[JURIST] A group of UN human rights experts on Wednesday welcomed a decision [press release] by the government of the Netherlands to offer aid to municipalities that provide emergency shelter to homeless migrants. The UN experts described the decision as a welcome change from the Netherlands’ refusal to support those who aided this group. The experts stated “[w]e commend the Dutch government for recognizing by its change of position that anyone, irrespective of whether their stay in a country is lawful, has the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing and housing, and that the responsible government is obliged to allocate resources consistent with its international human rights obligations.” The rights experts urged the Netherlands government to give aid to these municipalities in December after three separate rights groups made clear that immediate action was required. The rights experts stated they look forward to hearing the plan for funding the municipalities that seek to help the homeless migrants.
Homelessness is a problem throughout the world. Earlier this month Amnesty International announced [JURIST report] that thousands remain homeless after the earthquake in Haiti from 2010, further stating that the influx of aid failed to lead to long-term solutions. In November homes [JURIST report] in Palestine and Israel were demolished to punish those accused of crimes, adding to a homeless population in an already military-run state. In August 2012 JURIST Guest Columnist Sapphire Jule King of the International Freedom Coalition argued [JURIST op-ed] that states need to enact comprehensive legislation to protect the homeless.