For those of you who have never even heard of a â€œSpecial Rapporteur,â€ you may be surprised to find out that one has been appointed by the United Nations (UN), under a special mandate from the UN Human Rights Council (the successor to the corrupt and anti-Israel UN Commission on Human Rights), to open a probeâ€”for the first time everâ€” into human rights violations by the United States because of a perception that there isnâ€™t enough affordable public housing in urban areas.
Democracy Now!â€™s Amy Goodman reports that Raquel Rolnik, a Brazilian urban planner and the UNâ€™s choice for the task, will be investigating issues of concern to the UN vis-Ã -vis the United States, including public housing, homelessness and foreclosures. As part of her fact-finding mission, she will visit New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Washington, a South Dakota Indian reservation, and Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She will then compile a report on her findings, which will be submitted to the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council in March.
The UN Human Rights Council believes that housing is a human right, and, because housing (especially â€œaffordable housingâ€) is so tough to come by in places like New York City, there is a strong likelihood that the United States Government is guilty of gross human rights violations.
UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Raquel Rolnik: If we take housing as a human right, you have to go back to the idea that housing is a social issue before and more priority than housing as a commodity, as a financial asset.
Now, having the UN send an investigator to the United States to report on â€œhuman rights violationsâ€ due to a perceived lack of housing availabilityâ€”when it turns a blind eye to real human rights violations in places like Communist China, Sudan and Venezuelaâ€”should be enough to raise some eyebrows. But Rolnik’s impartiality is highly suspect, as she appears to have already made up her mind as to the existence of these “violations .”
Consider the following statements Rolnik made, before even beginning her â€œtour,â€ which have the same flavor as the Marxist rhetoric one is accustomed to hearing from Democracy Now!:
â€¢ [I am going to] hear the voices of those who are suffering on the ground.
â€¢I am representing the right of adequate housing as a human right.
â€¢Affordable housing here [in the United States] is not that affordable
â€¢I see this mission as an opportunity to open a dialogue, to open a movement, towards the achievement and implementation of the right to adequate housing.
â€¢We know very well that changes will come only if people organize.
The report will be bad. That is a foregone conclusion. How will the UN punish the United States? That remains to be seen. Who gave the UN the right to send a Special Rapporteur on this tour of American cities in the first place, sinceÂ UN Special Rapporteurs can only visit countries that have agreed to invite them?
The invitation came from the top.