The Growth of a Movement for a Human Right to Housing in the United States
From the Harvard Human Rights Journal
The growth in the United States of human rights activism directed at domestic conditions is an important recent development. The most publicized efforts and successes have applied human rights law and utilized international comparison in countering violations of civil and political rights, such as the Supreme Court case striking down the juvenile death penalty. Significant also is the broad public attention to dramatic abuses committed by the United States, such as those at Abu Ghraib, which were widely perceived and discussed as human rights violations. Both have helped advance a public discourse domestically in which America may be discussed as a human rights violator.
More recent - and less publicized - is the growth of a movement to use human rights law to address domestic economic and social injustice. Over the past few years, a growing number of advocates, academics, and poor people themselves have focused on articulating conditions and claims in human rights terms. By adding human rights to their advocacy tools and conceptual frameworks, they have had some success with the adoption by government bodies of human rights standards. This is an increasingly important part of the work of NLCHP, and it frames the discussion in this piece.