Special Rapporteur Miloon Kothari conducted a mission to Iran from July 19 to 31, 2005, after the country issued a standing invitation to all “Special Procedures”. He noted a significant will from the government to implement the right to adequate housing and other rights recognized in the Constitution and in international treaties.

The Rapporteur observed several positive trends and good practices during his mission, a remarkable number of government entities performing activities to improve the housing conditions, and government efforts to ensure access to water, electricity and sewage.

However, the Rapporteur was concerned with the existence of obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to adequate housing, such as unaffordable housing prices and ineffective social policies and programmes.

The Rapporteur identified four elements that could contribute to such failure: lack of access to credit and savings programs for the poorest populations; distortions in the public incentives for large building companies for the construction of low-price units; little attention to the rural reality in the planning of housing programmes; and lack of coordination between different levels of government.

He also expressed concern for the frequent discrimination faced by ethnic and religious minorities and nomad groups, which was reflected in the lack of adequate housing, seizure of lands, and forced evictions among these groups. The Rapporteur also disapproved of the discrimination against women in the access to housing, land, inheritance and property.

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