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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

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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).

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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. 

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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.

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