HIC-HLRN welcomes enthusiastically the latest report of the UN Special Rapporteur (SR) on adequate housing Balakrishnan Rajagopal. This latest report to the UN General Assembly reminds states and all readers about the gross violations of the human right to adequate housing and related crimes in the context of conflicts, occupations and wars. The SR explores historic and contemporary situations in which conflicting parties have targeted civil residences long after the practice has been prohibited in international humanitarian law and prosecuted in military tribunals around the globe.

In this report to the current 77th session of the UN General Assembly to be presented later this month, the SR analyses the legal, political and practical challenges to preventing, protecting against, ending, responding to, and remedying the systematic and deliberate mass destruction of homes during violent conflict. The cases and analysis presented in Mr. Rajagopal’s report parallel many of those presented by HIC-HLRN and reported in its Violation Database, not least of which are contained in HIC-HLRN’s 2021 World Habitat Day report, Conflict, Occupation and War.

The SR’s report calls upon states to recognize such severe violations of international law as “domicide” – a distinct crime under international criminal law. That prospect will be the subject of debate in the upcoming side event at UN Headquarters on 24 October 2022, when HIC-HLRN coordinator Joseph Schechla will join the panel in support of the proposition.

Download the SR’s report: “The right to adequate housing during violent conflict,” A/77/190 (in all UN languages).

Related publications and reports by HIC-HLRN:

View video “Domicide.”

Photo: Destruction in Homs 2019. Source: Hussam Wali.