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More than 11.000 Roma migrants forcefully evicted in France in 2015

12 January 2016

During 2015, 216 people were evicted by force weekly in France. In total 11.128 people have been subjected to forced evictions in France in 111 living areas. More than the half of those living in slums have been forcibly evicted by the authorities during 2015 and in five of the cases people left their living place because of fire. The Ligue des droits de l’Homme and European Roma Rights Centre denounce an undignified, inhuman, and degrading situation regarding Roma migrants in France.

The systemic evictions show that the purpose of this State policy of forced evictions is not being implemented for defending the private property (this is a pretext which is often used for justification) since the owners are public bodies in the majority of the cases.

The outcomes of the present census show that almost half of the evictees have been forcibly evicted during the third quarter of the year, which makes the summer period the most intensive for forced evictions.

For 111 evictions executed by authorities, temporary accommodation solutions have been proposed only 29 times. With regard to five evacuations following the fire, emergency shelter solutions have been proposed on only two occaisions. Following 82 evictions, families were put on the street by the police. Evictions should be accompanied by rehousing and social support for the affected people, as set out in French government guidance published in 2012.

Earlier this year Ra'ad Zeid Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights described these evictions as “[….] a systematic national policy of forced evictions of Roma".

This situation of systemic evictions has been confirmed by the latest international responses in the field as well. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as well as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights have all been clear and forthright in their condemnation of France’s behaviour towards Roma.

In 2015, in parallel with forced evictions, there has been an increase in acts of violence, hate speech and cases of rejection of Roma or people designed as such. This clearly illustrates an alarming rise of anti-Gypsyism which was already shown to be at a high level in France.

The Ligue des droits de l’Homme and European Roma Rights Centre repeat their recommendations to suspend systematic expulsions, to secure and provide sanitation of slums, and to implement solutions for the integration of families through the common law and prior to any eviction throughout the country. The monitoring of these policies should be organized within a framework of permanent dialogue between local (municipalities, departments), regional, national authorities, public actors and local associations active on the ground.

For more information contact

Radost Zaharieva
European Roma Rights Centre
0033 7 61 06 06 78
radost.zaharieva@errc.org

Feriel Saadni
Ligue des Droits de l'Homme
01 56 55 51 08
feriel.saadni@ldh-france.org

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