Over the past few months, the U.S. government has been holding consultations all across the country to prepare for their participation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process at the UN Human Rights Council. We at the Law Center have been coordinating housing groups all across the country in participating in these consultations, ensuring both grassroots and technical expert voices on housing issues have been heard.
Last week, at a training on the UPR process in DC, David Sullivan, Attorney-Adviser at the U.S. State Department, was asked what human rights issue he thought was most urgent based on the consultations held to date. His answer:
“Housing. We have heard more about housing than you would believe in these sessions. If I had to pick the number one issue brought to the U.S. it would be housing.”
This is a huge credit to all the organizing we and the local organizers at each of these consultations has been doing. In a review that covers every human rights issue, over a time period that includes things like Guantanamo, racial profiling, immigration, Prop 8, and a economic crisis not seen since the Depression, the number one human rights issue the government is hearing about is housing.
So we know we’ve got their attention. Now let’s make some change.
-Eric Tars, Human Rights Program Director