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Portugal’s Housing Policy for Roma Violates Social Charter

7 November 2011

Budapest, Strasbourg, 7 November 2011:  The European Committee of Social Rights today delivered a decision, finding Portugal in violation of the Revised European Social Charter. This followed a collective complaint brought by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) concerning the housing situation of Roma in Portugal.

The Committee of Social Rights is the monitoring body established under the European Social Charter. The decision sends a clear message to the Portuguese government that they must act to end this situation.
The widespread housing-related injustices occurring in Portugal include problems of access to social housing, substandard quality of housing, lack of access to basic utilities, residential segregation of Romani communities and other systemic violations of the right to housing; these are compounded by a lack of practical access to effective legal remedies for redress.
The committee said that the “continuing precarious housing conditions for a large part of the Roma community, coupled with the fact that the Government has not demonstrated that it has taken sufficient measures to ensure that Roma live in housing conditions that meet minimum standards” was in breach of Portugal’s obligations under the social charter.

Dezideriu Gergely, Executive Director of the ERRC, said,“ We welcome the committee's recognition that Portuguese authorities have discriminated against Roma in failing to improve segregated, substandard housing conditions for these communities. We urge Portuguese authorities to rethink housing policies which worsen living conditions and to invest in sustainable, lasting solutions.”

For more information contact:
Sinan Gökçen
ERRC Media and Communications Officer

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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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