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Peer review on 'Homelessness from a child’s perspective', Brussels (Belgium), 27-28 June 2018

15/05/2018

The peer review in Belgium will seek to highlight the key elements of an effective child homelessness strategy to ensure the well-being and rights of children currently without a home.

The peer review will showcase the host country approaches to tackle children's homelessness and will allow the participating Member States to present their experiences as well as exchange national/regional and local policy practices in group discussions. 

Furthermore, a study visit is foreseen to show a model community-based care home where children, who have become homeless, are sheltered and cared for.

The Office of Flemish Child's Rights Commissioner will host the event and will exchange lessons learned, good and innovative practices with participants from Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania.

All documents related to this peer review, including host country discussion and horizontal overview summary papers/presentations as well as the short and synthesis report will be available on this website after the event.

Background

In Belgium, each year, hundreds of children, youngsters and their parents experience homelessness or are forced to live in harsh housing conditions.

At the end of 2014, 1,728 children in Flanders lived in homelessness services including night shelters and transit housing. In March 2017, a group of volunteers took stock and counted in one hour, 653 homeless children in Brussels.

As a response to the dire situation in Belgium, the Flemish Children's Rights Commissioner presented a dossier analyzing the root causes and proposing policy changes needed to effectively address homelessness of children and their families.

The dossier focused on five key policy elements, namely:

  • statistics and data collection to make homeless children more visible at policy level;
  • local governance and collaboration among stakeholders;
  • management of child-friendly shelters and support;
  • prevention of child homelessness; and
  • establishment of a holistic housing allocation system.