Lifting the cloak of invisibility: looking at homelessness through the human rights lense : a study on human rights as an instrument to end homelessness
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Defining and measuring homelessness is one of the most difficult tasks in the European Union: numbers are twisted, the extreme poverty which permeates through society is underestimated - its victims blamed and made invisible. Social and economic structures fail some of our most vulnerable people in society, while gross distorted images and stigmas surrounding homelessness severely impact progress in this realm, leaving them hopeless. The definition of homelessness includes groups of people who live in inadequate housing, in institutions, on the streets, as well as the 'hidden homeless'. Human life is not only about survival, but to lead a dignified existence and without adequate housing this is not possible. Alternative approaches are necessary as homelessness in Europe is on the rise. The focus of this thesis is how to apply human rights law and human rights principles to create one or more viable solutions to end homelessness. Hope wastes away in prison-like shelters for the homeless, as other solutions are ignored and the traditional system persists; Poland's city of Poznan will be used as a case study.