Definition of an Informal Settlement

Kristine Brite

Informal settlements are groups of people living on land they have no legal claim to or the homes and land don't follow codes and regulations. Also referred to as a squatter settlement, slum or shanty town.

Informal settlements are a world-wide issue.

Health Risks

Women often don't have prenatal care in settlements.

Living in an informal settlement can be dangerous. Drinking water is often dirty and sanitation poor, leading to insect infestation and harmful pathogens. Access to medical facilities and professionals may be limited. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.

The People

Informal settlements are found around the world, especially in developing countries.

Informal settlements are found across the globe, mainly in developing countries in urban areas. These settlements are growing and an estimated 1 billion people live in slums in developing countries.

The Structures

Houses in informal settlements don't meet zoning laws.

The dwellings are often constructed of random found materials like reclaimed metals. They are make-shift and poorly constructed.