UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing concludes UK visit
The UN's Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, has concluded a two-week official visit to the UK during which she visited London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Manchester.
In a press statement, Ms Rolnik said the main objective of her visit was to assess the country’s achievements and challenges in guaranteeing the right to adequate housing and non-discrimination in this context.
Noting that the "United Kingdom has much to be proud of in the provision of affordable housing. It has had a history of ensuring that low-income households are not obliged to cope with insecure tenure and poor housing conditions", she commended a number of good human rights practices, such as the Scottish Homelessness Act. She also drew attention to areas for improvement, saying that evidence and testimonies gathered during her visit suggest that housing deprivation is worsening in the UK.
In undertaking her assessment Ms Rolnik met with a number of government departments, officials from each devolved administration, housing charities, human rights organisations and housing associations, amongst others.
The final report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Spring 2014.
Special Rapporteurs are "independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective". They report to the Human Rights Council but are not UN staff members and do not receive financial remuneration.
The UK has had an open invitation to all Special Rapporteurs with thematic mandates since 2011. The country is currently standing for election to the Human Rights Council and has pledged to cooperate with Special Rapporteurs and to take steps to improve its response rate to their communications.