EPHA joined The European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), and Housing Rights Watch campaign Poverty is Not a Crime campaign - an European public initiative against the criminalisation of homelessness and social exclusion. The campaign is an answer to certain municipal and national governments’ (e.g. Hungary) illegalisation of homelessness.
Poverty, social exclusion and homelessness are consequences of the deep, unfair and growing socio-economic inequalities that impact on the health of the most vulnerable and empoverish sections of society.
The campaign Poverty is Not a Crime highlights the severe impact of certain draconian regulations, adopted across Europe, that punish homeless people with fines, court orders and even prison. The crimes: spending time in public spaces, sleeping in streets and parks, or recycling municipal garbage.
Instead of addressing the increasing level of homelessness across Europe, these measures unashamedly exacerbate the appalling living conditions in which scores find themselves throughout the continent.
Whereas many EU Member States have committed to developing integrated homeless strategies, taking the right steps towards putting an end homelessness, a number of municipal administrations are putting in place policies and laws that will, in fact, aggravate the social exclusion and human rights violations of those unfortunate enough to experience homelessness.
The campaign will organise next year a series of events across Europe including a research report detailing the extent of the criminalisation of homelessness in 10 EU cities.
For more information on the campaign and how to join it:
Criminalisation of Homelessness - background document.
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