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June 19, 2000
Guidelines set to protect Sydney homeless

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Olympic organizers set guidelines aimed at preventing the harassment or forced removal of homeless people from prominent public areas during the games.

 Up to 1,500 people sleep on Sydney's streets on any night, and a further 15,000 people usually stay in shelters, the New South Wales Council of Social Services said.

 The guidelines, drafted by the Olympic Coordination Authority and released Monday, will try to ensure sensitive treatment of people sleeping at six areas around Sydney where huge TV screens will broadcast Olympic competition and entertainment.

 The OCA protocol said people would not be harassed or relocated from the sites unless there was a threat to general security, to their personal safety or if they were causing a disturbance.

 The OCA consulted welfare and civil liberties groups in drafting the guidelines. Some OCA staff will be trained to deal with the homeless and work in conjunction with welfare workers and volunteers.
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