The challenge

The challenges of urbanization, such as rising inequality and the prevalence of slums, are symptoms of a larger deficit to respect human rights in cities, particularly the right to adequate housing and the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Only when all dimensions of human rights are respected will urbanization realize itself as the transformative force that it is. The human rights dimensions relate to the availability, accessibility, acceptability, adaptability, quality and appropriateness of the rights to adequate housing, safe drinking water and sanitation.


1.5 million
people in 2,000 villages across 33 townships have gained access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and social-behavior change communication, with nutrition, improved outcomes in Myanmar during 2009 to 2019.
4 million
slum dwellers have been positively impacted by participatory slum upgrading interventions.
people in 9 countries have been impacted by work in humanitarian response and reconstruction sector, including through participatory “people’s process”.

News and Stories

Related Sustainable Development Goals

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Donors and partners

UN-Habitat is committed to the realization human rights in all parts of its work. To do this we collaborate with key stakeholders including rights holders’, local authorities, CSOs and National Governments and other UN agencies.

Our Experts

Angela Mwai
Chief, Human Rights and Social Inclusion Unit
Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division