Addressing Housing, Land & Property (HLP) rights in humanitarian responses in West & Central Africa

What is HLP?

Housing, Land and Property (HLP) rights are drawn from interna tional law and the right to adequate housing. They are about what makes it possible for people to live on their land and use their property.

In humanitarian response, HLP is about people having a home, free from the fear of forced eviction; a place that offers shelter, safety and the ability to secure a livelihood.

HLP in Emergencies

HLP issues are at the heart of displacement and significant across all phases of a response. It is crucial to address HLP issues as early as possible, particularly in relation to forced evictions, as well as for effective medium and long-term solutions. Ignoring HLP can do harm and undermine response efforts.

What can be done?

  • Recognise the critical role of HLP in emergencies by integrating it into emergency responses from the onset, including in inter-agency Rapid Response Mechanisms (RRMs).
  • Support advocacy efforts to improve access to HLP rights for conflict-affected populations in emergency contexts.
  • Increase funding to the HLP sector, particularly to strengthen coordination and data collection.
  • For the leads & co-leads of HLP working groups, to develop uniformed methodologies to better capture HLP-related data, including the impact on other sectors of the response, as well as disaggregated data of social groups.
  • Strengthen the capacity of other concerned actors (shelter, LFS, etc.) to identify, mitigate and manage HLP-related issues within their areas of intervention.
  • Strengthen coordination and synergies between HLP working groups and other clusters by including their participation in HLP working groups discussions.
  • Systematically include HLP issues in strategic documents, such as the yearly Humanitarian Needs Overview and Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), with a particular focus on cross-sectorial dimensions of HLP activities in emergencies.