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Europe faces daunting task on refugees but housing is a human right

4022Western European countries face a huge task trying to house and integrate refugees, but must take some responsibility for creating the crisis, says the United Nations housing envoy.

Leilani Farha , the UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, says pressure on European countries to act quickly in response to the influx of refugees could exacerbate the problem of social exclusion, as people are housed in poor, temporary conditions.

There has been a varied response across the continent to the high numbers of refugees seeking a place to settle. “I’ve actually been very pleased with some of the responses,” says Farha. “I would imagine if I were the leader of a country like Sweden, Germany or France, it would be pretty daunting, when refugees appear on the doorstep of states, to say yes, come in. Of course, in my opinion, there is a moral obligation to do so.”

That moral obligation comes in part from states recognising, as Farha puts it, their own role in creating a world order that forces people to flee their countries for safety.

Read more in the interview on the Guardian.

Download Leilani Farha’s presentation at the 3rd Europe Housing Forum.