Public Defender Demands Realization of Homeless People’s Right to Shelter

On September 22, 2017, the Public Defender addressed the Mtskheta Municipal Council and Municipal Administration with a recommendation to register homeless people in the database, mobilize financial and/or infrastructure resources to protect them from homelessness and adopt legal acts for effective realization of the indentified resources in order to ensure realization of their right to shelter.

As a result of studying the case, it was established that the Mtskheta municipality does not have regulations for addressing the problems of homeless people; resources could not have been found for developing programs tailored to their needs for years. Accordingly, they cannot enjoy their right to shelter and therefore, the legal right of the homeless people living in the municipality is violated.

In the recommendation, the Public Defender notes that even in case of obvious lack of resources, the state is still obliged to maximally realize the right to shelter. In addition, the lack of resources does not exempt the state from the obligation of taking appropriate measures aimed at gradual and full implementation of the right. The Government should ensure monitoring of the level of non-compliance of the right and develop strategies and programs for its implementation.

The recommendation underlines the fact that implementation of administrative measures does not depend on the existence of budgetary or infrastructural funds intended for homeless persons at all. Thus, the Public Defender of Georgia requested the Mtskheta municipality to take urgent steps necessary for the realization of the right to shelter at the minimum level.

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