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ERRC Raises Eviction Concerns as Roma Protest in Romania

19 January 2011

Roma forcibly evicted to segregated social housing in the Pata-Rat Romani settlement 18 km outside of Cluj-Napoca protest the deterioration of their living conditions, saying: "I am Roma. I want to live in dignity." Photo credit: Desire FoundationBudapest, Cluj-Napoca, 19 January 2011: In snow and freezing temperatures, Roma and non-Roma gathered in the centre of Cluj-Napoca today to protest the 17 December forced eviction of 270 Roma from their homes in the centre of the city to the segregated Pata-Rat Romani settlement, some 18 kilometres away.

According to research conducted by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) with local partners Amare Phrala and Desire Foundation, with only one day’s warning on 17 December 2010 the homes of 270 Romani residents of Coastei Street were demolished and the residents forcibly removed to social housing in Pata-Rat, the location of a garbage dump and toxic waste site. The modular homes provided lack heating, hot water and kitchens; between 7 and 13 people are crammed into maximum 18 metre square single-room apartments and four apartments share a single bathroom. Romania’s moratorium on winter evictions was ignored, as was the fact that many of the affected Roma were paying rent to the municipality, working and attending school in the city centre.

Earlier this week, the ERRC and its partners sent a letter to Romanian local and national authorities and representatives of the European Union, Council of Europe, United Nations and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, outlining violations of human rights standards. The ERRC and its partners called for urgent measures to move the individuals affected back into Cluj-Napoca and re-accommodate them in appropriate alternative housing.

Robert Kushen, Executive Director of the ERRC, said: “Illegal actions like these evictions highlight the need for pan-European action to protect the rights of Roma.  By evicting Roma from their homes, cutting them off from their jobs and their schools, the Mayor of Cluj is only encouraging more Roma to migrate to France and elsewhere in search of a better life.”

The ERRC and its partners also spoke out at a public debate in Cluj-Napoca to condemn the violations of Romanian and international law inflicted by local authorities on the residents during the eviction.

For further information, contact:
Sinan Gokcen
ERRC Media and Communications Officer
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324
 

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Joint submission to UN CRC on Slovakia (April 2016)

18 April 2016

Written comments by the European Roma Rights Centre and Center for Civil and Human Rights concerning Slovakia for consideration by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at the 72nd Session (17 May 2016 – 03 June 2016)

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ERRC Seeks Lawyer or Legal Trainee

3 May 2016

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) seeks qualified applicants for the position of lawyer or legal trainee (depending on the selected candidate’s level of experience). This position is for a career activist with legal skills (as opposed to a career lawyer interested in activism). The lawyer or legal trainee will play a crucial role in the ERRC’s cutting-edge work of bringing innovative, strategic legal cases to further the cause of Roma emancipation. 

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Combating Hate Crime and Hate Speech in France and Italy

4 February 2016

Introduction

For years, the ERRC has been documenting hate crime and hate speech in various countries. With support from the Open Society Initiative for Europe, the ERRC is carrying out a project designed to expose the extent of anti-Roma hate crime and hate speech in France and Italy and improve the authorities' response to these problems. The purpose of this project is to introduce a new methodology for this work and apply it in these two Western European countries, where the extent of anti-Roma hate speech and hate crime is largely recognised, but poorly documented or addressed. 

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