Study on Security of Tenure
Security of tenure is a central component of the right to adequate housing. Any initiative related to housing, whether in the context of urban renewal, land management or other development-related projects, or in dealing with recovery after conflicts or disasters, will inevitably have tenure security implications. 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.
Human rights law mandates that all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats. But what are the precise obligations of States to ensure tenure security for their population, and in particular for the most disadvantaged? Are there any practices, policies, and measures to learn from to increase and ensure security of tenure?
Building on years of practice in the urban planning, housing policies and development fields, as well as human rights advocacy and litigation, the study aims to offer guidance on ways to address the variety of tenure issues arising worldwide, and to strengthen security of tenure, particularly for those who most need it.
Timeframe and Areas of Focus:
- Phase One (2012) of the study consisted of a mapping exercise, combining legal analysis with an assessment of policies and practices worldwide with respect to tenure security. The Special Rapporteur’s report to the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council (below) reflects this mapping exercise.
- Phase Two (2013-April 2014) will aim to develop specific guidance on security of tenure, focused on urban poor and the question of informal settlements. The study will be finalized by April 2014, with the Special Rapporteur presenting a final report to the Human Rights Council’s March 2014 session and encouraging further attention to this issue.
Reports to the UN Human Rights Council:
See also Special Rapporteur's statement at the 22nd session
Briefing and background papers:
These papers were submitted to the Special Rapporteur to help inform her study. These papers do not necessarily reflect the views of the Special Rapporteur.
Consultations and meetings convened by the Special Rapporteur:
The following consultations were convened by the Special Rapporteur in 2012:
For more information, have a look at the Infonote:
Infonote available in English / French / Spanish
To submit any document or information relevant to this Study, please contact:
Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing
OHCHR - United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone: + 41 22 917 93 68
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06
See also: www.righttohousing.org