UTC#4: The Safety Gap

UTC#4: The Safety Gap

11 May 2020
Global - Online


Date/Time:                 Monday 11 May, 2:30 to 4:00 PM CET (or 3:30-5:00pm Nairobi Time)
Partners:                    Red Dot Foundation, Polycom Development Project, CJUR International
Location:                    Webinar on Zoom platform


With more than 1400 cities in 210 countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, an urgent response at many levels is required to protect the most vulnerable in our cities and communities.
UN-Habitat has initiated a specific Covid-19 campaign to engage partners to take action in cities and communities to address the challenges of the pandemic in solidarity with the most vulnerable while building resilience. To help the Campaign achieve this goal, a series of Covid-19 Urban Thinkers Campuses under seven urban-related topics will be organized throughout the months of April and May 2020.

The Safety Gap

The fourth Covid-19 Urban Thinkers Campus will be on the Safety Gap.

Gender-based violence, particularly domestic violence, police violence, lack of access to health services and evictions are amongst those safety issues that threaten life in urban contexts, particularly in informal settlements and poor communities. Safety issue is also not neutral, it affects different groups of people differently, deepening existing inequalities.

During the lockdown in many countries like India, there is restricted movement of travel. In such cases the options for women are few. Shelter homes and other safe spaces are not accepting women due to lack of testing facilities. Trust levels with the police are low. Therefore city officials must rethink strategies to provide help to citizens in distress.

This pandemic brings a unique opportunity for stakeholders to discuss solutions for those most affected, the vulnerable in our communities. This UTC aims to discuss and share any good practices (policy, programmes, tools) and also innovations or solutions that have emerged as the response to the Pandemic.

The UTC on the Safety Gap brings together key speakers and stakeholders with an interest in addressing issues around safety in cities during crises.


Moderator: Ms Christine Auclair, UN-Habitat

14:30-14:35 Welcome and introduction by WUC Chair Ms. Sri H Sofjan, Huairou Commission

World Urban Campaign Co-chair

14:35-15:20 Urban Thinkers Session

  • Ms. Rekha Sharma, Commissioner, National Commission for Women, India
  • Mr. Pablo Aguilar, CNJUR, Mexico
  • Ms. Jane Onyango, Polycom (Huairou Commission), Kenya
  • Ms. ElsaMarie DSilva, Founder & CEO, Red Dot Foundation, India

15:20-15:55 Roundtable (Interactive moderated debate and Q&A session)

Guiding questions:

  • What are the safety gaps that communities face in crises?
  • How can we address these gaps - are they any good practices (policies, programmes, tools) and what are the proposed solutions?
  • What are the recommendations?
  • What are the arising priority actions and commitments?

15:55-16:00 Conclusion by the moderator.

This UTC is hosted by: 

About Urban Thinkers Campuses
The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, conceived as an open space for critical exchanges and learnings between urban researchers, professionals, civil society actors, community-based/grassroots organisations, the media and decision-makers who believe that urbanization is an opportunity and can lead to positive urban transformations that benefit all. It was also intended as a platform to build consensus between partners engaged in addressing urbanization challenges and proposing solutions to urban futures in the context of the New Urban Agenda. This process has helped established alliances between partners and deliver key results on the ground. Since 2015, more than 150 UTCs have been organized, engaging about 45,000 participants worldwide.
About the UN-Habitat Covid-19 Campaign
During the immediate response phase to the COVID-19 crisis, the campaign’s goals are to show-case and advocate on key actions, give a voice to actors at the frontline of the pandemic to share their actions and engage partners to address the challenges in cities and communities. By the end of the pandemic and during the recovery phase, the campaign’s goals are to share lessons learned and promote alliances and initiatives that will help strengthen the future resilience of cities and communities through collaborations, partnerships and on the basis of solidarities.
About COVID-19 Urban Thinkers Campuses
In order to take stock of the multiple responses at different levels and scales by the various actors, there is a need to bring together organizations in order to exchange and learn on the different types of actions and their effectiveness. With the diverse actors and the community of partners it represents, WUC will facilitate this conversation through a series of UTCs in order to:
  • Present current actions on the ground in different contexts;
  • Analyze good practices and solutions in the different domains of action to address and response the Covid-19 crisis;
  • Extract lessons from the crisis and make recommendations for building resilience in cities and communities.
The recommendations will be embedded in The City We Need manifesto version (3.0) entitled: The City We Need in the Post-COVID19 World.
For more information about the UN-Habitat Covid-19 Campaign and how to join visit https://unhabitat.org/