Candidates proposed for Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing

Read below the short-list of candidates compilled by the Consultative Group to the President for the mandate of Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing. This list will be sent to the UN Human Rights Council and one of these candidates will be selected to be the new mandate holder during its 25th regular session.

Candidates proposed by the Consultative Group to the President for Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context

The Consultative Group was impressed by the calibre of applicants for the mandate. Five shortlisted candidates were interviewed and while each of them performed well during the interview, the Consultative Group recommend the following three individuals as best qualified to fulfil the mandate, ranking them in the order of preference.

  1. Mr. Fernando MURILLO (Argentina)
  2. Ms. Leilani FARHA (Canada)
  3. Mr. Balakrishnan RAJAGOPAL (United States of America)

Mr. Murillo is an architect, urban planner and academic with more than 15 years of experience working as a consultant on housing issues and urban planning for Governments, local communities and various United Nations agencies including UNHABITAT, UNHCR, UNDP, UNRWA and UNICEF. Through his varied experience in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, he has worked on several topics related to the work of the mandate including habitat development in post-conflict situations, quality of housing, informal settlements and eviction issues. The Consultative Group believes that Mr. Murillo’s operational and policy experience, and his emphasis during the interview on sharing of good practices across regions, and on encouraging participatory approaches to planning and local level rights make him well suited for the Special Rapporteur role.

Ms. Farha is a lawyer and currently Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty, a civil society organisation dedicated to the elimination of poverty and to the protection of economic and social rights. Her previous work experience includes working with nongovernmental organisations focused on housing rights, United Nations agencies, including UN-HABITAT and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She has worked extensively on the issues of poverty, social marginalisation, and gender equality. The Consultative Group was impressed by Ms. Farha’s passion for ensuring the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing and her pragmatic approach, including an emphasis on operational implementation of existing standards, multistakeholder engagement and inclusivity in policy design.

Mr. Rajagopal is Associate Professor of Law and Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Director of the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice. He has taught and written extensively on international law, human rights, and development issues. He has field experience in Cambodia with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Transitional Authority. The Consultative Group took note of Mr. Rajagopal’s thoughtful vision for the mandate, including his emphasis on leveraging United Nations capacity locally to advance Special Rapporteur recommendations, the importance of engaging private developers in planning and policy dialogue, and the advantage of fostering links with other mechanisms such as special rapporteurs on extreme poverty, food and indigenous peoples, the universal periodic reviews and treaty bodies.

To read the full document containing all the information about all the new mandate holders selection, click on the green button below.


Source: OHCHR

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