Homelessness is often a symptom and cause of poverty and social exclusion. Homelessness can also lead to other human rights violations, arising from the homeless personís consequent vulnerability and lack of security. Persons who are rendered homeless are often unable to exercise their rights to vote and to access basic services. Upholding this right is essential to achieve the right to an adequate standard of living, and also the right to non-discrimination.
According to one estimate about 2 percent of the worldís population may be homeless and another 20 percent lacks adequate housing. Homelessness is a fact of life in all countries of the world, regardless of the level of development of their economic or governance systems, and it has been spreading with impunity. But the statistics may not always speak the truth, as the governments often tend to under-report the figures of homeless population. Shortages of affordable housing, investment speculation in housing, unplanned and rapid urbanization, as well as poverty, unemployment and family breakdown are the most common reasons for homelessness.
There is a need to tackle the problem of homelessness as a human rights crisis. UN has rightly set eradication of homelessness by 2030 as Sustainable Development Goals. However, this cannot be achieved by single agency and needs the global support. India has set the goal of achieving housing for all by 2022 and one only hopes unlike other government programs this program will become an exception and achieves the target.
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