Rights for The Homeless in Argentina

Around the world today, homelessness has become a major problem. In Argentina alone, there are over 15,000 homeless people. These are people who have lost their jobs and homes, and whose only choice was to move onto the streets. Without realizing however, that by losing their normal life, they also lost their rights. When someone sees a homeless person on the street, most people continue to walk, ignoring the pleas from them asking for spare change. Homeless people had lost their place in society, and were seen as the lowest class. This is a great example of everyday violence.

Homeless people have become normalized, and therefore people have no problem walking past and going on with their day. Rarely, people stop and help, or even stop and think about what it would be like to lose everything and be forced to move onto the street. People hardly ever think about the lack of rights people on the street have, or the past lives they led before they lost everything. This is also an example of social inequality. While there are homeless shelters set up in all major cities, it is not easy for a homeless person to get back on their feet, get a job and find a home. Without anyone to advocate for the homeless, they would have never gained rights, or programs to help them get back on their feet.

Recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina people have been coming together to provide rights for people who are homeless. Espacio Carlos Mugica, a group comprised of people who live on the street, is trying to find ways to help homeless people afford food, shelter and taking care of themselves. They focused on public policy in order to achieve this goal. As the first advocation group comprised of mainly homeless people, they were able to agree upon what they needed, and ways in which they could go about seeking help. They conceptualized what counts as support, and were able to understand the situations of people who live on the street. Previous support from non homeless people would define them as people who couldn’t organize themselves or participate in public policy decision making. This dehumanized people who lived on the street, and is another great example of social inequality. The homeless in Argentina were able to work together to create an integration center, that would help them become an active part of society once again.

These people were not held back by the lack of understanding or support from society. They decided to take matters into their own hands, and advocate for themselves. With the everyday violences against them, as well as the social inequality they suffered from, the only way to make a change was to be the ones to step up and do it. This is an impressive example of people with nothing, self-organizing, and making a difference.