Youth Rights! Right Now!

Along with our amazing partners, CWP is excited to announce the release of Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide.

Youth homelessness is a pressing issue worldwide that needs national attention.  Despite the enormity of the problem, important work is being done at national, regional and community levels around the world to prevent and address youth homelessness.

Youth Guide Infographic

Every day dedicated policymakers, educators, social workers, volunteers and young people are improving the lives of homeless youth. To help with this important work, this guide brings human rights to the forefront of decision making with an aim to assist in the identification of systemic causes of homelessness and human rights solutions.

Why are we suggesting a human rights approach to youth homelessness?

  • Human rights require a paradigm shift, so that instead of creating laws to punish those who are homeless, these individuals must be recognized as equal in dignity and rights. Governments must address the systemic causes of homelessness, provide legal protections from discrimination and ensure access to adequate housing;
  • Rights allow youth, as rights holders, to bring forward concerns unique to their community and demand that they be addressed as human rights issues. This helps youth experiencing homelessness feel respected and valued in their communities and in the decision-making process;
  • By embracing human rights as a legal framework for policy and decision-making, governments and other actors are required to be mindful of the effects and consequences of every policy decision (including budgeting decisions or land allocation) for young persons’ access to adequate housing and;
  • A human rights approach prevents homelessness by coordinating programs and targeting policies that may perpetuate or support homelessness. It looks beyond the physical needs of homeless youth to their social and emotional needs by recognizing them as equal citizens with a right to dignity and full participation.

This guide was developed by Canada Without Poverty, in partnership with A Way Home Canada, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless). Funding was provided by Maytree and The Laidlaw Foundation.

Learn more by clicking on the image below to read Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide.

Youth Rights Cover Page