A Safe Place To Be 


We believe everyone should have a safe, secure and decent place to call home, so we've set the following goals


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We want people forced from their homes and on the move to have access to legal, safe and dignified settlement

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We want safe, secure and decent shelter to be better recognised and implemented as a fundamental human right 

What is the problem we're responding to?

The right to safe and secure shelter is set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights1 which states that everyone is entitled to an adequate standard of living, including access to food, clothing and housing. For people to live with dignity they need access to not only basic housing, but the ability to create a happy home in which they feel safe and secure. 
However, the reality is that millions of people have no access to safe shelter. Currently over 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes2,  an estimated 21 million people have been trafficked into forced labour and sexual exploitation3 and 100 million children are estimated to be living on the streets worldwide4. In the UK the number of people sleeping on the streets has increased by 134% since 20105 and a sixth of the world’s population (approx. 1.2 billion people) is living in slums6, many with no secure tenancy or rights over the land they live on. 


How will we contribute to change? 

Comic Relief has been funding work around safe and secure shelter for marginalised communities for over 25 years. During that time, we have learnt a lot about what works. We've supported essential services to support people who are homeless in communities across the UK alongside the development of new solutions such as the Housing First model for England. Our refugee and asylum work has funded psychosocial support as well as advocacy and litigation to ensure basic human rights are met, and in informal settlements across the world we have supported communities and other partners, including government, to drive forward community-led approaches to creating and protecting safe, secure and decent places to live. 

Through partnerships, we are interested in contributing to change in the following areas:

  1. Increasing access to, safe and secure shelter and opportunities to create a happy home for refugees and asylum seekers, people who are homeless and those living in informal settlements 
  2. Reducing levels of homelessness (including repeat and long-term homelessness) and shelter insecurity for vulnerable groups and improving integration and settlement of refugees and people seeking asylum 
  3. Increasing the evidence of what works to develop community-led movements and advocacy to ensure all people have safe and secure routes to settlement and shelter globally
  4. Strengthening organisations driving these changes to ensure work has long term benefits and meets the wider needs of homeless people, people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes or those living in informal settlements
  5. Shifting harmful and negative public opinion and hostile rhetoric around homelessness, informal settlements and refugees and asylum seekers 
  6. Effectively developing and implementing appropriate policy (including economic policy) and legislation to support people’s basic human right to shelter, safety and dignity


1. http://www.unhcr.org/5943e8a34.pdf

2. https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_575479/lang--en/index.htm

3. https://plan-international.org/publications

4. https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Homelessness.pdf

6. United Nations Human Settlements Programme. “The Challenge of Slums: Global report on Human Settlements”. Nairobi, 2003