World Homeless Day

The World Homeless Day is marked on October 10. Its aim is to draw attention to the needs of homeless people, as one of the most vulnerable groups in society.

All human beings have the right to secure, peaceful and decent living conditions. The Public Defender of Georgia pays special attention to the supervision of the realization of this right.

In Georgia, we have many challenges relating to the rights situation of homeless people. The absence of a government strategy and relevant action plan for the homeless, a full-fledged legal definition of a homeless person and the necessary framework legislation for the realization of the right to adequate housing reman problematic. In addition, we do not have a unified database of homeless persons or minimum standards for arranging social housing for them. It is also problematic that no information is processed to study the factors causing homelessness or the scale of homelessness in the country. As a result, the Government lacks research-based homelessness prevention policies.

The measures taken by the local authorities to respond to the needs of homeless people are inadequate and out of proportion to the scale of the challenge. The funds mobilized in the municipal budgets, which, in most cases, are intended for rental assistance, are insufficient and cannot fully cover the groups of homeless people, while in some municipalities such targeted programmes do not exist at all. In some cases, there are very difficult living conditions in the social housing provided for the homeless,[1] and they do not meet the international standards of adequate housing.[2]

It is important for the central and local authorities to take effective steps towards the gradual, irreversible and final elimination of all forms of homelessness in the country.

[1] Social housing in Nikea settlement in Kutaisi, Ozurgeti social housing, Gori social housing (located in the building of the former drug addiction treatment center), Orkhevi social housing in Tbilisi.

[2] General Comment No. 4 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, paragraphs 7 and 8.

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