Language Switcher

Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, A/HRC/31/54, 30 December 2015

V. Homelessness and marginalized groups

39. Discrimination is both a cause and a consequence of homelessness. Those who face discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, place of origin, socioeconomic status, family status, gender, mental or physical disability, health condition, sexual orientation and/or gender identity and age are more likely to become homeless and, once homeless, experience additional discrimination. The intersections of other grounds of discrimination with homelessness vary in different countries …

44. Most families of street-connected children have experienced persistent discrimination, poverty and social exclusion. Street-connected children and young people face particular challenges, including the threat of being removed from their parents for neglect and put into orphanages or foster systems.[30] Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people are overrepresented in homeless populations in some countries and face additional stigmatization and social exclusion from their families and communities, and are more vulnerable to violence and more likely to be turned away from shelters.

IX. Conclusions and recommendations

87. Homelessness disproportionately affects particular groups, including women, young people, children, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees, the working poor, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, each in different ways, but with common structural causes. These include: (a) the retreat by all levels of government from social protection and social housing and the privatization of services, infrastructure, housing and public space; (b)the abandonment of the social function of land and housing; (c) the failure to address growing inequalities in income, wealth and access to land and property; (d) the adoption of fiscal and development policies that support deregulation and real estate speculation and prevent the development of affordable housing options; and (e), in the face of urbanization, the marginalization and mistreatment of those who are most precariously housed in informal settlements, living in temporary overcrowded structures, without access to water, sanitation or other basic services and living under the constant threat of eviction.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRHousing-2015-eng

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 30. Responses to the questionnaire from the organizations El Caracol AC of Mexico and Habitat for Humanity of Hungary.