FEANTSA is worried by the increasing penalization measures that directly or indirectly affect homeless people in Europe.
Such measures are often motivated by the desire to reduce the visibility of homelessness and poverty and hide them as social issues. The criminalization of begging and migration are part of the same trend.
We believe that there is a different way to address these issues. We believe that local governments should assume their responsibilities for upholding the rights of all its residents. First of all there is an obligation to ensure their rights to adequate housing and an adequate standard of living.
We believe that public funding should be used to assist families and individuals and protect them instead of carrying out costly operations to penalize them. Criminalization can push a homeless person further into poverty and social exclusion.
FEANTSA and Housing Rights Watch are launching this European campaign to encourage cities to recognize the rights of people who are homeless as a reminder that a rights-based approach is needed. We would like to open the debate among European cities to raise awareness about this essential approach.
The Homeless Bill of Rights is not legally binding but by endorsing it, the cities reaffirm their commitment to human rights law and standards which should guide all public actors towards tackling the root causes of poverty and homelessness. The campaign has already been endorsed by the cities of Barcelona (Spain), Kranj, Slovenj Gradec, Maribor and Murska Sobota (Slovenia).
You can find more information about this initiative here.
If you would like to learn more about the Homeless Bill of Rights, click here.
For more information, please contact: Maria Aldanas