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[Resource] A National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada: A Human Rights Approach

April 30, 2020

Homeless encampments threaten many human rights, including most directly the right to housing. People living in encampments face profound challenges with respect to their health, security, and wellbeing, and encampment conditions typically fall far below international human rights standards. Residents are frequently subject to criminalization, harassment, violence, and discriminatory treatment. Encampments are thus instances of both human rights violations of those who are forced to rely on them for their homes, as well as human rights claims, advanced in response to violations of the right to housing. Ultimately, encampments are a reflection of Canadian governments’ failure to successfully implement the right to adequate housing. As encampments increasingly emerge across Canada, there is an urgent need for governments to interact with them in a manner that upholds human rights. This Protocol, developed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing and her lead researcher, Kaitlin Schwan, with the input of many experts, outlines eight Principles to guide governments and other stakeholders in adopting a rights-based response to encampments. While encampments are not a solution to homelessness, it is critical that governments uphold the basic human rights and dignity of encampment residents while they wait for adequate, affordable housing solutions that meet their needs. The Principles outlined in this Protocol are based in international human rights law, and the recognition that encampment residents are rights holders and experts in their own lives. The Protocol is intended to assist governments in realizing the right to adequate housing for this group.

See full report here

  • By

    Leilani Farha. Kaitlin Schwan

  • Published

    Jan 19, 2024

  • Subject Area
    • Age-friendly Communities
    • Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Relations
    • Home Support
    • Intercultural/Interfaith/Interlingual; Immigrants, Refugees, and Other Newcomers
    • LGBTQIA2S+
    • Non-profit / Charitable sector
    • Seniors’ Planning & Action Tables/Committees
    • Safety, Security, Finances, & Personal Planning
    • Mental Health and Wellness
    • Housing
    • General Health and Wellness
  • Audience
    • Academics
    • Funders
    • Government (Politicians, Policy Makers) and Health Authorities
    • Service Providers (Non-profits, Community Organizations, Local government)
    • Health Authorities
    • Government
    • Caregivers, Seniors & Volunteers
  • Category
    • Best Practices
    • Evidence-based & emerging practices
    • Research & Evidence
    • Research & Reports
    • Impact Stories


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