Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring - Appendix II to Chapter VI: "Case Study"


An older woman, Sertan, comes to your office and tells you that she has been living for ten years in a house with a small garden just one kilometre outside of the town where your office is located. This past Friday she went to see her son in a nearby town for the weekend. When she returned on Monday she found that a family of four people -- a man, a woman, and their two teenage sons -- had broken into her house and were now living in the house. They refused to leave. She has reported the matter to the neighbours, local police, and to the town administrative office, but they refused to respond. If she can get no remedy, the woman will lose everything she had and will have to go live with her son.


In working groups, discuss the scenario and consider: (1) what further questions you might wish to ask the woman, (2) what further inquires you may wish to undertake about this case, (3) what potential human rights issues may be raised by the scenario, (4) what violations may have occurred, and (5) whether those violations would fit within the mandate of the human rights field operation.

Appoint one spokesperson for each working group to indicate the questions to be posed, potential human rights issues, inquiries to be undertaken, potential violations, and mandate concerns identified by the group.

Members of each working group should be prepared to support any points of discussion by reference to the specific provisions of human rights instruments and of the mandate of the human rights field operation.

Hint: Members of working groups may assume that the Government of the country has ratified all of the treaties identified in previous chapters of this manual, but participants may need to look carefully at the treaties rather than relying exclusively on the text of the manual. They may also find useful chapters of this manual; for example, participants may consult Chapter III. F. 4 "Law enforcement officials", III. F. 11 "Women's human rights in the legal system", III. F. 12 "Protection and redress for victims of crime and abuses of power", J. 2 "Internally displaced persons", III. K "Women's human rights", III. N "Right to Non-discriminatory Treatment", III. O "Right to Property and Housing", III. P "Other Economic, Social and Cultural Rights", and Chapter IV. L "Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights".

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