In this issue of Housing Rights Watch’s newsletter, you’ll find an insightful article on the impact of the European Committee of Social Rights’ decision on FEANTSA’s Collective Complaint vs The Netherlands (no. 86/2012) from Joris Sprakel, who has worked with this issue for many years. At the time of writing, the Council of Ministers had not yet passed a resolution on the deci- sion, a bureaucratic delay that the Dutch government used to postpone making comments on the decision and its eventual impact on national law and policy. The Council of Ministers did approve the resolution (https://goo.gl/ogaM1C), but the Dutch government’s reaction has caused more confusion than clarity on the issue. This decision, its impact on local authorities, and the questions it raises regarding the right to shelter for all persons within the territory of a State party to the Social Charter, will continue to resonate over the next months. Watch www.housingrightswatch.org for information and further insight and analysis.
Marc Uhry synthesizes the above decision by the European Committee of Social Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) recent decision on Dano (http://goo.gl/4L4S1p). These cases raise the issue of just who is responsible for providing emergency assistance, when the duty for provision has been devolved in so many countries to regional and local level without sufficient resources. While it is the State that signs international human rights treaties, local authorities are in fact bound as well. Uhry’s article brings international jurisprudence to bear on this tension at local and regional level which results from a lack of sufficient resources and “immigrant-specific” policies.
Sonia Olea and Paula Caballero examine the oppressive new law in Spain that criminalises homelessness and represses public demonstrations. The legislation gives the state a powerful tool to control what the government fears is a growing movement of people, united under the umbrella of the PAH (Platform of People Affected by the Mortgage Crisis), who are willing to take to the streets to defend the rights of people whose housing rights are violated or at risk.
Finally, you will find a case law update providing an overview of important decisions in 2014 and early 2015. Please turn to page 15 for an announcement for the HRW conference in June in Paris, during which we invite you to join us to debate the above topics, and others.
This is our final edition of the Housing Rights Watch newsletter in this format. We are moving with the times and therefore adapting our format to fit the needs and wishes of our readers and contributors. When you go to www.housingrightswatch.org you’ll find new articles on a monthly basis (in English and French), more frequent case law updates, and every four months, an electronic ‘round up’ will drop into your inbox to remind to click through to articles that you might have missed.
As always, we appreciate your comments, suggestions, and contributions to future newsletters. Please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org