Breaking the cycle: Ending the criminalization of homelessness and poverty

Study by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and by the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living and on the right to non-discrimination in this context.

Persons experiencing homelessness and poverty are extremely vulnerable to human rights violations. Homelessness is, by itself, an affront to human dignity and a serious violation of the right to adequate housing and other human rights. States have an obligation to prevent and eliminate homelessness, including by guaranteeing access to safe, affordable, and adequate housing. Similarly, poverty is a cause and consequence of a broad range of human rights violations, and States have an obligation to end and eradicate poverty. This study examines a double victimization of persons experiencing homelessness and poverty – laws, policies and practices that penalize and criminalize life-sustaining activities in public spaces. It is based on over 130 submissions from all world regions and consultations held with States, local governments, human rights institutions, civil society organizations and academic experts.

Year: 2024
Resource Type:
Cost of Exclusion
Courts Systems
Human Rights
Petty Offences
Public Health
Pre-trial Detention
Use of Public Spaces
Australia & the Pacific Islands
Latin America & the Caribbean
Middle East
North America
People Groups:
Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
Children & Young People
Elderly People
Human Rights Defenders
Informal Workers
LGBTQIA+ persons
Marginalised Ethnic Persons
People in Detention
People with Disabilities
People affected by Displacement (including migrants and refugees)
People who use Drugs
People facing Exclusion
People experiencing Homelessness or live in informal settlements
People experiencing Poverty
Sex Workers
Women and Girls
Law Reform
Policy Reform