The challenge

  • 90 per cent of landholdings in developing countries are not documented, administered or protected.
  • Urbanization is increasing pressure on land, with people living in cities expected to grow by 175 per cent by 2030.
  • Land administration practices do not cater for the complexity of land issues with overlapping rights and claims.
  • Women and the youth continue to have limited access to and control over land
  • 70 per cent more agricultural land is needed to increase in food production by 2050.


Security of tenure has been improved for more than
households in Uganda, Zambia and the Philippines through the Global Land Tool Network with 2,611 occupancy certificates issued to beneficiaries in Uganda and Zambia
To-date, the GLTN programme has benefitted more than
households in Uganda, Zambia, Nepal, Democratic Republic of The Congo, Kenya, Philippines, Namibia and Iraq.

News and Stories

“My children and I still lived in fear of being attacked until our land was mapped and the boundaries were established"

Widow with 14 children in the small regional town of Pader, Uganda

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

By focusing on a range of relationships and uses of land and how all groups experience tenure security, UN-Habitat addresses the social inclusion and human rights. Additionally, tenure security is part of the Right to Adequate Housing which UN-Habitat addresses through its specific focus on this topic.

Human rights icon

By focusing on a range of relationships and uses of land and how all groups experience tenure security, UN-Habitat addresses the needs of women and girls in relation to land and tenure security as all groups are included in our work. Women’s empowerment is a key focus of our work on land and through the Global Land Tool Network. Specific tools and approaches are used which help understand women and girls relationships to land and how they can be engaged in processes and projects to improve their tenure security. Tools like the Gender Evaluation Criteria and the Continuum of Land Rights approach have been widely used to achieve change.

Gender icon

Youth, children and older persons, especially those in situations of particular risk of marginalization, such as girl child and female-headed households, are often excluded from access to housing, urban basic services, public spaces and infrastructure, and the overall benefits of urbanization. Young women and men have been a key focus of UN-Habitat’s work. The agency has successfully advocated for the role of youth as leaders in sustainable urban development, recognizing the guiding principle of the SDGs of “leaving no one behind,” and the New Urban Agenda vision of cities for all. 

Children icon

Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

Disability icon

Our Experts

Robert Lewis-Lettington
Chief, Land, Housing and Shelter Section
Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division

Related Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 1 logo
SDG 5 logo
SDG 6 logo
SDG 10 logo
SDG 11 logo
SDG 15 logo
SDG 16 logo
SDG 17 logo