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World Habitat Day

The United Nations’ (UN) World Habitat Day is annually celebrated on the first Monday of October to reflect on the state of human settlements and people’s right to sufficient shelter. It also aims to remind people that they are responsible for the habitat of future next generations.

What Do People Do?

World Habitat Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, including in places such as Angola, China, India, Mexico, Poland, Uganda and the United States. Various activities around the world are organized to examine the problems of rapid urbanization and its impact on the environment and human poverty.  Activities may include awards ceremonies, including the “Habitat Scroll of Honour” award.

Public Life

World Habitat Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The UN’s World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right”. Nairobi was allocated as the host city for the observance that year. This annual event is held on the first Monday of October with a new theme each year. Previous themes included: “Shelter for the Homeless” (1987); “Our Neighbourhood” (1995); “Future Cities” (1997); “Safer Cities” (1998); “Women in Urban Governance” (2000); “Cities without Slums” (2001) and “Water and Sanitation for Cities” (2003).

An important highlight of the day is the “Habitat Scroll of Honour” award, which was launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHSP) in 1989. It is believed to be the world’s most prestigious human settlements award and aims to acknowledge initiatives that make outstanding contributions in areas such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.

Symbols

The UNHSP logo and slogan are often associated with World Habitat Day. The logo features The logo features a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of an olive tree encapsulating a circle. Within the circle is a figure of a person with his/her arms stretched out. The figure appears to be standing in front of a triangle. Underneath the image are the words “UN-HABITAT”. The slogan: “Shelter For All” is written in capital letters and sometimes appears next to the logo.

World Habitat Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010MonOct 4World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2011MonOct 3World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2012MonOct 1World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2013MonOct 7World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2014MonOct 6World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2015MonOct 5World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2016MonOct 3World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2017MonOct 2World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2018MonOct 1World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2019MonOct 7World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance
2020MonOct 5World Habitat DayUnited Nations observance

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