12/13/2017

A Monitoring Group of the ESCR Committe decision against Spain is created

Last June, the ESCR Committee of the United Nations, the body in charge of overseeing the fulfillment of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), issued a decision stating that Spain had violated the right to housing in a case of tenants' eviction. In its recommendations, the Committee urged Spain to:

- Promote legislative and / or administrative measures so that in the procedures of eviction of tenants the judge can evaluate the consequences of the eviction.

- Improve coordination between the judiciary and social services in order to prevent an evicted person from leaving his/her home without alternative housing.

- The evictions of vulnerable people only take place after having consulted in a genuine and effective manner these people and to ensure that the state has made every possible step using the maximum available resources to obtain a suitable alternative housing.

- Formulate and implement, in coordination with the regions, a plan to guarantee the right to housing for vulnerable people with the provision of resources, deadlines and evaluation of it.

After the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights came into force in 2013, the possibility of presenting individual and collective complaints for violation of ESCR was opened. The first resolution of the ESCR Committee was against Spain for a violation of the right to housing in the event of eviction through a foreclosure procedure by 2015. In the absence of a monitoring group for this resolution, Spain did not implement any measure in this regard.

In order not to happen this again, several organizations defending the right to housing and human rights have gathered to create a follow-up group. We are CAES Cooperativa, Amnistía Internacional, la Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca, el Sindicato de Inquilinos, Arquitectura Sin Fronteras, la Federación Regional de Asociaciones Vecinales de Madrid, la Federación de Asociación de Vecinos y Vecinos de Barcelona, FEANTSA and the DESC Observatory. The objective is to spread the case and to present information and data to the ESCR Committee to confront the state one.

Finally, the ESCR Network, of which the DESC Observatory is member, and thanks to which we participated in the lawsuit with an amicus curiae, is coordinating the participation of international organizations in the monitoring of the case. Yesterday, November 12, we had a webinar with social entities and networks around the world interested in the implementation of the Committee's decision. Cases like this, in which Mohamed Ben Djazia and Naouel Bellili and their children of 1 and 3 years were evicted for the termination of the rental contract and did not obtain social housing, are part of a strategic litigation. Strategic litigations take violation of rights before courts hoping to achieve improvements for the society as a whole. In this case, the recommendations of the United Nations should oblige Spain to modify the legislation on evictions, increase the social housing to ensure the relocation of the evicted people and formulate a housing plan with an economic grant.

Here you can read some articles on this subject:

https://elsaltodiario.com/vivienda/comite-vigilara-espana-cumpla-exigencias-pah-onu-vivienda

http://www.eldiario.es/sociedad/desahucios-ONU_0_710429404.html

Please find attached the Communication 5/2015 of the ESCR Committee.