What is it?
The Homeless Bill of Rights is a compilation of basic rights drawn from European and international human rights instruments specific to the situation of homeless people. The aim of this European campaign is to encourage cities in Europe to reaffirm their commitment to respect the rights of people experiencing homelessness.
International obligations at United Nations level oblige Member States to end homelessness by 2030. The Urban Poverty Partnership of the European Commission has called on cities to take human rights-based approaches to tackling urban poverty and homelessness.
What's the context?
Criminalisation measures in European cities can push homeless people further into poverty and social exclusion. Rather than punishing them, local authorities should encourage homeless people to claim their rights. Local governments should work for the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing as part of the obligation to guarantee an adequate standard of living for all citizens. Public funding should be used to assist and protect households and individuals, not to carry out costly penalisation operations.
In order to reverse the criminalization trends, we launched this European campaign, in partnership with Abbé Pierre Foundation, via the Housing Rights Watch initiative, to encourage cities to recognise the rights of homeless people.
How to endorse the Homeless Bill of Rights:
Please send us an email to express your interest in endorsing the Bill. Following this communication, you will receive a template letter to be signed by the local government. After that, your city will officially be part of the European cities that support the Bill and your name will appear on this website as a signatory local government.
Associations and NGOs
Please have a look at our proposal on actions to pursue - in order to advocate for the endorsement of the Homeless Bill of Rights in your community - on this website.
Recent events around the Homeless Bill of Rights:
Gdansk: In the coming days the Polish city of Gdansk will endorse the Homeless Bill of Rights, making them the first Polish city to do so. On the 28th February a seminar will be held at the European Solidarity Centre, Gdansk to discuss a human rights-based approach to homelessness and present Gdansk’s route to the adoption and implementation of the Homeless Bill of Rights. The Polish Guide on how to use the Homeless Bill of Rights can be found here.
Brighton & Hove: Brighton & Hove Housing Coalition (in partnership with Just Fair) have been working to get all party support for the Bill. In September 2019 the city of Brighton & Hovel discussed the adoption of the Bill although it has been referred for a consultation. More information on Brighton's take on the Bill can be found here.
France: In December 2018 a platform of French organizations presented their own text of the Homeless Bill of Rights in Paris, at the office of Abbé Pierre Foundation.
Our main goal this year is to continue to identify partners and help them disseminate the initiative at local level to convince cities to endorse the Bill. We have drafted a political and practical toolkit on how to advocate for the Homeless Bill of rights at local level addressed to social actors. (see below)
Please, contact Maria J. Aldanas for more info.