Criminalization of Homelessness and Mental Health in the United States: Shadow Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee For the United States’ Review of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
This report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee in advance of its review of the U.S. to take place on October 17-18, 2023. The Committee has previous condemnation of the criminalization of homelessness in the U.S. as it raised “concern of discrimination and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.” In this report, we ask the Committee to extend its attention to four specific practices that have emerged since 2014. First is the growth of well-funded efforts to push criminalization at the national and state level. Second is the practice of federal police agencies to engage in criminalization of homelessness. Third is the use of criminalization against not only persons experiencing homelessness themselves, but also those who seek to provide them with food and other aid. Last is the expanded use of the civil involuntary treatment and commitment process against unhoused persons with mental health disabilities. Our joint submission concludes with proposed questions to the U.S. government as well as our policy recommendations for the Committee’s urgent consideration in addressing these issues.
Read the full report by clicking the link above.