Homeless children in Ireland ‘worse off than those in UK’

Homeless children in Ireland ‘worse off than those in UK’

The ISPCC today said that children who are currently homeless in Ireland are worse off than children who are homeless in the UK.

The charity has raised concerns about the ongoing placement of children in emergency accommodation and the lack of standards associated with hotel use and the duration of stays.

The ISPCC marked Human Rights Day today calling on the state to put in place minimum legal protections for homeless children, including a right to temporary accommodation and advice and assistance; the establishment of a programme of alternative accommodation for homeless families to reduce the use of emergency accommodation; and a commitment to outlaw use of emergency accommodation for homeless children from 2018 onwards.

The right to an adequate standard of living is recognised in article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to the October homelessness statistics from the Department of Housing, there are currently 2,470 children across the country who are experiencing homelessness, an increase of 44 children in one month.

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive further reported that 1,608 children are living in emergency accommodation in the Dublin region.

These children are worse off than children who are homeless in the UK because they have fewer legal protections, according to the charity.

ISPCC chief executive Grainia Long stated: “The figures of children who are homeless continue to rise. 44 children are newly homeless this month, more than a class full of children that will have no home this Christmas.

“The right to an adequate standard of living is a critical right for all children – including those who are homeless and living in emergency accommodation.

“The state must therefore ensure limited use of emergency accommodation, similar to neighbouring jurisdictions, like Scotland.

“ISPCC is concerned that the progress made so far to bring forward alternatives to emergency accommodation in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness is insufficient if the target of ceasing to use emergency accommodation for children by mid 2017 is to be met.

“Urgent action is needed to heed the advice of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child earlier this year, to provide housing for homeless children, adequate to their health and well-being."

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