ERRC Letter: Forced Evictions of Roma in Bulgaria

01 September 2005

Prime Minister Urged to Intervene to Stop Forced Expulsion of Roma from Housing in Sofia

Budapest, 1 September 2005. Today, the European Roma Rights Centre sent a letter to Prime Minister of Bulgaria Mr Serguei Stanishev, urging him to intervene to stop ongoing and threatened forced evictions of Roma in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, and to provide compensation for Roma whose houses have been demolished. The letter was prompted by the destruction of approximately 25 houses in the Hristo Botev neighbourhood of Sofia on August 31 and the expulsion of Romani inhabitants from these dwellings, as well as reported municipal plans to undertake further forced evictions of Roma in the next days.

In the letter, the ERRC noted that a very significant part of the Romani community in Bulgaria lack security of tenure and live in a constant state of threat of forced eviction from housing. Failure by the Bulgarian government to date to comply with its obligations under international law and to meet its commitments under the Framework Program for the Equal Integration of Roma in Bulgaria exposes hundreds of thousands of Romani individuals to serious violations of the right to adequate housing, as well as a number of other fundamental rights. The ERRC reminded Prime Minister Stanishev that a Collective Complaint under the Revised European Social Charter is currently open against Bulgaria for persistent and systematic violations of the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection, as a result of the systemic frustration of the rights of Roma to adequate housing in Bulgaria. The Collective Complaint was brought by the ERRC in April 2005.

The full text of the letter is available at:

The text of the ERRC Collective Complaint against Bulgaria on the systemic frustration of the rights of Roma to adequate housing is available at:

Persons wishing to express similar concerns with respect to the housing situation of Roma in Bulgaria, and in particular the current implemented and/or planned forced evictions undertaken by the Sofia municipality are urged to contact:

Mr. Serguei Stanishev
Prime Minister of Republic Bulgaria
1 Dondukov Blvd.
Fax: +359-2-9802042


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