Call for inputs re-opened: Decriminalization of homelessness and poverty

In many countries persons experiencing homelessness, living in poverty or situation of vulnerability continue to be disproportionately subjected to fines, deportation, arbitrary arrest, or detention for petty offences or conduct that is necessary to survive, such as informal street vending, waste collection, sex work, begging, sleeping, cooking or eating in public places. Persons who are unable to pay fines for petty offences, such as riding public transport without a valid ticket, continue to be imprisoned in many countries. Such sanctions do not only raise human rights concerns; they also congest the criminal justice system with issues that should be better addressed by other policies tackling the root causes of homelessness or poverty.

In 2024, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing will present a joint report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to take stock of efforts made to decriminalize poverty or homeless-related offences. They invite States, local Governments, UN agencies, regional human rights mechanisms, national human rights institutions, experts, civil society organizations to make further submissions or send updated information. Deadline for submissions is 15 September 2023.

The call for inputs and related questionnaires in EnglishFrench and Spanish are available on the following website. There you find as well submissions already received.

Photo: UN Photo / Jean Marc Ferré

20 July, 2023
Type of Update:
Alternatives to Criminalisation
Cost of Exclusion
Courts Systems
Fees and Fines
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

The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status is a coalition of organisations from across the world that advocate for the repeal of laws that target people based on poverty, status or for their activism.


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