Criminalization of Homelessness Has Serious Human Rights Implications

In partnership with the Yale Law School Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic and UC Irvine Human Rights Clinic, the Law Center has submitted a report  to the UN Human Rights Committee as it prepares for its review of U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights later this year.

The report focuses on the criminalization of homelessness, which UN experts have said may violate protections again cruel, inhuman[e], and degrading treatment. Even the U.S. government  acknowledged in 2012 — for the first time in history — that this practice may violate Americans’ human rights under the Covenant and other treaties.

In preparation for its review, the UN Human Rights Committee will soon adopt a list of key issues that the U.S. must address when it formally reports on its compliance with the Covenant in October. The Law Center will continue to push the Committee and the U.S. to acknowledge and address the criminalization of homelessness as part of this process, including coordinating a more in-depth shadow report in the coming months.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact Law Center Human Rights Program Director Eric Tars.

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