Evictions – pleasing the masses and getting re-elected

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The spate of evictions which we witnessed all over Europe during the summer season (see statement by ERTF of 3 September 2015: http://www.ertf.org/index.php/8-news/250-evictions-unlimited) has not abated as winter sets in. The sufferings of women, children and sick people left out in the cold winter weather, the disruption of schooling and the resulting psychological trauma are no consideration for several mayors throughout Europe, whose main objective is to please the populace and get re-elected.

On 20 October, in the early hours of the morning the Turin police threw out the Roma inhabitants of a shanty town and demolished 12 of the barracks. 30 persons were left homeless in temperatures of 4 to 5 degrees centigrade. The demolition of this shanty town has been going on, little by little, for two years. 35 families – around a hundred individuals - are still living there but are threatened with the same fate in the next few days.Meanwhile 5 million euros intended for settling these Roma seem to have disappeared in the coffers of a number of associations responsible for managing their settlement.

ERTF Publish Fact Sheet on the Situation of Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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According to a survey conducted in 2007, there are 76 000 Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), making them the largest of the 17 national minorities in the country. Yet, they are also the most disadvantaged group.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country in Europe where Roma populations are prohibited by law from holding any crucial high political office, including the office of presidency or being a representative in the House of Peoples.

Extreme poverty, marginalization, prejudice and discrimination is directed against them by society at large, as well as public authorities. Roma are indeed disadvantaged in all fields of life: education, employment, housing, health and access to public services.

Read more here.

France failing Roma children under European Social Charter because of incessant evictions

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The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) has filed a complaint against France with the European Committee of Social Rights, responsible for ensuring the respect of the revised European Social Charter, which France ratified in 1999.

France has been found in violation by the European Committee of Social Rights four times since 2008 for its treatment of Roma people living on its territory. In 2011, the ERTF made a successful complaint before the European Committee of Social Rights which decided that forced evictions without offering alternative housing violate the European Social Charter.

The ERTF has launched a procedure to denounce once again the repeated evictions, the discriminating behaviour of the public authorities and administrations, the precarious conditions of living, especially regarding housing, and the school and transportation issues that Roma people face all across France.

"The life of Roma in Europe" Review

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The ERTF published a new edition of the "The life of Roma in Europe" review covering the period August-September, 2015. The document indicates a persistence of evictions in several countries and a general mistrust and dislike of the Roma population, which takes the form of hate speech, discrimination and aggression.

The information is compiled from websites and news items dealing with Roma issues and is not a full and comprehensive assessment of the situation

Read the results from the survey by cliking here.

First meeting of the Organisational within the Forgotten Voices project

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The ERTF will hold the first meeting with the members of the Organisational Committee of the Forgotten Voices project on Thursday, 17 and Friday, 18 September in Berlin.

The project aims at achieving recognition of the Roma Holocaust and anti-Gypsyism as a specific form of discrimination, developing an action plan on teaching of the Roma Holocaust in schools and among the public and on how to achieve official recognition of anti-Gypsyism and building a network of NGOs and other relevant stakeholders to advocate for the recognition of the Roma Holocaust and of anti-Gypsyism and to monitor and report on the improvement of the situation of the Roma.

Within the project framework there will also be a two-day conference entitled “The Forgotten Voices” which will examine how the causes of that tragedy are reflected in the discrimination, marginalization and persecution of the Roma today; analyse the true nature of anti-Gypsyism and explore how the relationship between the genocide and today’s anti-Gypsyism can help us in combating this phenomenon.

Fact sheet on the situation of Roma in Macedonia

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The ERTF published the Fact sheet on the situation of Roma in Macedonia.

Despite improvements, poverty is widespread among Roma in Macedonia. Roma are excluded from different aspects of social and economic life, including employment, housing and education. Most Roma continue to live in settlements isolated from the rest of society in conditions well below the minimum standard of living. Public utility facilities are inadequate or non-existent; there is a lack of access to a safe water supply in or near some settlements. Also, hate speech and racism towards Roma are common problems.

One of the main issues of Roma in Macedonia regards their relation with the police. One year ago, the revelation that the police had tortured two minors in front of their families confirmed the specific ill-treatment of Roma by law enforcement officials. Discrimination perpetrated by state agents against Roma is widespread in Macedonia: Roma undergo ethnic profiling, have their passport confiscated, and crimes against them are left unpunished.

Evictions Unlimited

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Evictions Unlimited –no summer break for the Roma

The policy of rejection in action

From Finland to France and Italy, from Bulgaria, through Hungary and Serbia to Albania the summer months of 2015 have witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of evictions from Roma settlements, some peaceful, some brutal but always marked by the policy of rejection.

This policy, often euphemistically described as “discrimination,” aims at ‘eliminating’ Roma from the public sphere through various manners, and, most effectively, by depriving them of all forms of housing, thus compromising all possibilities of improvement in their living conditions or their integration.

Review on the Situation of Roma in Europe, June-July 2015

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The ERTF published a Review on the Situation of Roma in Europe which covers the period June-July, 2015 and indicate a persistence of evictions in several countries and a general mistrust and dislike of the Roma population, which takes the form of hate speech, discrimination and aggression.

Download the Review here