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On 15 November, the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway (CDLP) and the FEANTSA Working Group on Housing Rights organised a Round Table Event to examine the emerging human rights issues linking homelessness and disability. A number of key international human rights reports have begun a synthesis of approaches in the two sectors, particularly relevant the latest report by UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, on the right to housing of persons with disabilities.

 Speakers:

  • Martin O’ Connor - Cope Galway on Contemporary homelessness issues in practice
  • Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the CDLP on the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD)
  • Sandra McCullagh, Inclusion Ireland on General Comment 5 on article 19 of CRPD: Living independently and being included in the community.
  • Maria Jose Aldanas FEANTSA- Housing Rights Watch on the opportunities that international human rights reports and documents represent to change policy and practice in the homeless sector.

 Attendees included local and national homelessness NGOS, public bodies and NUI Galway post-graduate students. 

A discussion took place after the roundtable showing the many cross-overs between the disability and the homeless sector. The participants acknowledged the potential of the disability human rights paradigm to bring new life in the work of homeless service providers. There seemed to be parallel tracks in dialogue: in relation to housing on one side and de-institutionalisation on the other side. The role of the Housing First model for homeless people with high support needs was also discussed.   

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