Urbanization, defined in terms of population growth in urban areas, has been driven by economic development. However, poverty is also urbanizing. The concentration of economic development in a few large cities results in population booms that severely test the coping capacity of policymakers and authorities. One of the most visible outcomes of rapid urbanization has been the creation and persistence of slums. According to UNDP, at least one third of the world’s population lives in slums or squatter settlements. Through the joint work of families living in extreme poverty with youth volunteers, TECHO has been seeking to overcome poverty in slums in Latin America since 1997.
This report, commissioned by TECHO, is an overview in Spanish of the most recent legislation, jurisprudence and public policies on the right to adequate housing in eleven jurisdictions: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In each jurisdiction, the research focuses on the legal framework related to the right to adequate housing, forced evictions and “squatters rights” (or “Prescripcion Adquisitiva”) in an urban context.
Urban poverty is a major challenge affecting Latin America across borders, languages and constitutions. By focusing on the comparative analysis of recent jurisprudence and legislation on the topic, this research highlights the various ways in which the enforceability of the right to adequate housing has been gradually developing in the different countries of Latin America.
Derecho a una vivienda digna en Latinoamerica is produced by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, TECHO, Hewlett Packard’s in-house legal team and a global team of law firms: Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez de Hoz (h), Guevara & Gutiérrez, Machado Meyer Sendacz Opice, Ferrada Nehme, Posse Herrera Ruiz, Romero Arteta Ponce y Garcia Sayan Abogados
We hope this study will be a useful tool for those working to eradicate urban poverty across Latin America and that it provides a clearer picture at the regional level of this global phenomenon which recognizes no border, culture or legal framework.