Homelessness as a Challenge for the European Union
ACCESS EUROPE Research Paper No. 2017/05
25 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2017 Last revised: 16 Apr 2018
Date Written: December 21, 2017
This paper contains a broad overview of law and governance aspects pertaining to the problem of homelessness. The prevention of homelessness has become a constitutional imperative. Yet this does not mean to say the law always works in favour of the inclusion and emancipation of the homeless. Rigid exclusions remain, in particular for immigrants, and repressive policies are on the rise. In the meantime courts soften the worse consequences of these policies by offering human rights remedies. This paper addresses the question of how European policy can respond to this state of affairs. Is it feasible that the remaining restrictions applying in the field of freedom of movement and access to social rights could be lifted in order to give full protection to all mobile citizens, including those with insufficient resources of their own? Or is it possible to introduce common standards for the protection of the homeless in an EU instrument who are in a vulnerable situation, regardless of their nationality?
Keywords: homelessness, social human rights, public order, repression, migration, freedom of movement of persons, protection of asylum seekers
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