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Protecting the Home and Adequate Housing

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Living in a Caravan or Trailer as a Human Right

Many Roma, gypsies and travellers live in caravans or trailers, sometimes in together trailer parks or camps. This article analyses how this specific lifestyle connected to their housing is protected under the various regimes and provisions of international human rights law. Home and adequate housing, as well as family life and private life, are clearly protected under international human rights law. Moreover, Roma, gypsies and travellers are considered vulnerable communities for whom special measures need to be taken. States are for instance obliged to take the specific cultural interests related to the housing of Roma, gypsies and travellers into account. Although there is no accepted right to be provided with a home of choice, these rights imply an obligation to provide suitable alternative housing in cases of forced removal and sufficient procedural guarantees. This article is based on an analysis of several provisions in international and European human rights treaties covering non-discrimination, housing, private life and family life, including their interpretation by treaty monitoring bodies.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of International Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, Head of the Department of International and European Public Law, Law Faculty, University of Amsterdam,


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