Human Rights Committee addresses violations of housing, water and sanitation rights under the ICCPR
Human Rights Committee addresses housing rights violations and denial of access to water and sanitation as violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Building upon work initiated by staff from the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) in 2010, the Human Rights Committee has adopted a List of Issues that will define the scope of the next periodic review of Israel. The forthcoming periodic review is an accountability mechanism that addresses compliance with human rights obligations under the ICCPR.
The GI-ESCR submitted a Parallel Report to the Human Rights Committee calling on the Committee to question Israel's compliance with the Concluding Observations issued by the Committee in 2010, with a particular focus on the violations of Palestinians rights to adequate housing as well as rights related to denial of access to water and sanitation. The Report covered both the occupied Palestinian territory as well as the Bedouin community in Israel.
The Report resulted in the Committee requiring Israel to expressly respond to several issues, including forced evictions and housing demolitions as collective punishment; lack of availability of housing construction permits for Palestinians; denial of equal access for Palestinians and Bedouins to adequate housing, agricultural land, water and sanitation; denial of Palestinians ability to construct wells; violations of Bedouin’s rights to ancestral land and access to water and sanitation; denial of access to sufficient and safe drinking water for residents of Gaza; and the detrimental effect of the blockade on Gaza on water, sanitation and livelihood.
Bret Thiele, Co-Executive Director of the GI-ESCR, said that "It is hoped that this List of Issues not only strengthens on-the-ground advocacy in the area Palestinian social rights and lays the foundation for further advocacy during the forthcoming periodic review of Israel, but that it also lays the foundation for social rights advocacy under the ICCPR more generally, including the Individual Complaint procedure."
The 2010 Parallel Report can be found HERE (drafted by GI-ESCR staff while previously at COHRE)
The 2010 Concluding Observations can be found HERE
The 2012 Parallel Report can be found HERE
The 2012 List of Issues can be found HERE (see in particular paragraphs 6, 9 and 13)