Poor Not Guilty

#PoorNotGuilty launched in September 2019 during a communication advocacy workshop with international petty offenses advocates held at University of Miami prior to the Petty Offenses Symposium: Challenging Criminalization of Poverty, Marginalization, and Gender Non-Conformity hosted by UM's School of Law's Human Rights Clinic, UM Law Review, UM School of Communication, National Homelessness Law Center, and Open Society Foundations' Human Rights Initiative. Attendees joined the workshop from Canada, Guinea, Guyana, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

International Petty Offenses

Throughout the globe, petty offenses, such as loitering laws, are used to exert social control. They criminalize poverty and marginalization and police gender norms. Furthermore, people experiencing homelessness often face the threat of criminal sanctions simply for trying to fulfill basic needs.

2019 International Petty Offenses Symposium

See the full program and video recordings of all the panels from the Petty Offenses Symposium hosted by the University of Miami in September 2019.

The full symposium report (published late 2019) and symposium special issue is also available (updated November 2020).

Petty Offences in Africa

Connect with the campaign to decriminalize and reclassify petty offences across Africa at pettyoffences.org.

Invisible People

See. Learn. Take Action.

The first step to solving homelessness is acknowledging that its victims are people. Meet them and hear real stories at invisiblepeople.tv.

Housing Not Handcuffs (HNH)

Read the 2019 Housing Not Handcuffs report on the criminalization of homelessness in the United States and learn more about the HNH campaign at housingnothandcuffs.org.

Human Rights Standards

Learn about concrete standards that can be implemented and measured for progress, shifting away from criminalization or charity toward social justice.

Find Principles on the Decriminalisation of Petty Offences in Africa by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and a groundbreaking decision, along with a press release, by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights declaring vagrancy laws incompatible with human rights standards.

Find out how The Shift uses a human rights framework to provoke action to end homelessness, unaffordability, and evictions globally.