UN-HABITAT’s Shelter Branch has three main components:
The Land and Secure Tenure Section targets those most at risk in our towns and cities. Women are the worst affected in forced evictions, resettlement schemes, slum clearance, domestic violence, civil conflict, discriminatory inheritance laws and practices, development projects, and globalisation policies. Rape is often used to forcibly remove women from their homes before and during forced evictions. UN-HABITAT’s Land and Tenure Section is the agency’s point of reference for land management and tenure systems, policies and legislation that help achieve adequate shelter, security of tenure and equal access to economic resources for all, with a specific focus on gender equality. The main focus areas and mandate are implementation of land, housing and property rights, and particularly secure tenure for women.
The second component is the Housing Policy and Development Section focuses on building standards and technologies and also works to ensure a rightsbased approach to housing policies. The poorest people in overcrowded cities, especially women and children, often have no rights in the face of evictions or harassment by the authorities. In April 2002, UN-HABITAT and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched the United Nations Housing Rights Programme (UNHRP) as a joint initiative. It’s development objective is to help governments, local authorities, and other stakeholders implement the Habitat Agenda to ensure the full realisation of the right to adequate housing as provided for in international instruments.
The third component is the Disaster Management Programme helps governments and local authorities rebuild in countries recovering from war or natural disasters. The agency works in many countries including in Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, the Caribbean, Central Asia, China, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Timor Leste and Vietnam, and Indian Ocean rim countries hit a giant tsunami wave.