Partner Publications

The Human Rights in Cities Handbook Series – Volume I

The Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing and Slum Upgrading


Human rights are important as they set the minimum standards that are essential for people to live in freedom, equality and dignity. They give everyone the freedom of choice and expression and the rights to basic needs necessary for their full development and enjoyment of their rights, including education, water, sanitation, food, health, and housing. Human rights also protect against their abuse by people or entities that are more powerful. Furthermore, human rights inform the relationship that exists between individuals and their governments, distinguishing between every human being and governmental and non-governmental actors obligated to respect, protect, and fulfill these rights.

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