Security of tenure

Security of tenure is a central component of the right to adequate housing. The lack of security of tenure – in law and practice – makes protection against forced eviction very difficult, leaving the most vulnerable, such as inhabitants of informal settlements, at risk of a range of human rights violations.

Since 2012, the Special Rapporteur has been developing a specific study on this theme, to be concluded only in 2014. Two consultations with experts, activists and social society organizations were conducted, one in Geneva and another in Naples. The first report that comes out of this study was presented on March 4th, during the UN Human Rights Council 22nd regular session. Click here to read the first report on Security of Tenure.

In the report, the Special Rapporteur elaborates upon the concept of security of tenure as a component of the right to adequate housing. The backdrop is one of a global tenure insecurity crisis, manifesting itself in many forms and contexts: forced evictions, displacement resulting from development, natural disasters and conflicts and land grabbing. The Special Rapporteur discusses existing guidance under international human rights law, raising questions regarding the precise State obligations with respect to ensuring security of tenure.

Throughout the year of 2013, consultations on the issue were held in Quito, Ecuador, focusing on the Latin American experience; in São Paulo, with a focus on Brazilian experience; in Johannesburg, South Africa, focusing on the African experience. Moreover, in Geneva, Switzerland two events were held: a roundtable on security of tenure focusing on European experience and a roundtable with humanitarian organizations and donors, who shared their experiences regarding security of tenure in situations of post-conflict reconstruction and post-natural disasters.

In addition, the Rapporteur provided a questionnaire on the topic, which was answered by 31 countries.

The final report is already available and was presented in March 10, 2014 to the UN Human Rights Council. Find out more about the project in our infonote and at the study page at the OHCHR website.

To read the report on security of tenure, click on the green button below.

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