The Dutch criminal code does not directly criminalize homelessness.  However, certain of its laws can indirectly affect homeless people. These include:


  • Squatting: Dutch law makes it an offence to enter a building and to not leave immediately upon the owner's request. it is an offence to occupy a building dedicated to public service. Since 2010, squatting has been treated as a criminal offence.


  • Public Drinking: It is a criminal offence in the Netherlands to be visibly drunk in public. 


  • Begging: municipal governments are authorized to impose restrictions on begging, although begging is not incriminated in the Dutch penal code. 


  • Administrative repression: local authorities, under the charge of the Burgomaster, may create “disturbance” areas where police have extended powers to banish at-risk users. Dutch authorities also have the power to impose administrative sanctions.