Every country must commit to eliminating homelessness by 2030: UN
March 4, Geneva: Homelessness is found in every country in the world and is spreading with impunity, a United Nations human rights expert today warned, calling on governments to recognize homelessness as a human rights crisis and commit to its eradication by 2030, in line with the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Presenting her report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha said that homelessness is found throughout the world, in all countries regardless of the level of development of their economic and governance systems.
Widespread homelessness is evidence of the failure of States to protect and ensure the human rights of the most vulnerable populations, Farha said. The social stigma, discrimination, violence and criminalization experienced by people who are homeless.
She blamed “persistent inequality, unfair distribution of land and property and poverty occurring on a global scale,” among the factors for homelessness, saying that State acquiescence to real estate speculation and unregulated markets is “the result of treating housing as a commodity rather than as a human right.”
Farha also urged the need for “fighting the invisibility of the issue” through national strategies anchored in human rights and rights to adequate housing.
She called on governments to commit to destroying homelessness by 2030, the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seek to eliminate poverty, hunger and a raft of social ills.
She noted that this year could be a catalyst for the discussion on homelessness as the global community also prepares for Habitat III, the upcoming UN world conference on housing and sustainable urban development.
The Oslo Times