Thursday 26 January 2023

Evictions conflict with human and children’s rights, ombudsmen say

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The national ombudsman and children’s ombudsman have told the government that human and children’s rights are not being properly taken into account when families are evicted from their homes.

For example, the ombudsmen say, families are not supposed to end up homeless after an eviction but some are. In addition, the rights of children are often ignored.

‘If councils do help out, families are often placed in all sorts of temporary housing,’ said Reinier van Zutphen. ‘Then their lives become one of survival, rather than working toward the future. Councils are not sufficiently aware of this, and are therefore failing to meet their duty of care.’

Children are also often forgotten, children’s ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer said. ‘They are never talked to,’ she said. ‘They get no support and they are not prepared for what the future will bring. Eviction has an enormous impact on children.’

The ombudsmen are calling on the government to check out legislation to make sure it complies human and children’s rights. In addition, they say local authorities should be required to provide appropriate housing for families who have been evicted.

They also want local authorities to draw up policy for involving parents and children in the eviction process and providing proper information to everyone involved.

There are no accurate figures available to indicate how many families are evicted from their homes in a year. This too needs to be changed, the ombudsmen said.

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