Appearing before a Parliamentary committee this month, PIAC’s Homeless Persons Legal Service and consumer StreetCare committee have called for amendments to the Protocol for Homeless People in Public Spaces (the Protocol) to ensure that it effectively upholds the principles it seeks to promote and that signatories are accountable.
The Protocol was introduced by the NSW Government in 2012 to ensure that homeless people are treated respectfully and appropriately and are not discriminated against on the basis of their homeless status. StreetCare, PIAC’s consumer committee on homelessness, played a key role in the drafting the Protocol.
In our submission to the current review, StreetCare members express support for the Protocol, but stress the need for accountability mechanisms, such as mandatory reporting requirements for all signatories. Our submission also calls for signatories to develop frameworks which demonstrate their commitment and integration of The Protocol into their organisation structure, including the provision of trauma-informed training for all staff.