By 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. How cities develop will determine whether we can reduce economic and racial inequality, effectively address climate change, and meet many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goals. The human rights movement can help move cities in the right direction, through more engagement in municipal-level policy and advocacy, and through greater attention to the growing corporate influence within our cities.
A revolution is underway. In Latin America, it has likely crested. In Southeast Asia and West Africa, it is moving apace. In East Africa, it is at its most intense.
It is brewing most remarkably not in storied national capitals and megacities, but in the medium sized, second-tier cities, less watched by governments and journalists. Cities that might double in size in 12-15 years, yet already under-resourced.
It is a demographic revolution: significant population growth which drives the epochal growth of city dwelling, as the world becomes ever more urban.
Until today, the world had no internationally comparable data on citizens’ perceptions of the security their property rights; no way of tracking how people evaluated the likelihood of their home or other land being taken from them.
OUR CITY: WHY WE WORK WHERE WE WORK
‘Chicoco’ means mud, the black, fibrous mud that people living in Port Harcourt’s waterfront communities cut from the mangroves and throw down on the river’s edge to reclaim land from the creeks. They build their homes on this mud.
The National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU) is a network of approximately 350 community groups with a membership of approximately 38,000 people. NSDFU is a member of the Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) network, a transnational network of the urban poor founded in 1996, and which brings together over a million federated slum dwellers in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
After years of efforts, land rights are finally getting global attention. With several land-related indicators included in the Sustainable Development Goals, the land sector now has the unique opportunity to create an unprecedented momentum around land tenure issues and bring it to a higher level on the development agenda. Our goal is, of course, to contribute to the success of the SDGs, but also to be part of sustainable development in its real and practical sense!
When we speak about land tenure issues and challenges, we are quick to speak about complex, yet exciting concepts, such as cadastral registers and titling. For those working in the land community, these are the foundations upon which our work is built, essential to breaking the proverbial glass ceiling which so many face when it comes to claiming their land rights.
Major global agreements, such as the Paris climate change agreement, and the SDGs will not come to fruition without local governments
Over a year ago in Quito, after a long negotiation and high involvement of all stakeholders, the atmosphere I could feel in my constituency was that of a promise; a big promise of a different international understanding of the urbanization phenomenon, a new role of cities and local and regional governments in the international governance and a shared vision of the need to rethink models.
The recent series of devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean has reminded the world, once again, that natural disasters are not equal-opportunity destroyers. The economically marginalized and those lacking secure land and property rights are often disproportionately affected for at least three reasons:
From 11-14 November in Bahrain, decisions are being made that will influence priorities of governments around the world.
In September 2015, at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, 193 countries endorsed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – known as the SDGs or Global Goals. This collection of 17 ambitious goals and 169 targets form a framework to address the global challenge of eradicating poverty.
Ask a land rights defender if there is a human right to land, and she will likely say “Yes, without a doubt.” For people around the world, land is a source of food, shelter, and livelihoods; it’s an economic asset, a crucial safety net, a link with culture and social identity, even a living relative or ancestor. Given their importance, land rights are surely human rights.