UN experts criticize Hungary for criminalizing homelessness

Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing

Up to 35,000 homeless people in Hungary face heavy fines and harsh prison terms, following a move by the country's parliament to enact laws which criminalize homelessness.

Two United Nations human Rights experts say the anti-homelessness law was not only discriminatory but may lead to the violation of the basic rights of those living in poverty.

Magdalena Sepúlveda, UN expert on extreme poverty and human rights says the economic and financial crises have created a wave of homeless people in Hungary who needed to be supported as opposed to being labeled as criminals.

The UN expert on the right to adequate housing Raquel Rolnik says incarceration is not a housing solution, adding that states have an increased obligation to provide shelter to those in need.

The experts note that, given the extremely high costs of policing, detention, prosecution and incarceration, available resources would be better spent on devising housing solutions for the homeless community.

Filed under Today's News.
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