Published On: 30 June, 20232.4 min read

EVICT Talk with Dr. Vanessa Tünsmeyer and Dr. Michelle Bruijn – On Housing, Cultural Rights, and State Actions

June 15th, 2023

Permissible Limitations of the Right to Culture and the Cultural Adequacy Dimension of the Right to Housing

By Dr. Vanessa Tünsmeyer (University of Groningen)

In her talk, Vanessa Tünsmeyer shared her plans for a new research project on the scope of permissible limitations of cultural rights held by indigenous peoples. She discussed the overall direction of the research project and the motivation behind it, before focussing on the connection of her proposal to the right to adequate housing. The right to housing and indigenous cultural rights intersect in the need for indigenous housing to be culturally adequate to protect what has been termed a “traditional lifestyle” or “traditional ways of life” as protected under Art. 27 ICCPR and Art. 15(1)(a) ICESCR. This intersection can shed light on permissible and prohibited limitations of the minority right to culture.

Housing under Siege: the Reciprocal Relationship Between State Action to Create Safe and Healthy Living and the Protection of the Right to Housing and Right to Property

By Dr. Michelle Bruijn (University of Groningen)

Governments around the world are increasingly intervening with the right to housing and the right to property in their approach to create a safe and healthy society. In the Netherlands, for instance, local governments are using the instrument of eviction to coerce non-conforming behavior and to fight criminal activities, such as drug dealing. While in the United States, municipalities are increasingly implementing and enforcing laws that prohibit smoking tobacco in multi-unit housing (both rental and owner-occupied housing). In this talk, Michelle shared her research plan to study the difficult but reciprocal relationship between state actions aimed at creating a safe and healthy living environment and the right to housing and the right to property. She examined how these rights can both be affected by and impact state actions.

About the speakers

Vanessa Tünsmeyer is an Assistant Professor in Legal Methods at the University of Groningen. Her research interests comprise minority and indigenous rights, ESC rights, and cultural heritage law from an international, regional and comparative perspective. Most recently she worked on aligning the legal mechanisms of returning colonial-era indigenous cultural heritage with contemporary human rights law (Springer 2022, ).

Michelle Bruijn is an Assistant Professor at the department of Legal Methods at the University of Groningen and a researcher within the EVICT project. Michelle is interested in housing and the promotion of safe and healthy living. In her research, she uses empirical legal research methods to study the regulation of cannabis, the regulation of novel smoke-free zones, the fight against drug-related (organised) crime, evictions, and the protection of the right to housing.

The EVICT Bi-monthly Talk Series takes place every third Thursday of the month at 4:00 – 5:00 PM CET (Amsterdam / Berlin / Paris).

Read more blogs