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Italy’s Forced Evictions of Roma Undermine National Policy Commitments

31 July 2012

Budapest, Milan, Rome, 31 July 2012: A coalition of NGOs is highlighting the worrying discrepancy between Government policy and practice on Roma in Italy. The NGOs are calling for the Italian government to ensure that local authorities are acting in line with the National Strategy on Roma Inclusion.

The Italian government submitted a strategy on National Roma Inclusion to the European Commission in February. The Italian Strategy emphasised the need to overcome emergency responses to the situation of Roma, Sinti and Caminanti (RSC) in a coordinated manner. Local and national authorities are failing to match up to this commitment, especially in Rome and Milan.

Rome has not made any new plans on RSC inclusion. Instead, it seems to be going ahead with measures adopted under the so-called "Nomad Plan”, which as part of the Nomad Emergency was declared illegal by the Council of State in November 2011. On 18 June 2012 a new segregated camp for Roma, La Barbuta, was officially opened. From 5 to 13 July 2012 the semi-formal camp via del Baiardo, which had housed Serbian and Macedonian Roma for nearly 20 years, was closed, and authorities conducted a census of the residents.  Only families with children were offered emergency shelter for up to 90 days, after which Mayor Gianni Alemanno noted that they should "return to their country”.

On 5 July the City of Milan evicted two informal Romani settlements housing about 300 Romanian Roma despite the fact that accommodation in emergency shelters was available only for 85 persons. The next day, the City of Milan presented its draft "Project Roma, Sinti and Travellers for 2012-2015. Proposal of the City of Milan", which currently provides for the continued forced eviction of informal Romani camps in the absence of adequate alternative accommodation and will formalise actions targeting formal camps for Roma and Sinti which mirror those undertaken in the context of the Nomad Emergency which was declared illegal.

The NGO coalition expressed concern that the government has downsized the national equality body, which plays an important role in the fight for equality of treatment in Italy and is the National Contact Point of the Italian NSIRSC. The planned reduction of staff seriously undermines the implementation of the Strategy.

The NGO coalition is made up of: the European Roma Rights Centre, Associazione 21 Luglio, Consulta Rom e Sinti della Città di Milano (Committee for Roma and Sinti of Milan), Gruppo di Sostegno Forlanini, NAGA  and UPRE ROMA.

The letter is available in Italian and English.

For more information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre

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Families Divided: Romani and Egyptian Children in Albanian Institutions

21 November 2017

There’s a high percentage of Romani and Egyptian children in children’s homes in Albania – a disproportionate number. These children are often put into institutions because of poverty, and then find it impossible ever to return to their families. Because of centuries of discrimination Roma and Egyptians in Albania are less likely to live in adequate housing, less likely to be employed and more likely to feel the effects of extreme poverty.

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Cause of Action: Romani Children in State Care in Nógrád County (Hungary)

20 November 2017

The data showed that Romani children are grossly overrepresented in the care system in Nógrád County: although they make up under 20% of the county’s population, Romani children make up over 80% of those in care. The data showed a strong correlation between deep poverty, severe deprivation, and the entry of children into the care system.

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Roma Belong - Discrimination, Statelessness and Marginalisation of Roma in the Western Balkans and Ukraine

26 October 2017

The #RomaBelong project is a joint initiative by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) and the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) in collaboration with partner organisations in Albania ...

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