Land & Tenure Security Back To Overview

Lack of secure land tenure and security leading to forced evictions and displacement are a common reality for the majority of slum dwellers around the world. As the rate of urbanization continues to rapidly increase and governments continue to struggle to meet the basic needs of their populations, the cycle of squatting lingers. Hundreds of thousands of urban poor populations build settlements upon land that does not belong to them and often time is located on or around dangerous sites, putting their whole livelihoods at risk. This instability is clearly displayed in the term “informal settlements.” In order for a community to be formal, it must be recognized by the state as a legal entity located in a certain region. However, these criteria cannot be met by slum dwellers due to the unaffordability and lack of availability of land.

As one of the core issues that slum dwellers across the global south face, lack of land tenure and security has created an ever expanding gap and mistrust between the urban poor and the city authorities. Adopting forced evictions and demolitions as a “solution” to the slum problem, city governments create an us versus them dichotomy, threatening the livelihoods of their own citizens and restricting any real potential collaboration towards sustainable and non-discriminatory approaches to slums and urban development. This gap is what federations attempt to bridge.

 Understanding the difficulties faced by the State when faced with rapid urbanization, federations embrace tools such as community savings and enumerations to better negotiate and partner with their governments to plan suitable solutions to slums that often includes the establishment of legal existence of these communities. 


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