The UK and Scottish Governments must always be raising living standards and not violating the human right to an adequate standard of living by rolling housing standards back. The UN Committee on Economic and Social Rights reviews this progress every six years and in June 2016 they reviewed the UK’s record since 2008 and found it to be severely lacking.
GLC contributed to this review by submitting a parallel report to let the UN know about the housing issues affecting our clients and the community we serve. This project was supported by the Legal Education Foundation through its Justice First Fellowship scheme. Our report told the Committee about:
· Homelessness and rough sleeping in Glasgow
· Experiences of tenants in the private rented sector
· People with disabilities who are threat of losing their home
· Asylum seekers housing rightsWe recommended a list of 11 questions for the UN Committee to ask the UK at the review in Geneva and many of these issues were reflected in the Committee’s recommendations which can be read on their website.
Report author, GLC’s Dee Flanigan said: “Some of this information was directly from test cases being pursued by our Public Interest Litigation Unit (PILU). This Unit plans on using the UN Committee’s recommendations to set priorities for future cases. Two of our clients, Scott and Wadzanayi, also contributed by telling their own stories”.
|GLC's Dee Flanigan|
“In general the UN Committee criticised austerity measures saying that they were: ‘seriously concerned about the disproportionate adverse impact that austerity measures, introduced since 2010, are having on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups.’”
“We are meeting with the Scottish Government next month to discuss the recommendations. Meanwhile our PILU continues to pursue test cases to improve human rights especially the right to an adequate standard of living. The UN reviews many areas of human rights compliance and we will intend to report to them to let them know the real story of what is happening in our community”.