U.S. Called On to Account for Failing to Meet Basic Housing Needs


Representative of LA Community Action Network and the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights Travels to Geneva to Testify on Struggle for Human Right to Housing in U.S.

In a report published in advance of the United Nations hearing on the U.S. human rights record, advocacy groups called on the U.S. government to account for regularly washing its hands of any responsibility for making sure that its people are not ill-fed, ill-housed, and of ill-health. Together with seven collaborators and over forty endorsing groups, the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) submitted a report to the UN on the persistent denial of economic and social human rights in the United States. Read the report here.

The report, “Toward Economic and Social Rights in the United States: From Market Competition to Public Goods,” was recently released in a new version that includes case studies of groups fighting for human rights in their local communities, such as the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights and the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign fighting for the human right to housing.

The evidence presented in the report shows that the United States has failed for decades to fully respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights to education, health care, housing, work, and social security, partly because it consistently privileges private, profit-making interests over meeting people’s fundamental needs. The critique comes on the eve of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a United Nations human rights monitoring mechanism, which will hold its first official examination of the U.S. human rights record on Friday, November 5th in Geneva, Switzerland.

Representatives of two organizations that collaborated in submitting the report will travel as part of a national delegation to the United Nations in Geneva next week – Mary Gerisch of the Vermont Workers’ Center and its Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign and Deborah Burton of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) and the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights. Ms. Burton will offer testimony on the struggle for the human right to housing in the United States and will present interventions at two side events prior to Friday’s review.

Resources for downloading:
·         The joint report to the UN: “Toward Economic and Social Rights in the United States: From Market Competition to Public Goods”:
·         NESRI’s press release on the report:
·         NESRI’s statement on the U.S. government’s report to the UN:
·         Three factsheets on the main themes of the report:
Public goods:
·         Steve Diaz of LA CAN speaks to the human right to housing, in a video testimony submitted to the Testify Project: u/3/jSFL82AJqrY