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UN housing rights expert visits Nigeria

GENEVA (12 September 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, is visiting Nigeria from 13 to 23 September 2019.

“I look forward to travelling to the most populous nation in Africa to explore the challenges and opportunities facing Nigeria with regard to its implementation of the right to housing,” the expert said.

Nigeria faces significant housing challenges, including the growth of informal settlements and the forced eviction of communities for development projects.

“I would like to learn more about programmes and policies put in place to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11.1, which commits governments to ensuring access to safe, affordable and adequate housing and basic services for all by 2030,” said Farha.

“I am particularly interested to learn more about the Government’s recent commitment to build one million homes per year until 2033.”

“Housing affordability, particularly in urban areas, has become an issue of concern worldwide. A contributing factor is housing speculation, which serves to increase housing prices and pushes residents out of their neighbourhoods and cities. I hope to gain an understanding as to whether such trends are also present in Nigeria,” the expert said.

The Special Rapporteur will also examine issues including substandard housing conditions, forced evictions, access to services and to justice for the right to housing and the conditions of particular vulnerable groups including women, people living in informal settlements and those who are homeless.

Farha will meet senior Government officials from the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, and other ministries. She is also expected to have talks with governors, state-level ministries, and public institutions responsible for human rights, urban development and combating homelessness. The expert will also hold meetings with people living in various neighbourhoods in and around Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, and representatives of civil society.

At the end of the visit, the Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to share her preliminary findings and recommendations. It will be at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, 1 Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Abuja at 16:00 local time on 23 September 2019. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

Farha will present a comprehensive report of her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2020.

ENDS

Ms Leilani Farha is the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housingas a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. She took up her mandate in June 2014. Farha is the Executive Director of the NGO Canada without Poverty, based in Ottawa. A lawyer by training, for the past 20 years Ms. Farha has worked both internationally and domestically on the implementation of the right to adequate housing for the most marginalized groups and on the situation of people living in poverty. Her most recent report to the Human Rights Councilfocusses on access to justice for the right to housing.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page — Nigeria

For more information and media requests please contact:
Mr. Jon Izagirre Garcia during the visit at: (+41-79 444-4078 /
jizagirre@ohchr.org)
After the visit at: +41 22 917 9715 or write to srhousing@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Mr. Jeremy Laurence – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow the SR’s work: Twitter: @adequatehousingand Facebook: righttohousing

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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