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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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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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