Right to Housing


The right to housing is recognized as a fundamental human right in various international treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Article 11 of the ICESCR specifically addresses the right to adequate housing.

The concept of the right to housing entails several key components:

  • Adequacy

The right to housing encompasses the right to a secure, habitable, and dignified place to live. Adequate housing should provide for the fundamental needs of individuals and their families, including access to safe drinking water, sanitation, heating, lighting, and other essential facilities.

  • Accessibility

Housing must be accessible, both physically and economically, ensuring that everyone can obtain housing without discrimination. It includes access to affordable housing options, availability without discrimination, and access to essential services and facilities.

  • Security of Tenure

Individuals should have legal protection against forced evictions, arbitrary displacement, or homelessness. Security of tenure ensures that people cannot be arbitrarily deprived of their homes and have legal safeguards against unjust eviction.

  • Non-Discrimination

The right to housing should be enjoyed by everyone without discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, ethnicity, disability, or any other status.

  • Participation

Communities and individuals should have the right to participate in decisions that affect their housing conditions, urban planning, and development policies.

  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups

Special attention should be given to the needs of vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as refugees, asylum seekers, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and those living in poverty or homelessness.

States that are parties to these treaties are obligated to take steps to progressively realize the right to housing by adopting measures, policies, and programs that ensure access to adequate housing for all individuals and families. This includes addressing homelessness, improving housing conditions, preventing forced evictions, and ensuring affordable housing options.

Constitution of Pakistan

The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the right to housing as a fundamental human right under Article 25(b), which states that “every citizen shall have the right to adequate housing.”

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