Territorial inequality, spatial mobility and vulnerability

Territory and internal migration

Region countries have Instruments on G. Territory and internal migration

Policies and instruments

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the spatial distribution of the population has certain distinctive features, including high urbanization, with its opportunities and risks; the persistent rural exodus; the limited options for the development of rural areas and small towns; the tendency to concentrate the population and its activities in a few dynamic centers; and the segregation and vulnerability faced by the poor by virtue of their spatial location.

Territorial and social inequalities are intricately interconnected in a dialectical relationship. In the countries of the region, disparities between territories in terms of income levels, poverty, productivity, access to well-being and natural resource endowment contribute to the aggregate contrasts reflected in these indicators at the national level. Territorial inequalities occur at different geographic scales, between large regions or major administrative divisions, between urban and rural areas, or between smaller administrative divisions within the same city or metropolitan agglomeration. All these manifestations of inequality are directly tied to the reproduction of poverty and social inequality, the erosion of social cohesion, sustainability challenges and governance difficulties.

The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development acknowledges these unique regional characteristics and considers the specific challenges faced by countries within these areas. It values the progress made and the experience achieved by the region in the processes of decentralization, development planning and land use planning over recent decades, although it expresses concern regarding the considerable costs incurred by the region in different areas due to disasters caused by natural and socio-environmental events.

Priority Measures

  • G.76 - Territorial management

    Develop more closely coordinated, integrated and cohesive territories by designing and executing territorial and urban management plans, policies and instruments, administered in a participatory manner and based on a people-centred approach with a gender and human rights perspective and a vision of sustainability and environmental risk management.
  • G.77 - Territories promoting the development and well-being of people

    Promote the development and well-being of people in all territories without any form of discrimination, and provide full access to basic social services and equal opportunities for populations whether they live in urban or rural areas, in small, intermediate or large cities or in isolated areas or small rural settlements.
  • G.78 - Decentralization, deconcentration and participatory planning

    Expand and improve the processes of decentralization, deconcentration and participatory planning at the subnational and local levels, with emphasis on availability, accessibility and the quality of basic services, education and health, including sexual health and reproductive health and the prevention of violence against girls, adolescents and women.
  • G.79 - Territory and coexistence

    Design programmes to promote peaceful coexistence, continuing education, creative leisure pursuits, mental health and citizen security for the population in their territories in order to prevent the current social problems associated with issues such as poverty, social exclusion, the abusive use and trafficking of drugs, and gender-based violence.
  • G.80 - Land use planning and environmental sustainability

    Formulate development strategies for city systems to encompass territorial planning and environmental sustainability, promoting energy transition and sustainable production and consumption processes, taking into consideration social and environmental externalities, within a human rights framework, in order to promote sustainable and inclusive urban development, and strengthen all segments of such systems, including intermediate and small cities.
  • G.81 - Territorial development with a gender and human rights perspective

    Plan and manage territorial and urban development, from a human rights and gender perspective, by formulating mobility, population settlement and activity location policies that contemplate, among their objectives, avoiding the use of vulnerable and protected areas and preventing and mitigating the impact of socioenvironmental disasters and combating the environmental vulnerability of those living in poverty and ethnic and racial groups who are subject to discrimination, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • G.83 - Natural resources

    Promote inclusive development of natural resources, avoiding the social and environmental damage that this may cause.