What is Home?

This beautiful short film by the Place project of the Thomson Reuters Foundation (Place, Land, Access, Connections, Empowerment) interviews indigenous and urban poor people who contend with lack of legal title to their land or housing. This insecurity brings with it a host of evils - lack of access to basic services such as sanitation, water, or electricity. Without documentation, people cannot borrow against their homes and invest in education or businesses. They cannot store wealth to pass on to their children. They are vulnerable to being thrown off the land as a result of development schemes. Their children grow up in radical insecurity, never sure of having a place to stay.

There are self-interested reasons to regularize land rights for the poor. Empowering and protecting land tenure by the poor is the most effective means of combating climate change. People who can prove ownership of their land are not easily displaced - as stewards of the land, they have a voice and must be listened to. Protection of the environment means protecting the people who live on the land.