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Housing and Land Rights Network, India, works in three related areas to assist our members and partners in the defence, promotion, and realisation of housing and land rights.
Human Rights Education and Training

HLRN works in close collaboration with members and partners with the goal of building local and regional NGO/civil society cooperation by creating opportunities for sharing and coordinating information, and providing human rights education, training and technical assistance. Our goals are to share information and skills, and to develop the capacity to form effective housing and land rights campaigns at local and regional levels, and to provide mutual and reciprocal support throughout the region. We also respond to member demands and needs for training and information dissemination through workshops, publications, and our website.

Human rights education, especially related to economic, social and cultural rights, and women's rights, is a priority area of our work. Our human rights education objective already has led to the design, development, production, and delivery of customized training materials, specialized workshops, and distribution of information (electronic and print), publications, legal documents and thematic reports (see Resources and Publications).

HLRN has been active at advising, training, and supporting local housing rights and community-development organizations to engage and work with the United Nations (UN) programme, Special Procedures, treaty body sessions, and other regional and international human rights and professional forums.

We regularly arrange workshops as part of the preparations for alternative reporting to UN treaty bodies, and other national events. This is intended eventually to build a strong national housing rights movement and campaigns through collaborative work, information sharing, and mutual reliance.

As each human rights education experience also embodies a needs assessment, the lessons of each opportunity give rise to new tools and curriculum materials, contributing to the development of ongoing activities.

Research and Fact-finding

We regularly conduct research on housing and land issues in the region. In particular, HLRN has been active in research on evictions, displacement, disasters, land rights, and women's rights to adequate housing, land, property and inheritance. Our research creates knowledge, builds solidarity over common issues, and develops strategies for multiple methods of housing rights defence and problem solving.

HLRN has often organized fact-finding missions as a first step to taking up new cases or supporting national focus campaigns. HLRN fact-finding serves to generate national and international solidarity, media attention, public awareness, and substantive information by investigating claims of housing rights violations. HLRN fact-finding reports have been used by National Human Rights Institutions, courts of law, local, national, and international organizations, UN bodies, academic institutions, and government agencies.

For more information on our fact-finding missions and reports, see Publications.

Advocacy and Networking

Our existing relationships are based on mutual benefit in pursuit of a common objective, usually involving advocacy. These alliances take several forms, such as national and international advocacy, national policy campaigns, and the Urgent Action mechanism.

Urgent Action

HLRN helps raise awareness on housing and land rights violations, and also assists the struggle of affected persons by generating national and international pressure on officials and authorities responsible for the violations.

An urgent action is an effective strategy that consists of:

  • Preparing a comprehensive document detailing the housing/land rights violation. This should include information on the date and time of the event, number of persons affected, responsible actors and duty-holders, and suggested recommendations for redress and restitution.
  • Enlisting the local, national, and international legal obligations of the concerned government.
  • Drafting and circulating a sample letter with names and addresses of duty-holders and responsible actors to a wide network.
  • Contacting human rights coalitions and networks in the country and abroad to pressure the central and state government to take immediate action at the local level to ensure access to remedy for the affected persons/communities.

See: Handbook on Urgent Action: HLRN Guide to Practical Solidarity for Defending the Human Right to Adequate Housing

See: List of Urgent Actions issued by HLRN in the region

HLRN tries to work, as much as possible, in collaboration with other civil society organizations and social movements. We also work to enhance international networking by further introducing members to, and engaging them with, related international NGO networks, primarily Habitat International Coalition, but also others.

With the integrated objectives of its networking activities, HLRN brings together seemingly diverse beneficiaries with common problems and programmes. Our organizing and educational work helps human rights organizations appreciate the housing and land rights-and larger economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights-dimensions of their work.

Our recent advocacy campaigns include those related to: homelessness; forced evictions; land reform; India's land acquisition and rehabilitation law; women's land rights; post-disaster human rights-based rehabilitation; and monitoring of human rights violations.

For more information or assistance, please write to: contact@hlrn.org.in