Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 30 - July 2024 عربى
Terminology Corner

Some scholars, have defined domicide to mean the massive and deliberate destruction of homes, in order to cause human suffering. UN Special Rapporteur Balakrishnan Rajagopal offers a more expansive view of that concept. Etymologically rooted in the Latin terms domus (home) and caedo (to strike, or to kill), domicide thus refers not only to the deliberate destruction of the physical structures of homes, but also to the systematic violation of housing rights in violation of international law.

Domicide is not to be confused with “democide,” defined separately in HICtionary: Glossary of Key Habitat Terms.

For more information, see:

Avalon Project, The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Chapter 9 (2008);

Bree Akesson and Andrew R. Basso, From Bureaucracy to Bullets: Extreme Domicide and the Right to Home (New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, 2022), p. 26;

J. Douglas Porteous and Sandra E. Smith, Domicide: The Global Destruction of Home (McGill Queen’s University Press, 2001), p. 68;

Balakrishnan Rajagopal, “Adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to non-discrimination in this context,” Note by the Secretary-General, A/77/190, 19 July 2022, para. 5.


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