Applying International and European Antidiscrimination Law to the Housing Context

Juan Carlos Benito Sanchez

#fondation René Cassin#iidh

Quatrième de couverture

The central argument of this book is that the application of antidiscrimination law to the field of housing complements and enriches a right to adequate housing approach in two ways: firstly, it helps to elaborate and expand the rationale and implications of certain components of the right to housing; secondly, it allows us to address human rights concerns that cannot be adequately tackled through the right to housing alone. I reach this conclusion through an analysis of the conceptual and practical implications arising from the application of antidiscrimination norms to the housing context, with a focus on Europe.

An enquiry into the philosophical foundations of antidiscrimination law leads me to identify four aims that antidiscrimination norms ought to pursue: eliminating hostility, prejudice, and stigma; respecting cultural diversity and avoiding misrecognition; transforming existing structures; and ensuring a fair distribution of important goods in society. Applying this framework to the field of housing, I find that various antidiscrimination legal concepts can be mobilised to achieve those four aims, among which direct and indirect discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and reasonable accommodation. I also defend the usefulness of incorporating and mobilising socioeconomic disadvantage as a prohibited ground of discrimination to this end.

I then build on two case studies—housing segregation, on the one hand; housing commodification and financialisation, on the other hand—to further demonstrate the contribution of antidiscrimination law to specific housing issues. Finally, I propose several procedural and substantive avenues to achieve diversity-conscious, all-inclusive housing policies, looking in particular at equality duties and housing decommodification policies. The legal analysis developed throughout this book, based on a human rights law methodology, is enriched through references to political and legal philosophy and to urban sociology.

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Foreword Julie Ringelheim

Collection dirigée par Sébastien Touzé

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