It is 10 years since I first visited Kamagasaki, which is the biggest slum in Japan. "Are there any human rights exist in Japan?" "Kamayan", a Kamagasaki daily based worker, responded to my self-introduction that I had been teaching human rights law in Japan.
"Kamayan" was quite right in his allegation. Kamagasaki workers and homeless people were "displaced persons" in the sense used by Hanna Arendt in her influential book "The Origin of the Totalitarianism": their human rights were not violated, but they lost the right to have human rights itself.
Since then, I have been street lawyer in Kamagasaki. Especially, I have been in charge of a forced eviction case against homeless people by Osaka City. We have been alleging in this case "a right to adequate housing" stipulated in the Social and Economic Covenant of Human Rights, because only these kinds of rights would confer "Kamayan" security of legal tenure beyond the scheme of Nation State, which was thought by Arendt as a hazard to human rights.
From my experience as a street lawyer, the right to adequate housing should be properly defined only when homeless people themselves join the negotiation process. The Committee of the Covenant has been using 'genuine consultation' to describe this process. "Kamayan" should be treated as a legal agency in the field of law.