Does the international right to housing prevent people from being evicted?

The EVICT project wants to understand if it does, and how.

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In Europe, 700,000 people had to leave their home involuntarily, with devastating effects on wellbeing and society.


Having a place to call home is a fundamental human right, but every year hundred thousands of people are evicted from their home. They lose their home involuntary. The EVICT project analyses all kinds of eviction cases, and aims to see whether the international right to housing helps people that face an eviction.

Housing is an international human right, but states often don’t comply.

International law

National governments and courts need to comply with international human rights law, such as the right to housing. Yet, we know that they often do not comply with international law. The right to housing, as laid down in international and European law, often demands more protection of the power- and propertyless than national laws prescribe.

The EVICT project explores the complex relationship between international and national law to study to what extent the international human right to housing has an impact in an eviction case.

Recent crises led to an enormous number of national case law. Thousands of court judgements will be analysed using data science.

Data science

It would be impossible to manually analyse the thousands of court judgements on eviction. Therefore, the EVICT project adopts a unique data-driven approach.

We combine traditional legal methods with data science techniques, such as network analysis and machine learning to conceptualise the right to housing and to find and explain predictors for court decisions.

EVICT is an ERC Starting Grant project, led by Prof. dr. Michel Vols

The EVICT research team

EVICT is a collaboration between legal scholars and computational linguists.

Prof. dr. Michel Vols

Principal investigator, Professor of Public Order Law

Prof. dr. Martijn Wieling

Associate Professor Information Science

Dr. Michelle Bruijn

Assistant Professor

Prof. dr. Björn Hoops

Associate Professor

Dr. Berend Roorda

Associate Professor

Dr. Mohammad Mohammadi

Postdoctoral researcher

Dr. Andrei Quintiá Pastrana

Postdoctoral researcher


We regularly write about international and national eviction law and our data science analyses.

Upcoming events

Find out about upcoming events about the EVICT project