The Right to a home

The Right to a Home

You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met. You should not be disadvantaged so that you can’t do many of the things other kids can do.

Hear your right – read by Ellen O’Mahony


As Gaelige

Tá sé de cheart agat bia, éadaí agus áit shábháilte chónaithe a bheith agat agus go bhfreastalófaí ar do riachtanais bhunúsacha. Níor chóir go mbeifeá faoi mhíbhuntáiste sa chaoi is nach bhféadfá a lán rudaí a dhéanamh a dhéanann leanaí eile.

Éist le do chearta – léite ag Keeva Ní Bhaoill


Do you know?

  • The right to adequate housing is about the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity.
  • Unlike in some other European countries, there is currently no right to housing in Ireland’s Constitution or in legislation.
  • A census takes place in Ireland every 5 years and its purpose is to get a picture of social and living conditions of people living in Ireland. The latest census took place on 24 April 2016. Early results from the 2016 Census show that there are over 2 million (2,022,895) dwellings in Ireland. 259,562 of these dwellings are vacant.
  • The number of people becoming homeless in Ireland has increased in recent years. Most of the families who are becoming homeless have never been homeless before. There are several reasons for the recent increases in homelessness. A relatively new cause of homelessness has to do with people, including families with children, not being able to pay the increased cost of renting a place to live.
  • According to Focus Ireland, on average 60 families became homeless each month during 2015. More than half of all children living in emergency accommodation (hotels and B&Bs) in 2015 were under 8 years old.
  • The ‘Homelessness Report’ for July 2016 says that 2,348 children were homeless during the week 25-31 July 2016.
  • In early 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that Ireland should take steps to increase the availability of social housing and emergency housing support. Where children are affected, the housing and support provided should be suitable for children’s needs.
  • On 19 July 2016, the Government published a new ‘Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness’. This Plan includes a commitment that by mid-2017 hotels will only be used as emergency accommodation in limited circumstances. The Plan promises a range of supports for homeless families and children. These include: children will be supported to go to school; free public transport will be provided for school journeys and outings away from emergency accommodation; homeless families will have access to creches and preschool services; and solutions will be found for families in emergency accommodation who don’t have access to cooking facilities and regular healthy food.


What children and young people are saying

  • “Some people around Ballymun, you feel real sorry for them because they’re homeless and they have no house… Everybody should have a house, food, plenty of water, nice fresh water.” – Stacey (13, Ballymun)

    “Children have a right to have shelter and a home because bad things can happen at night and any time.” – - Boys and girls, Clare

    “Houses should be built for homeless people – look after people who are homeless, and there should be homes for travellers who want them.” – Boys and girls, Clare

    “The views I have on houses are no steps, just ramps and sensor lights inside and outside the house.” – 14 year old, Westmeath

    “The right to an adequate standard of living is important because everyone needs a place they can feel safe and that they can call home.”

    “I think all children should have a safe home because lots of children in the world have no homes.”

  • Homeless Truths: Children’s Experiences of Homelessness in Ireland -

    A video made by The Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Ireland, following a consultation with young people to gain an insight into first-hand experiences of accessing and using homelessness services.

Find out more

Explore More – Resource materials for Teachers & Educators

  • Citizens Information Board – ‘What does home mean to you?’ Activity to support young people to explore the concept of home. In Rights and Entitlements for Young People (2010), p.125.
  • Focus Ireland – Without your home, your life develops differently. A CSPE resource to support young people to examine issues relating to homelessness (2013).
  • Trócaire – ‘Climate Justice: Displacement’. Activities to support young people to explore the role of climate in displacing people from their homes. In Climate Change 2 Climate Justice (2015) pp. 8-12.