Following the path of normative development, HLRN’s 2024 compilation of international norms defining tenure reviews how the UN`s legal and policy bodies have elaborated the expanding standards of housing and land tenure security. These evolving norms establish criteria for the fulfillment of related human rights to adequate housing, land and sustainable development. The publication begins with the first UN Conference on Housing and Human Settlements in 1976 and takes the reader through development of the global understanding about tenure rights and dynamics up to 2024.

Security of Tenure: Evolving Norms through the UN Human Rights and Development Systems reviews the norms of law and practice as developed treats both housing and land tenure as defined in international instruments that interpret the related binding obligations and voluntary commitments of states, as well as their authoritative interpretation, across the United Nations (UN) Human Rights System and Development System.

This work was originally produced as a background study for the Barcelona Urban Thinkers Campus, “Housing in the City We Need,” 16–18 November 2015, as part of the preparation process for the UN Conference Habitat III (Quito, Ecuador, 17–20 October 2016). The current version updates that original record to 2024, keeping pace with human rights and development standards as they continue to evolve.