Maria Jose Aldanas, UE – Bruxelles, Policy officer at FEANTSA – European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless people
- Recommendation that the status of street social workers is officially recognised in the country.
- Improve the skills of street social workers through training and an appropriate law enabling them to work effectively.
- Criminalisation of the homeless. Sanctions are not the solution; instead the housing issue needs to be addressed. Some police actions are the root cause of harassment, stigmatisation, and hate crime. Homeless people need to be protected from fines and sanctions, and should benefit from safe alternatives.
- The government and the NGOs were highly creative in finding practical solutions and must continue in the same vein once lockdown is over.
Arlyne Fernandez, Philippines, Deputy Executive Director of Virlanie and coordinator of the Philippines’ national platform – DI-SWN
- In Manilla, the government has distributed food and financial support because the population relies on the informal economy to earn a living. A real display of solidarity between the communities, from the public, NGOs, and the private sector.
- Sharp increase in online child sex abuse because of the need to earn money.
- The street social workers have found it difficult to work, get in contact with communities, and have had to draw on community leaders and social media.
- Need to discuss alternative plans for pursuing our work on the streets and in low-income communities, with strict application of social distancing measures.