WEB OF THE STREET 26-30.10.20
International Digital Forum of Social Street Workers

Press release
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on people in street situations: a difficult (de-) confinement

The COVID-19 crisis has once again shown us that addressing poverty is still the absolute priority.

They arrived six months before lockdown, and this Roma family living on the streets of Brussels simply did not see it coming. Why had the streets been empty for two weeks? Why did the shops suddenly close? How were they going to survive? In the end, a street worker explained to them that there was a global pandemic and that a decision had been taken to lock down society. A solution urgently needed to be found for this family.”

As soon as the coronavirus lockdowns started in March 2020, Dynamo International received numerous testimonies like this one, describing the reality on the streets. These testimonies, passed on by members of Dynamo International Street Workers Network in over 50 countries, came from communities in street situations and/or in very precarious circumstances.

Bolstered by these multiple and diverse testimonies, we decided to speak out about these situations, which often go unnoticed, discuss them with other civil society and public sector stakeholders at the local and international levels, and put forward recommendations.

Four international webinars are to be held on Wednesday 28 October 2020. They will be in French, English and Spanish and will focus on topics relating to the social impact of the coronavirus crisis: violence perpetrated by the authorities, children in street situations, domestic abuse, poverty, access to housing, and other realities. This week of exchanges, testimony and discussion is being arranged under the framework of Web of the Street on 26-30 October 2020 and will take the form of various virtual activities, including a webinar with the Committee on the Rights of the Child, based in Geneva, and a débat sur « l’insécurité sociale »  with:

  • Olivier de Schutter, United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
  • Céline Nieuwenhuys (secretary-general of the Fédération des Centres de Services Sociaux, and an expert member of GEES – the Exit Strategy Policy Group).
  • Maryse Bresson (sociology lecturer at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, and the author of La pauvreté est-elle encore une question sociologique d’actualité ? Un enjeu de définition, de méthode et de théorie).

🡢 Download the press release in PDF


The street workers are available to talk about the reality of life on the streets here and further afield.

Press conference at the Résidence Palace & live broadcast on Facebook
Friday 30.10.2020 from 11:00 to 12:30


  • Cis Dewaele: Representatives of Flemish street workers
  • Wouter Beke: Flemish Minister for Wellbeing, Families, Public Health, and Poverty Reduction
  • Edwin de Boevé: Director of Dynamo International, International Network of Street Workers (53 countries)
  • Adian Drissia: An account of lockdown supplied by a 20-year-old
  • Pascale Delcomminette: WBI general administrator (French-speaking Community of Belgium).
  • Valérie Glatigny: Minister for Youth Services, WBI (To be confirmed)
  • Journalists: Questions & Answers  


Street workers are available to be interviewed about their work on the streets and answer journalists’ questions.

They work in a range of sectors:

  • Drug use – risk reduction (Brussels).
  • Outreach – youth service (Brussels – rural setting in the Liège region – young people and residents in the Wallonia campsites).
  • Street educators service from a district of Brussels (homelessness).
  • Female sex work (Liège region) and male sex work (Brussels).

Please contact Sébastien Hertsens on +32 (0)484 98 04 29 sebastienhertsens@gmail.com


Résidence Palace
Rue de la Loi 155
1040 Bruxelles


Sébastien Hertsens
Director of Dynamo AMO
+32 (0)484 98 04 29

International – French:
Edwin de Boevé
Director of Dynamo
+32 (0)477 54 71 39

Cis Dewaele
Street work coordinator in Flanders
+32 (0)496 12 17 57


The Live event will be accessible on Facebook and Youtube.