ERRC urges Italy to Rethink Roma Evictions

21 December 2012

Budapest, Rome, Milan, 21 December 2012:  The ERRC has sent a joint letter of concern to Milan authorities today, urging them to rethink the planned eviction of Roma from an informal camp at via Dione Cassio. The 85 affected Romani people have not received adequate communication about the planned eviction. The Municipality has not said anything about alternative accommodation, and the only shelter that would be able to host families is full. In this context, the ERRC and national NGOs (Gruppo di Sostegno Forlanini, Consulta Rom e Sinti and Naga) are calling on the authorities to postpone the eviction and to meet with the community to find an alternative course of action.

Tomorrow (Saturday 22 December) the ERRC is also taking part in a large public event in Rome to highlight discrimination against Roma in Italy. The social and cultural event in Piazza del Popolo will raise awareness of the problems Roma face in Italy. The event is linked to an Amnesty International Italy petition, signed by more than 40,000 people from around the world, which calls on authorities to end discrimination against Roma. Amnesty International Italy plan to deliver the petition today.

The other organisations involved in the event are AI Italia, Associazione 21 Luglio, Popica Onlus, Cheja Celen, Federazione delle Chiese evangeliche in Italia (FCEI), Progetto Sàr San, Cooperativa Zajedno, Monteverde Antirazzista and Beato Zeffirino.

The ERRC is calling on the Italian government to act in line with its own national policies. In February this year, Italy submitted its national strategy on Roma Inclusion to the European Commission. The Italian Strategy emphasised the need to overcome emergency responses to the situation of Roma, Sinti and Travellers (RSC) in a coordinated manner.  Italy is also continuing to build camps started under the ‘Nomad State of Emergency,’ which was declared unlawful in November 2011. Italy recently constructed an expensive camp for Roma in La Barbuta. The camp is located far from the city, is surrounded by fences and monitored by cameras. The ERRC is highlighting the discrepencies between Italy’s policies and practice, as local authorities continue to forcibly evict and segregate Roma.

For more information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324

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