The right to adequate housing (Art.11.1): forced evictions : .
CESCR General comment 7. (General Comments)
Convention Abbreviation:


The right to adequate housing (art. 11.1 of the Covenant):
forced evictions

(Sixteenth session, 1997)*

1. In its General Comment No. 4 (1991), the Committee observed that all persons
should possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection
against forced eviction, harassment and other threats. It concluded that forced
evictions are prima facie incompatible with the requirements of the Covenant. Having
considered a significant number of reports of forced evictions in recent years,
including instances in which it has determined that the obligations of States parties
were being violated, the Committee is now in a position to seek to provide further
clarification as to the implications of such practices in terms of the obligations
contained in the Covenant.
2. The international community has long recognized that the issue of forced evictions
is a serious one. In 1976, the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements noted
that special attention should be paid to "undertaking major clearance operations
should take place only when conservation and rehabilitation are not feasible and
relocation measures are made". 1/ In 1988, in the Global Strategy for Shelter to the
Year 2000, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 43/181, the
"fundamental obligation [of Governments] to protect and improve houses and
neighbourhoods, rather than damage or destroy them" was recognized. 2/ Agenda 21
stated that "people should be protected by law against unfair eviction from their
homes or land". 3/ In the Habitat Agenda Governments committed themselves to
"protecting all people from, and providing legal protection and redress for, forced
evictions that are contrary to the law, taking human rights into consideration; [and]
when evictions are unavoidable, ensuring, as appropriate, that alternative suitable
solutions are provided". 4/ The Commission on Human Rights has also indicated that
"forced evictions are a gross violation of human rights". 5/ However, although these
statements are important, they leave open one of the most critical issues, namely that
of determining the circumstances under which forced evictions are permissible and of

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