Horizontal Rule

Moving Roma away from a toxic waste dump mustn’t result in further segregation – NGOs protest

10 February 2016

Naples, Budapest 10 February 2016: After living for 25 years in the Giugliano area (Naples) and facing multiple evictions, a Romani community has now been told again by Italian authorities that they will be forcibly relocated. Instead of finding integrated and adequate housing solutions for these approximately 260 Roma who have been accommodated by the local authorities on a toxic waste dump in Masseria del Pozzo, the community will be moved to another segregated settlement.

After learning of the discriminatory decision, a coalition of NGOs including the Associazione Cinema e Diritti, Associazione Garibaldi 101, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), and OsservAzione sent a letter of concern to all relevant authorities including the Minister of Interior Angelino Alfano, the president of Regione Campania Vincenzo De Luca and the mayor of Giugliano Antonio Poziello. The European Commission has also received a copy of the letter. The NGOs welcomed the closing of the Giugliano camp: it is racially segregated and located in a highly toxic area, presenting serious harm to the residents’ health. However, they called on the authorities not to violate the residents’ rights by placing them in yet another form of segregated housing.

The Roma formal settlement at Masseria del Pozzo was established in March 2013 and the Roma community was forcefully moved there after being evicted many times from other informal camps. Almost all of the inhabitants of the camp are residing lawfully in Italy; they generally have permanent resident status in Italy and some are Italian citizens. The camp was established in an isolated and polluted area, without access to local transportation or public services. For more than two and a half years the inhabitants have been housed by the authorities in highly precarious and extremely dangerous conditions in a life-threatening and toxic environment.

The Italian National Strategy for Roma Inclusion approved by the Italian government in 2012 stated that “emergency policies” for Roma have to be “overcome”, and noted that housing solutions such as “nomad camps” are neither adequate nor suitable solutions for Roma. What is happening to this community shows that the authorities are still failing to abide by their own strategy.

Therefore, the coalition strongly urges the city of Giugliano, Regione Campania, and the Minister of Interior to undertake all actions within their power to ensure that persons living in Masseria del Pozzo formal camp be rehoused forthwith in integrated environments, with adequate access to services in a pollution-free environment. The coalition also calls on them to take other measures to ensure that the inhabitants’ integration is successful. The requirements set by the European Union and the national legal framework must be respected, and the resources should be used to implement integrated housing complemented with integrating measures in education, employment, health care and social support.

For further information contact: 

Szelim Simándi
simandi.szeli@xkk.hu
+36703979545

Horizontal Rule

Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

20 January 2017

The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?

more ...

horizontal rule

Call for Proposals: Website Design and Hosting

18 January 2017

The European Roma Rights Centre (“the ERRC”) needs a clear, bold website to get strong messages across to the allies and foes of Roma rights: We are equal. The rights violations we suffer are real and unacceptable. We are taking our cases to court and winning. And the ERRC’s activist lawyers, advocates, researchers, human rights monitors, and entire team are making it possible.

more ...

horizontal rule

Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

18 January 2017

Budapest, 18 January 2017: A Romani woman harassed by staff while giving birth at a Hungarian hospital has won a decision in her favour from the Hungarian Equality Body. The woman who gave birth to her baby daughter in February 2016 was alone in the hospital and intimidated by staff who subjected her to verbal harassment and racial slurs, with one doctor telling her “you Gypsies give birth only for the money!”

more ...

horizontal rule