Community-based housing and homelessness groups set to welcome senior United Nations official on his fact-finding mission to Canada



    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Miloon Kothari, the United Nation's Special
Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, begins an official fact-finding
mission to Canada in Montreal on October 9 and will visit Ottawa, Edmonton,
Vancouver and Toronto. The Special Rapporteur will also visit Aboriginal
communities. In addition to community-based groups, Mr. Kothari will meet with
federal and provincial housing and homelessness officials. He will release a
report on his mission to Canada at a national press conference in Ottawa on
October 22.
    The Special Rapporteur has set four themes for his mission: Women and
housing; Aboriginal people and housing; homelessness; and the social impact of
the Vancouver Olympics.
    "Canada is one of the richest countries in the world, yet housing
insecurity and homelessness is also booming," says Michael Shapcott, Co-Chair
of Canada's National Housing and Homelessness Network and a Senior Fellow at
the Wellesley Institute. "In May of 2006, the United Nations' Committee on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights completed its latest review of Canada's
compliance with international housing rights. The UN committee called housing
and homelessness in Canada a 'national emergency' and urged the federal
government to take specific steps to meet its obligations in international
law."
    "On his fact-finding mission, Mr. Kothari will have an opportunity to
hear from single mothers, Aboriginal women and other disadvantaged people who
are experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness," says Leilani Farha,
with the National Working Group on Women and Housing and the Centre for
Equality Rights in Accommodation. "He is going to hear the horror stories, and
also the practical and effective solutions. We're glad to welcome Mr. Kothari
to Canada because it is a great opportunity for Canadians to learn more about
housing rights and for our governments to be reminded of their legal
obligations to implement those rights."





For further information:

For further information: on the Special Rapporteur's fact-finding
mission, and details of his agenda while meeting with community-based groups
in Canada, please contact: Michael Shapcott - (416) 972-1010, x231, cell -
(416) 605-8316, michael@wellesleyinstitute.com; Leilani Farha - (613)
233-8618, cell - (613) 302-7769, leilani@equalityrights.org; Montreal:
Nathalie Rech - (514) 528-6466, nathalie.rech@videotron.ca; Ottawa: Lynne
Browne - (613) 241-7913 x205, lbrowne@ysb.on.ca; Edmonton: Jim Gurnett - (780)
423-9675, jgurnett@emcn.ab.ca; Vancouver: Am Johal - (778) 895-5640,
am_johal@yahoo.ca; Vancouver: David Eby - (778) 865-7997, deby@pivotlegal.com

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