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Violent, Unfair, Unlawful and Shameful: France Evicted Close to 3 Romani Settlements per Week in 2014

3 February 2015

Budapest, Paris, 3 February 2015: Throughout 2014, France continued evicting Roma.  Those affected are EU citizens who have made use of their right to move freely within the European Union from countries such as Romania.  According to the findings of a survey conducted by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the Ligue des droits de l'homme (LDH), during the year 2014, 13 483 people were evicted by law enforcement agencies from 138 different locations. In other words, the French authorities evicted 3 settlements per week. This unlawful and costly policy violates the international and European Union law regulating forced evictions.

According to the findings of the survey based on the figures gathered through media monitoring and from NGO reports, a total of 13 483 Roma or people identified as Roma in France were forced to leave the area where they were living in 2014. Furthermore, 966 people were left homeless after a fire or a flood.

Compared to the 2013 figures, the numbers in 2014 are lower, but still represent almost 80% of the total population living in slums.  In other words, there were four evictions for every five people living in a slum in France. This proportion is unacceptable. Furthermore the report shows an uneven approach: some regions of France are evicting people living in slums at a massive rate whilst others offer a more peaceful climate. This suggests harassment perpetrated by the authorities within these critical regions and unequal treatment across the country.

The eviction policy that the French authorities have eagerly implemented for the past several years does not bring any sustainable or fair solution to the problem of Roma living in slums. On the contrary, according to the report, evictions continue to interfere with the education, social work, medical care, and job searches of the inhabitants of the slums; eviction policy hinders all the integration efforts, increases the vulnerability of Roma and pushes them further to the margins.

The ERRC and the LDH hope that the French authorities will alter their fruitless and dehumanizing eviction policy in 2015 and will direct their energy and resources towards comprehensive integration policies. Our organizations call on the French government to cease all evictions as the first step and provide adequate alternative accommodation to all Roma already evicted.

This press release is also available in French.

Read the full report in English and French.

For more information, contact:

Manon Fillonneau
European Roma Rights Centre
+337 61 06 06 78
manon.fillonneau@errc.org

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

 

 

 

 

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