3d assessment of follow-up: European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) v. the Netherlands, Complaint No. 86/2012, decision on the merits of 2 July 2014, Resolution ResChS(2015)4

3d assessment of follow-up: European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) v. the Netherlands, Complaint No. 86/2012, decision on the merits of 2 July 2014, Resolution ResChS(2015)4

Violation of Article 31§2

Decision of the Committee on the merits of the complaint

Resolution ResChS(2015)4

The Committee found violation of Article 31§2 on the grounds that the legislation and practice of the Netherlands fail to ensure access to community shelter for the purpose of preventing homelessness and that the quality and quantity of shelters available to vulnerable groups do not fulfill the requirements of the Charter.

Information provided by the Government

The Government in its report registered on 30 October 2018, refers to the information submitted in its previous reports (2015 and 2016) and provided the following additional information:

In 2015, a special commission formulated an advice (“From supported housing in an institution to a supported home”) on how the protective housing and community shelter services could best be organized. The municipalities and other parties have subscribed to this advice and have been working on regional action plans. In these plans municipalities describe how homelessness can be prevented and – when homelessness still occurs – how they will provide good community shelter services. Special attention is given to regional problems of homelessness and the actions that need to be taken to ensure people can live on their own again or in a specific home care institution. Research in 2017 showed that every region was working on a plan, or already had a plan. Municipalities realize that there are still some topics that need further development. Municipalities want to work together on some of these topics and learn from each other. Those topics have been gathered in a special programme (the so-called Strategic Agenda for supported housing and community shelter). Four national ministries and eleven national organizations (such as the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and the Federation of Shelters) have committed themselves to the program, and over 400 professionals and clients have contributed to the realization of this program. It contains topics such as debts, housing, and access to and quality of the community shelter. The programme supports regional organizations with the (accelerated) implementation of the advice of the special commission and the regional action plans.

In recent months special attention has been given to the access to community shelters. This was a result of the negative outcome of the assessment of the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) in 2017 which showed that the access didn’t improve enough since the last assessment in 2015. Concrete measures have been initiated. For example: a special commission has been established for dealing with conflicts between municipalities about the location of shelter, there have been several regional sessions with professionals about the access to shelter. On top of that, the State Secretary has spoken to 10 aldermen about access to shelter in their municipalities and the improvements that are needed. In 2018 a new assessment to the access to shelter will take place. In this way the organizations in the Netherlands work on prevention of homelessness and – when homelessness still occurs – providing good community shelter services.

Assessment of the follow-up

The Committee notes the positive measures taken to remedy the violation found. According to the information provided results showed that access to shelter has improved in the country. A set of quality standards for community shelter services, with specific standards for children and young people have been developed. Monitoring has been improved by local and regional authorities responsible for shelter keep track of information about the number of requests for shelter and the number of clients moving in and out of shelter.

However, the Committee notes from the Fourth overview of housing exclusion in Europe 2019 from Fondation Abbé Pierre and Feantsa that in 2016, Statistics in the Netherlands (CBS) estimated that there were 31,000 homeless people aged 18 to 65 years in the Netherlands. This covers people who have been registered as homeless by a local authority (people sleeping rough, people in short-term and emergency accommodation and people staying with friends or family in an ad hoc manner). 40% of this homeless population was concentrated in the main cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht (also known as the G4) see https://www.feantsa.org/download/oheeu_2019_eng_netherlands2573617061818251625.pdf. Considering the high number of homeless people as indicated above, the Committee finds that the situation has not been brought into conformity with Article 31§2 of the Charter.

As regards the violation of Article 31§2 on the grounds that the right to shelter of adult migrants in an irregular situation and without adequate resources in the Netherlands is not guaranteed, this issue is examined under the assessment of the follow-up of the decision on Complaint Conference of European Churches (CEC) v. the Netherlands, Complaint No. 90/2013. The Committee considers that the violation has been addressed and decides to close its examination in this respect.
Violation of Article 19§4c

Decision of the Committee on the merits of the complaint

The Committee found a violation of 19§4c on grounds there is no right to appeal in matters concerning the accommodation of migrant workers and their families.

Information provided by the Government

The Government in its report registered on 30 October 2018, refers to the information submitted in its previous reports (2015 and 2016) and provided the following additional information:

In 2015, a special commission formulated an advice (“From supported housing in an institution to a supported home”) on how the protective housing and community shelter services could best be organized. The municipalities and other parties have subscribed to this advice and have been working on regional action plans. In these plans municipalities describe how homelessness can be prevented and – when homelessness still occurs – how they will provide good community shelter services. Special attention is given to regional problems of homelessness and the actions that need to be taken to ensure people can live on their own again or in a specific home care institution. Research in 2017 showed that every region was working on a plan, or already had a plan. Municipalities realize that there are still some topics that need further development. Municipalities want to work together on some of these topics and learn from each other. Those topics have been gathered in a special programme (the so-called Strategic Agenda for supported housing and community shelter). Four national ministries and eleven national organizations (such as the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and the Federation of Shelters) have committed themselves to the program, and over 400 professionals and clients have contributed to the realization of this program. It contains topics such as debts, housing, and access to and quality of the community shelter. The programme supports regional organizations with the (accelerated) implementation of the advice of the special commission and the regional action plans.

In recent months special attention has been given to the access to community shelters. This was a result of the negative outcome of the assessment of the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) in 2017 which showed that the access didn’t improve enough since the last assessment in 2015. Concrete measures have been initiated. For example: a special commission has been established for dealing with conflicts between municipalities about the location of shelter, there have been several regional sessions with professionals about the access to shelter. On top of that, the State Secretary has spoken to 10 aldermen about access to shelter in their municipalities and the improvements that are needed. In 2018 a new assessment to the access to shelter will take place. In this way the organizations in the Netherlands work on prevention of homelessness and – when homelessness still occurs – providing good community shelter services.

Assessment of the follow-up

As there is no information on this issue in the report, the Committee asks the next report to provide information on the right to appeal in matters concerning access to shelter of migrant workers and their families, on the ground of which the Committee found a separate violation of Article19§4c of the Charter.

In view of the absence of information, the Committee finds that the situation has not yet been brought into conformity with the Charter.
Violation of Articles 13§1 and 13§4

Decision of the Committee on the merits of the complaint

It also found violation of Article 13§1 and of Article 13§4 on the grounds the right to emergency assistance the right of adult migrants in an irregular situation and without adequate resources in the Netherlands is not guaranteed and that there is no right to appeal in matters concerning the granting of emergency assistance.

Information provided by the Government

The Government in its report registered on 30 October 2018, refers to the information submitted in its previous reports (2015 and 2016) and provided the following additional information:

In 2015, a special commission formulated an advice (“From supported housing in an institution to a supported home”) on how the protective housing and community shelter services could best be organized. The municipalities and other parties have subscribed to this advice and have been working on regional action plans. In these plans municipalities describe how homelessness can be prevented and – when homelessness still occurs – how they will provide good community shelter services. Special attention is given to regional problems of homelessness and the actions that need to be taken to ensure people can live on their own again or in a specific home care institution. Research in 2017 showed that every region was working on a plan, or already had a plan. Municipalities realize that there are still some topics that need further development. Municipalities want to work together on some of these topics and learn from each other. Those topics have been gathered in a special programme (the so-called Strategic Agenda for supported housing and community shelter). Four national ministries and eleven national organizations (such as the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and the Federation of Shelters) have committed themselves to the program, and over 400 professionals and clients have contributed to the realization of this program. It contains topics such as debts, housing, and access to and quality of the community shelter. The programme supports regional organizations with the (accelerated) implementation of the advice of the special commission and the regional action plans.

In recent months special attention has been given to the access to community shelters. This was a result of the negative outcome of the assessment of the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) in 2017 which showed that the access didn’t improve enough since the last assessment in 2015. Concrete measures have been initiated. For example: a special commission has been established for dealing with conflicts between municipalities about the location of shelter, there have been several regional sessions with professionals about the access to shelter. On top of that, the State Secretary has spoken to 10 aldermen about access to shelter in their municipalities and the improvements that are needed. In 2018 a new assessment to the access to shelter will take place. In this way the organizations in the Netherlands work on prevention of homelessness and – when homelessness still occurs – providing good community shelter services.

Assessment of the follow-up

As regards the violation of Article 13§1 and of Article 13§4 on the grounds that the right to emergency assistance of adult migrants in an irregular situation and without adequate resources in the Netherlands is not guaranteed, this issue is examined under the assessment of the follow-up of the decision on Complaint Conference of European Churches (CEC) v. the Netherlands, Complaint No. 90/2013. The Committee considers that the violation has been addressed and decides to close its examination in this respect.
Violation of Article 30

Decision of the Committee on the merits of the complaint

The Committee found a violation of Article 30 on the grounds of failure to provide shelter leading to poverty and social exclusion.

Information provided by the Government

The Government in its report registered on 30 October 2018, refers to the information submitted in its previous reports (2015 and 2016) and provided the following additional information:

In 2015, a special commission formulated an advice (“From supported housing in an institution to a supported home”) on how the protective housing and community shelter services could best be organized. The municipalities and other parties have subscribed to this advice and have been working on regional action plans. In these plans municipalities describe how homelessness can be prevented and – when homelessness still occurs – how they will provide good community shelter services. Special attention is given to regional problems of homelessness and the actions that need to be taken to ensure people can live on their own again or in a specific home care institution. Research in 2017 showed that every region was working on a plan, or already had a plan. Municipalities realize that there are still some topics that need further development. Municipalities want to work together on some of these topics and learn from each other. Those topics have been gathered in a special programme (the so-called Strategic Agenda for supported housing and community shelter). Four national ministries and eleven national organizations (such as the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and the Federation of Shelters) have committed themselves to the program, and over 400 professionals and clients have contributed to the realization of this program. It contains topics such as debts, housing, and access to and quality of the community shelter. The programme supports regional organizations with the (accelerated) implementation of the advice of the special commission and the regional action plans.

In recent months special attention has been given to the access to community shelters. This was a result of the negative outcome of the assessment of the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) in 2017 which showed that the access didn’t improve enough since the last assessment in 2015. Concrete measures have been initiated. For example: a special commission has been established for dealing with conflicts between municipalities about the location of shelter, there have been several regional sessions with professionals about the access to shelter. On top of that, the State Secretary has spoken to 10 aldermen about access to shelter in their municipalities and the improvements that are needed. In 2018 a new assessment to the access to shelter will take place. In this way the organizations in the Netherlands work on prevention of homelessness and – when homelessness still occurs – providing good community shelter services.

Assessment of the follow-up

The Committee in its decision considered that in light of the findings made under Articles 31§2, it followed that the legislation and policy concerning the access to emergency shelter has brought about a situation where homeless persons in need of shelter are not offered shelter, leading to poverty and social exclusion.

On the basis of the information available to it, in particular the high number of persons remaining homeless, the Committee is still unable to conclude that access to a shelter, including a shelter for the homeless, for the purpose of preventing homelessness is ensured and that the quality and quantity of shelters available to vulnerable groups fulfill the requirements of Article 30 the Charter concerning the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion.

The Committee finds that the situation has not been brought into conformity with the Charter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

code