The Importance of addressing Housing, Land and Property (HLP): Challenges in Humanitarian Response

The Global Protection Cluster (GPC) Strategic Framework 2016-19 reiterates the importance of placing protection at the centre of humanitarian response, drawing on the IASC Statement on the centrality of protection in humanitarian action. The IASC has identified the challenges facing the humanitarian community in ensuring protection at the field level, including the extent to which relevant actors consider the protection of human rights of affected persons in operational decisions.

In response, the IASC has recommended that international human rights and humanitarian standards form the basis of principled, norm-based, constructive engagement in humanitarian action. The IASC envisages that use of such a framework will positively impact on the humanitarian community’s effectiveness and credibility:

“Critically, a human rights-based approach, which takes into account the specific needs of vulnerable groups and individuals, aims at empowering people to claim their rights and strengthen the capacities and accountability of duty-bearers to meet their legal obligations.”

The IASC Statement provides the basis for this paper to develop a deeper understanding of how a human rights framework, specifically the right to adequate housing, can inform responses to disasters and conflict and promote protection within humanitarian operations.