This year’s World Habitat’s Day theme is 'Voices from Slums'. World Habitat Day 2014 campaigns to recognize life in slums, give voices to slum dwellers for improving quality of living conditions in existing slums.

Objectives of World Habitat Day 2014

  • Raise awareness of life conditions in slums.
  • Develop processes and tools in defense of the historical memory of the people who have lived and live in the slums.
  • Demonstrate, through real stories, to decision makers in the urban arena that slum upgrading programmes can achieve better life conditions for slum dwellers, and greater economic and social impacts.
  • Share experiences on slum upgrading among cities and urban areas worldwide.
  • Contribute to a policy dialogue that focuses on the broad range of issues related to the integration of the life in the slum into the city.
  • Identify policy formulation and capacity development issues in which the UN system, in particular UN-Habitat, can offer significant contributions.
  • Identify key stakeholders in slum upgrading and adequate housing and actively engaging them in further discussions.
  • Contribute as relevant to the post-2015 discussions and Habitat III Conference.

‘Voices from Slums’ Campaign

This year the World Habitat Day will focus on giving voice to people who have lived or live in slums or other vulnerable urban contexts.

Governments, NGOs, private sector, academic and other institutions are encouraged to place current and past slum dwellers as protagonists of World Habitat Day 2014 through the available communication platforms.

Webstories, videos, photodocs, interviews and other stories will feed the campaign’s contents on social media, websites, media and other supports.

‘Voices from Slums’ Audio Library

Personal stories are what explain the history from one generation to the next.

Knowing how our streets, our neighborhood and our city were allows us to discover what practices have succeeded. Reconstructing stories from yesterday and today and keeping them in archive for tomorrow means we are dignifying memories and experiences.

Often in the slums people live in anonymity. No address, no census and slum dwellers suffer with no idea about when their living conditions will improve.

However, day to day, many slum residents have a better quality of life. Their stories are real and powerful for raising awareness worldwide.

The WHD 2014 'Voices from Slums' is an opportunity to create a library of audio experiences by people who have lived or still live in urban poor conditions.

How will it work?

In collaboration with the United Nations Audio Library, within the context of the WHD, the UN will create the 'Voices from Slums Library', with the aim of providing available recordings to media organizations, governments and NGOs in order to foster public understanding of life in the slum.

The Voices from Slums Audio Library will be an online platform, accessible for everyone, to record experiences and stories.

‘Record your voice today!

We have established a set of numbers for you to record your views about issues concerning life in slums, the daily struggles and how to improve the living conditions of those living in informal settlements.

Please leave your first name, city and short message in one of the languages below or send an mp3 recording to

  1. Arabic: +254 (0) 20 76 26050
  2. Chinese: +254 (0) 20 76 26051
  3. English: +254 (0) 20 76 26052
  4. French: +254 (0) 20 76 26053
  5. Russian: +254 (0) 20 76 26054
  6. Spanish: +254 (0) 20 76 26055
  7. Kiswahili: +254 (0) 20 76 26056

We appreciate your views.

Disclaimer*: Please be aware that by leaving a message you agree for it to be used on all our multimedia channels.

‘Voices from Slums’ Background

Find out more on the theme of World Habitat Day 2014 – ‘Voices from Slums’. The background paper contains information on:

  • Slum Demographics;
  • Slum Formation Trends;
  • Slum Dwellers’ Deprivations;
  • Other Slum Life’s Aspects
  • Improving Slums and Preventing their Formation in this background paper.

downloadDownload the background paper on World Habitat Day 2014 - 'Voices from slums' here