Housing and Land Rights ahead of South Africa’s UPR

The upcoming Universal Periodic Review of South Africa and the current Human Rights Council 51st session should focus on the human rights to adequate housing and land rights and protection of their defenders

Date: 30 September 2022

Time: 10:00 - 11:00

In person: Room XXV, Palais des Nations

Online: Zoom link forthcoming

Organization organizing the event: Habitat International Coalition

Co-sponsoring organizations[1] : Abahlali baseMjondolo, The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, CIVICUS, The Human Rights Institute of South Africa, International Service for Human Rights, Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, West African Human Rights Defenders` Network

Ahead of the UPR of South Africa, this important event explores the human rights situation in the South Africa, focusing on challenges to realize the human rights to adequate housing and land.

The speakers will address the heightened repression against Human Rights Defenders, in particular those working in the field of housing, spatial justice and equitable land distribution. With an introduction from Habitat International Coalition, the speaker from Abahlali baseMjondolo democratic grassroot movement will focus on the repression and targeted assassinations they have endured as advocates for the rights of people living in shacks, including access to decent housing, services and education. Since the beginning of 2022, four[2] movement leaders based in the eKhenana Commune have been murdered. 23 members of the movement (three women and 20 men) have been murdered throughout the country, with little justice being done for the crimes committed.

The representative of the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network will provide an overview of the legal system in place and the challenges to accessing justice.

Finally, the speaker from the Human Rights Institute of South Africa will contextualize the event within the discussion of these issues during previous UPR sessions, and articulate the need to address these pressing and fundamental issues at the upcoming UPR session.

Moderator: Representative of CIVICUS

Proposed speakers

  • Introduction: Speaker from Habitat International Coalition - recounting the codification of the human rights to adequate housing and land (online)
  • Mr Mqapheli Bonono - Deputy President at Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement South Africa - heighted repression faced by the movement advocating for land and housing rights (in person pending visa)
  • Ms. Simphiwe Sidu - Regional Legal Adviser for the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network - the legal framework on land and housing in South Africa and challenges to access to justice (in person)
  • Speaker from HURISA - Previous recommendations on land and housing, their lack of implementation and the upcoming UPR: focus on HRDs and land and housing rights.

Add your organization here if you wish to co-sponsor the event

Is it three or four?

• Access to natural resources
• Adverse possession
• Advocacy
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Basic services
• Collectivization
• Commodification
• Commons
• Communication and dissemination
• Coordination
• Destruction of habitat
• Discrimination
• Displaced
• Displacement
• Dispossession
• ESC rights
• Forced evictions
• Grassroots initiatives
• Housing cooperatives
• Housing rights
• Human rights
• Land rights
• Landless
• Legal frameworks
• Livelihoods
• Local Governance
• National
• Norms and standards
• Property rights
• Public policies
• Reparations / restitution of rights
• Security of tenure
• Squatting / occupation
• Tenants
• UN HR bodies
• UN system
• Urban planning
• Urgent actions
• Water&sanitation
• Women