27 Oct The UN Human Rights Council Does Investigate Places Other Than Israel….Like New York
In a further display of the UN Human Rights Council’s sense of how to efficiently allocate its limited resources, its “special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing” has decided to conduct her next investigation in the United States, and in New York City in particular. (h/t the Corner). I’m sure that New York housing is inadequate in some ways, but is it really the most effective place to allocate the special rapporteur’s efforts?
There’s also a strange legal problem: what is the legal obligation the United States is said to be violating? Here is an excerpt of the original Council (then Commission) resolution creating the special rapporteur’s mandate.
To appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur whose mandate will focus on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, as reflected in article 25, paragraph 1, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 11, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and article 27, paragraph 3, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and on the right to non-discrimination as reflected in article 14, paragraph 2 (h) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and article 5 (e) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
Uh, the U.S. is not party to any of the treaties mentioned here, and the UN Declaration of Human Rights, art. 25, para. 1 has never been considered binding. So to sum up: the UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on adequate housing is going to spend her time on a country which is unlikely to be in the top ten places with lack of adequate housing, and which in any event, is not a party to any of the treaties which form her mandate. And people wonder why the UN Human Rights Council is unpopular?