The UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, is set to conclude her one week visit to Egypt on Wednesday. The visit is the first official trip to the country by an expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council since 2011.
Over the visit, Farha examined the status of the realisation of the right to adequate housing, with particular attention to gender equality, and non-discrimination, the protection of street children, homeless people, refugees, and displaced persons, persons with disabilities, minorities. and the poor.
Farha is scheduled to attend a press conference on Wednesday to reveal her initial outcomes of the visit.
“I am interested to learn more about legislation, programmes, and policies to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal ‘11.1” to ensure by 2030 access to safe, affordable, and adequate housing and basic services for all,” the expert said in a statement.
“As a large segment of Egypt’s urban population lives in unplanned areas, I would also like to learn more about the efforts made by the government to improve living conditions in these areas, through the upgrading of informal settlements, and to what extent they follow a human rights approach.”
Other topics include the right of tenure, private market housing, security-related displacement, the prevention of forced evictions, and ensuring access to justice, and remedies for persons who believe their right to housing has been violated.
The special rapporteur met with senior government officials from the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Social Solidarity and state institutions responsible for urban development, human rights, security, and law enforcement.
Over the visit, Farha planned to meet residents living in various neighbourhoods and settlements in and around Cairo, in Giza, and Minya, and representatives from international financial institutions, development agencies, civil social society, and academia.