In Second Emergency Order in a Week, European Court Temporarily Halts Eviction of Roma
31 March 2016
Budapest, 31 March 2016: The European Court of Human Rights has told the Romanian Government to stop the threatened eviction of a Roma community. This would have been the third in a series of evictions that started in 2013, and has seen the community taken out of the heart of an integrated neighbourhood to containers on the outskirts of town. The Court’s order came in response to a request the families made on Tuesday.
The families were among the some 100 Roma evicted from their homes in Eforie (Romania) in October 2013. With support from the ERRC and Romani Criss, the applicants have been challenging the authorities in court ever since. Initially left homeless, the applicants were housed in an abandoned school. In July 2014, the applicants were evicted from the school into the cramped, segregated container settlement in which they are currently living. They learned in August 2015 that they were racking up unaffordable water and electricity bills they would never be able to repay. Earlier this month, they were given eviction notices based on a local council decision they knew nothing about. Without the European Court's intervention, they were facing eviction without the council offering them any alternative accommodation and leaving them homeless on the street as early as tomorrow.
This is the second time in less than a week that the European Court has told a Government to stop an eviction of Roma. Last week, the Court responded positively to a similar request the ERRC, along with Italian NGOs, helped two Romani women make in Italy.
According to ERRC President Đorđe Jovanović, “Forced evictions are one of the most visible symptoms of anti-Gypsyism in Europe, as they are happening almost everywhere. We welcome the European Court’s strong response in these two cases. Governments will have to think twice about how they deal with the communities they are segregating and evicting”.
The Romanian Government has until noon on Tuesday to explain to the Court what their plans are for the families.