Report to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review

In September 2016, Westcourt in partnership with Council for the Homeless NI produced a paper on homelessness for the Edmund Rice International NGO in Geneva. This report was submitted to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States.

Housing is a basic human right and our report highlights the existence of a serious homelessness situation in Belfast, compounded by issues around addiction and mental health. A series of street deaths in Belfast city centre early in 2016 are a tragic example of the failure to work together and the paper calls for greater cohesion across government departments in tackling the issue of homelessness.

The report was part of a joint submission by Edmund Rice International to draw attention to problems of homelessness in Northern Ireland and food poverty in England.

On 4th May, 2017, the United Kingdom’s human rights record was reviewed at the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of the Universal Periodic Review process.

A panel of people involved in compiling the report travelled to Geneva to deliver a side event to further highlight the reality of life for those impacted by homelessness here.