Horizontal Rule

NGOs Demand Government Action to Stop Forced Evictions of Roma in Romania

20 April 2016

Budapest, 20 April 2016: The Romanian Government must take decisive and immediate measures to stop forced evictions of Romani communities, a coalition of NGOs told them last week. Amnesty International, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), and Romani Criss issued a call for action after the European Court of Human Rights and the national government in Romania scrambled to stop a local authority from evicting a community two weeks ago.

With help from the ERRC, Roma living in Eforie got the European Court of Human Rights to order the Romanian Government to stop their eviction by local authorities. The Prefect (representing the national government) then stepped in, challenging the Eforie local council in court. We welcome this action, but it should have happened automatically.

The swift response by the Prefect shows that the Romanian Government recognises the need to intervene to stop forced evictions. It also vindicates our repeated calls to make better use of the Prefects’ existing powers to stop evictions.

Eforie also illustrates Romania’s enduring failure to prevent local authorities from threatening Romani communities with forced evictions. This would have been the third in a series of evictions that these families had endured since 2013, when their long-standing, homes were demolished. In the meantime, they have been forced into inhuman living conditions, with minimal or no security of tenure. Some families have been moved into racially-segregated container settlements and most have been harassed.

“Forced evictions against Romani communities are not only a violation of the right to adequate housing, but usually a form of racial harassment. They create new forms of hardship for those evicted, exacerbating a pattern of human rights violations. We encourage the Government to break old habits by acting fast and decisively to end forced evictions,” said the ERRC President Đorđe Jovanovic.

We called for a coordinated and formalised state response to forced evictions. To ensure compliance with Romania’s international human rights law commitments we have proposed clarifications to the legal framework and immediate measures to render existing guarantees more effective.

The government should commit to the following legislative changes:

  1. Expand the domestic definition of eviction to the demolition of informal housing as required by international law.
  2. Secure tenure for Roma in informal settlements by reintroducing a statute of limitation for the demolition of unauthorized housing.
  3. Extend consultation requirements to cover mass evictions
  4. Introduce a remedy with automatic suspensive effect against forced evictions, allowing for a full review of their proportionality.

The government can immediately use existing legal guarantees by encouraging Prefects to stop evictions. We have now made detailed recommendations to the government in this respect.

It is now time for the Romanian government to act on these recommendations and bring an end to forced evictions of Roma for once and for all.

For further information contact:

Atanas Zahariev
+36 30 500 2026

Horizontal Rule

ERRC submission to UN HRC on Hungary (February 2018)

14 February 2018

Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre concerning Hungary to the UN Human Rights Committee for consideration at its 122nd session (12 Narch - 6 April 2018).

more ...

horizontal rule

The Fragility of Professional Competence: A Preliminary Account of Child Protection Practice with Romani and Traveller Children in England

24 January 2018

Romani and Traveller children in England are much more likely to be taken into state care than the majority population, and the numbers are rising. Between 2009 and 2016 the number of Irish Travellers in care has risen by 400% and the number of Romani children has risen 933%. The increases are not consistent with national trends, and when compared to population data, suggest that Romani and Traveller children living in the UK could be 3 times more likely be taken into public care than any other child. 

more ...

horizontal rule

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.

more ...

horizontal rule