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NGOs Call for End to Forced Evictions of Roma in Freezing Temperatures

7 February 2012

Budapest, Tirana, Vilnius, 7 February 2012: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and national partners sent letters to Albanian and Lithuanian authorities expressing grave concerns over the forced evictions of Romani individuals during extreme weather conditions.

In Tirana, Albania more than 50 Romani individuals, including 25 children, were told to demolish their living quarters close to Tirana Artificial Lake on 24 January 2012. According to reports from the community, representatives of Tirana Municipality came with a bulldozer, and told the community to demolish their accommodation voluntarily; otherwise it would be demolished forcefully.

The representatives promised the families that they would receive accommodation in the May 5 neighbourhood on the same day. The families were never given accommodation and have had to try to rebuild their homes. The ERRC and the Albanian Helsinki Committee sent a joint letter to authorities, asking them to act immediately to find alternative adequate accommodation and long-term housing solutions. 

In Lithuania, the Municipality of Vilnius has given verbal and written notices that it plans to demolish the houses of four Romani families in the settlement in Kirtimai, Vilnius on the 13 February 2012. Out of the 10 people in the three houses concerned, there are six children under 12, including a six-month-old baby. The temperature in Lithuania currently reaches minus 30 degrees Celsius during the night.

The ERRC wrote the letter with Lithuanian organisations NGO Roma Community Centre and Roma Association “Gypsy Fire”.

The ERRC and partners are concerned that the municipal authorities in both cases are evicting families in the coldest period of the year, without consultation or adequate alternative housing. The authorities have not complied with international protections and, as a result, the Romani communities face severe risks to their health and wellbeing.

The organisations urge the Albanian and Lithuanian authorities to respect, protect and fulfil the right to adequate housing. They call on the municipalities to suspend the planned evictions and find sustainable housing solutions for all Romani individuals affected.

Sinan Gokçen
ERRC Media and Communications Officer
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324

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Slovakia: Unlawful ethnic segregation in schools is failing Romani children

1 March 2017

Romani children in Slovakia are being failed by a discriminatory primary school system which continues to segregate them and seriously hinder their education, condemning them to lives of poverty and exclusion, Amnesty International and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) said in a new report published today.

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ERRC submission to UN HRC on Serbia (February 2017)

14 February 2017

Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre concerning Serbia to the UN Human Rights Committee for consideration at its 119th session (6-29 March 2017).

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ERRC interviews Özcan Purçu, Romani MP in Turkey

10 February 2017

In November 2016, the ERRC visited Ankara to participate in a meeting on the drafting of a new Turkish National Roma Integration Strategy document. While we were there we met with Özcan Purçu, Turkey’s only Romani MP, to discuss issues facing Roma in Turkey and his own experiences growing up there.

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