America - world leader - in homeless abuse?

“On August 24, 2012, in an official report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, a top UN investigator said that the United States’ failure to provide homeless persons access to water and sanitary facilities “could … amount to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.” The report was issued by UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque.” (Whitney Gent, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty)

The UN Special Rapporteur’s report states: “The United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, must ensure that everyone [has access] to sanitation which is safe, hygienic, secure and which provides privacy and ensures dignity. An immediate, interim solution is to ensure access to restroom facilities in public places, including during the night. The long-term solution to homelessness must be to ensure adequate housing.”

According to Amnesty International (AI) and the U.N. General Assembly access to toilets is a human right, as they are “essential to human well-being”.

Similarly, according to AI: “Housing is a basic human need and fundamental human right”.

OK, tell that to the thousands of homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles today! Then, take a trip to Venice Beach, a district of Los Angeles and ask the homeless people sleeping on the street what these “rights” mean to them. They will likely laugh in your face and tell you there is no housing for them in Venice; and the only available public toilets, located at the beach, are locked from approx. 9:00 pm -  6:00 am, daily.

So where do they ‘go’ when they need to use the toilet after 9:00 pm and before 6:00 am (the beach is now also under curfew from midnight to 5:00 am nightly)? Good question!

This is a health time-bomb waiting to explode and it doesn’t just apply to Los Angeles but to every city where homeless people are forced to live on the streets without adequate sanitation.

How is it possible that a country as advanced as America can turn a blind eye to this most fundamental human need?

Make your voice heard - tell the Mayor of Los Angeles and other city, county, state and federal officials that it’s time to make access to public toilets a human right in America.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Manager, L.A. Dept. of Rec & Parks
    Jon Mukri
  • Councilmember for CD 11
    Mike Bonin
  • Los Angeles City Mayor
    Eric Garcetti

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