THE UK Common Rights Project has launched a national campaign to
promote the right of homeless people to shelter, food, drinking
water, and sanitation.
The campaign, led by the charity Housing Justice, states that
hundreds of homeless people living on the streets in the UK exist
in conditions that contravene the UN Declaration of Universal
Rights. It calls on the UK to honour Article 25 of the Declaration,
which states that: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living
adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his
family, including food, clothing, housing. . ."
At a launch held at the House of Commons on 18 December, the
campaign held the première of a film, UK Common
Rights, which depicts the experiences of rough sleepers as
they struggle each day to eat, and find washing and toilet
facilities, and a bed for the night.
The project is setting up two working groups in London, in
Southwark and Islington, to devise innovative and practical
solutions. The chief executive of Housing Justice, Alison Gelder,
said: "This campaign is an opportunity to give a voice to the
people whose rights are being denied, and to make a difference to
The film, stills, and other campaign resources are available at
The launch coincided with publication of research by the
homelessness charity Anchor House, which calculated that,
nationally, one in every 105 UK households is at risk of
repossession or eviction.
Researchers looked at court orders and evictions, and identified
areas where the risk was greatest. They found that Newham, in east
London, where Anchor House is based, is the worst in the country:
one in 35 households had a court order made against it in 2013.
The director of Anchor House, Keith Fernett, said: "Benefits
cuts are resulting in a society wherethe poorest are excluded,
andmore people than ever are on the brink of losing their home. We
. . . have got some serious thinking to do if we're going to solve