these decisions; if the affected persons were given adequate prior notice; if the affected persons were given adequate time to withdraw their belongings before the demolition; on the measures foreseen to ensure that the affected persons will not become homeless; on the measures foreseen in terms of relocation, if any consultation with the affected persons took place; and, in particular in the case of East Jerusalem, on the measures taken to ensure that urban planning policies take adequate account of the situation of Palestinian residents.
45. The Special Rapporteur regrets that at the time of the finalization of this report, the Government had not transmitted any reply to this communication.