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What Protection of the Right to Housing do Illegal Occupiers Enjoy?: A Study of the Protection in Sweden in Light of the Example of South Africa
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

With a history of racial discrimination, which inevitably led to illegal occupations of private and public land and subsequent violent evictions, South Africans have enjoyed constitutional protection against illegal and forcible evictions since the mid-1990s. Sweden, a country considerably less accustomed to illegal occupations, does not guarantee the same protection against forcible evictions. However, the recent influx of Roma from Romania and Bulgaria to Sweden without the means to support themselves has resulted in an increase of illegal occupations and led to evictions from publicly owned land. This paper examines: (i) how the case of South Africa relates to the situation in Sweden, (ii) the extent of legal protection offered by Sweden relating to the right to housing and (iii), whether when carrying out such evictions, Sweden respects European legislation and precedent.

The results show that South African and European courts have interpreted the right to housing as a right to alternative accommodation for illegal occupants. With no constitutional right to housing in Sweden, legislation only guarantees the right to housing for holders of a permanent right of residence. For EEA citizens, such as Romanians or Bulgarians, the right of residence is conditional. In the absence of a legal obligation to consider the situation of illegal occupiers or to provide alternative accommodation, there seems to be a gap in Swedish legislation; leading to a failure on the behalf of the state to adhere to European commitments and to protect those most vulnerable in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
Human rights, right to housing, eviction, illegal occupiers, Roma
Keyword [sv]
Mänskliga rättigheter, rätt till bostad, vräkning, avhysning, olaglig ockupering, romer
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26527OAI: diva2:792758
Subject / course
Public Law
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-03-05 Created: 2015-03-05 Last updated: 2015-03-05Bibliographically approved

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