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The homeless and their rights: FNI's update for the United Nations

Updated: Mar 12

In response to the global challenge of homelessness and extreme poverty, the United Nations has emphasized the importance of member states to review and reform laws criminalizing life-sustaining activities in public spaces.

Furthering this effort, the UN issued a call for input from all stakeholders regarding existing laws and practices that may penalize individuals for their home status or poverty-related activities.

The 2021 study

Following the UN's call for input, the Facts and Norms Institute (FNI) initially submitted a comprehensive report in 2021, co-authored by Henrique Napoleão Alves, Fernanda Alves de Carvalho, and Mosabbir Hossain. This initial submission detailed the legal and social landscapes of Brazil, France, and Poland, focusing on laws and practices affecting the homeless and extremely poor populations.

FNI's 2021 report highlighted the multifaceted nature of criminalizing poverty in Brazil, examining legislation, municipal policies, and instances of human rights violations against the homeless.

The new research

Since the 2021 report, significant developments have occurred in Brazil, most notably the enactment of the Father Júlio Lancellotti Act (Law No. 14.489/2022), which aims to combat hostile architecture and improve the inclusion of homeless individuals in public spaces. Despite this progress, challenges persist, prompting FNI to prepare an updated input to the UN.

FNI's new report reflects on recent legislative changes, court decisions, and government actions in Brazil concerning homelessness and extreme poverty. It elaborates on the evolving legal framework, including the Supreme Federal Tribunal's mandates to enforce the National Policy for the Homeless Population and the federal government's efforts to regulate the Father Júlio Lancellotti Act.


To read the full report, click here:

Alves HN. Criminalization of poverty and extreme poverty [update]. UN Input. BR
Download PDF • 1.65MB


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