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Roma Evicted in France as New Government Fails to Find New Solutions

10 August 2012

Lille, Lyon, Paris, 10 August 2012: French authorities are continuing to forcibly evict and return migrant Roma, despite pre-election promises from President Hollande to end the practice. The European Roma Rights Centre sent a letter to French authorities today, calling on them to stop forcibly evicting and deporting migrant Roma from Romania and to find more positive solutions instead.

The most recent eviction took place on 9 August in Lille, where more than 200 Roma were evicted from two camps. Evictions have also taken place close to Lyon and in Paris. In Vaulx-in-Velin, media reports suggest that around 100 people (including many Roma) were evicted from their settlement, and have been forced to roam the streets as police prevent them from stopping elsewhere.

According to media reports, almost 250 Romani individuals have been sent back to Romania in the last week alone. The Roma are sent back under a so-called voluntary return scheme. However the Humanitarian Aid Returns are typically offered in the context of forced evictions and under the threat of expulsion, and cannot be considered truly voluntary.

In March 2012, Francois Hollande sent a letter to RomEurope, denouncing the policies of Sarkozy on evicting and expelling Roma as creating a situation of ‘intolerable’ precariousness for Roma communities. Almost 10,000 Roma were expelled from France in 2010 under the previous administration. In 2011 the European Committee of Social Rights judged that this was in violation of the revised European Social Charter.

“It’s extremely disappointing that the new French government is continuing the practice of evicting and expelling Roma under the so-called voluntary returns scheme,” said Dezideriu Gergely, Executive Director of the ERRC. “We’d like to see the Ministry of the Interior come up with real, sustainable solutions for migrant Roma, instead of continuing a negative cycle of forced evictions and returns.”

For more information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre

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ERRC submission to the European Commission on Roma Inclusion in enlargement countries (May 2017)

25 May 2017

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework.


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Roma Rights 1 2017: Roma and Conflict: Understanding the Impact of War and Political Violence

16 May 2017

The impact of conflict on minority populations merits special attention, especially if those minorities have long been marginalized, viewed by the warring parties with a mixture of ambivalence and contempt, and deemed to be communities of little consequence in the peace-building processes that follow the conclusion of hostilities. This issue of Roma Rights Journal takes a look at the fate of Roma during and after conflicts.

Sometimes Roma have been the direct targets of murderous aggression or subject to reprisals. Then there have been the many times where individual Roma actively took a side, but too often the roles played by Roma, Travellers and other minorities were elided from the dominant national narratives that followed.

In many conflicts, caught between warring groups with no foreign power or military alliance to champion their claims, Roma found themselves displaced, despised and declaimed as bogus refugees, nomads and “mere” economic migrants in the aftermath.

As long as Europe’s largest ethnic minority is written out and rendered invisible in the histories of Europe’s wars and conflicts; and excluded from the politics of reconstruction and peace-making, the continent’s self-understanding will remain fatally flawed.

Editors: Marek Szilvasi, Kieran O’Reilly, Bernard Rorke

Roma Rights 1 2017 (PDF)

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Macron Election Call Out

5 May 2017

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