Mexico Supreme Court of Justice rules in favor of including informal settlements in official census after HRLN files an Amicus

Un Techo para mi País México vs. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), amparo en Revisión 635/2019 | Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation of the United Mexican States | Status: Decided | |

On June 17, 2020, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation in Mexico in Un Techo para mi País México vs. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), amparo en Revisión 635/2019. ruled unanimously that the statistics bureau, INEGI, must indeed include informal settlements officially in the census.

The 10 ESCR members including HRLN submitted a third-party intervention emphasized that having representative and inclusive data is important because it provides the foundation upon which public policies are designed, implemented, funded, and monitored. If individuals and groups are not represented in data, any policy made or decisions taken on the basis of that data will not be able to address specific issues that they face and will exclude them from equal enjoyment of human rights. Exclusion in data therefore means exclusion in reality.
The following points were summarised mainly -
Measurable Progressive Development of the Right to Adequate Housing, Including Access to Basic Services

Right to Substantive Equality and Non-Discrimination

       Right to Information and to Participation in the Conduct of Public Affairs
Disaggregation to Meet Obligations of Equality and Non-Discrimination of Vulnerable Groups, which Include People Living in Informal Settlements

Data processes to Enable Community Participation and reflect  Lived Experiences

Accessibility and Usability

      Respecting Individuals’ Privacy and Security

It was argued that the right to substantive equality and non-discrimination is important in order to attain the basic minimum standards of living without discrimination. In this context, it is possible to distinguish between individual and structural discrimination. Individual discrimination occurs when the unjustified difference in treatment takes place in concrete cases, while structural discrimination happens when the difference in treatment follows historical, social, and cultural patterns of discrimination. For example, recurring factors in structural discrimination include sex, sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnic origin, diverse cultural identity, socioeconomic situation, disability, and nationality. Such structural discrimination prevents the effective enjoyment of rights by the affected population groups. In order to address extreme inequalities, the State must grant differentiated treatment in favor of persons in situations of special vulnerability. Substantive equality recognizes that the State, as a guarantor of rights, has, in addition to the general duty not to discriminate, the obligation to adopt affirmative actions or differentiated public policies to accelerate the equal participation of all persons in human rights.

It was further stated that when information concerning marginalized communities is not gathered (or done so incorrectly) and consequently unavailable to them, not do their needs and perspectives go unaddressed in public policy, but also they also are also unable to exercise their democratic prerogatives fully.