ERTF reaction to evictions of Roma

Written by Secretariat on .

Strasbourg, 24 June 2016: Following the eviction of about 500 Roma, including 250 minors and several pregnant women, from a settlement in Casalbertone, in via Giuseppe Mirri near Rome the European Roma and Travellers Forum addresses A CALL FOR ACTION urging European institutions- the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe – to stand up for the human values on which they are founded and take all possible action within their mandate to stop the disgraceful behaviour of their member states.

Only a few months ago, in January, Mr Muznieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, wrote a letter of protest to a number of Council of Europe member states, including Italy, complaining about the constant and repeated eviction of Roma in their country. The reply of the Undersecretary of State of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of 10 February, 2016, was a model of good intentions.

This eviction, like many others before it both in Rome and elsewhere, is a clear indication that the authorities have no intention of integrating the Roma but rather to pursue their housing policy of rejection said ERTF in their CALL FOR ACTION.

The consequences of eviction are dramatic for the whole family. Their few belongings are destroyed in the eviction and more often than not, the evictees find themselves homeless in the street. Deprived of any shelter they move on to take refuge elsewhere. This keeps them constantly on the move and in fear of further evictions. This constant stress, in the long run, has disastrous effects on their health.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) in a letter from 23 May 2016, also express its deep concern over the planned demolition of the Plekhanovo settlement in Tula.

The planned demolition of the settlement and the eviction of its inhabitants, which includes about 500 children, is causing fear and anguish to the inhabitants of the settlement, disrupting school attendance and stopping people in the settlement from going to work said the ERTF in its Letter addressed to the Head of Tula city Administration.