Roma-only Tent Camp Set Up for Children and Elderly in Consenza

09 June 2015

Budapest, Cosenza, 9 June 2015: According to media sources about 100 Roma currently living in a building known as Ferrotel will be evicted by the Municipality of Cosenza and placed in a segregated tent camp. This eviction is part of an earlier, larger plan targeting another 400 Roma residing in the Vaglio Lise informal camp who will be left on the street. NGOs demand answers.

Lav Romano, Fondazione Romanì Italia, Osserv Azione, Scuola del Vento and the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) have sent a letter of concern to the Municipality of a town in Calabria regarding a planned act of segregation which is directly at odds with the Italian National Strategy for the inclusion of Roma, Sinti and Caminanti Communities. Roma have not been consulted in the development of the proposed plan and the NGO’s concerned are not aware of any long term sustainable proposals from the Municipality to address the housing needs of the affected Roma.

The Municipality claims that the eviction and creation of the Roma-only tent camp is based on the ordinance of the Regional Administrative Court from 23 May 2015 in which the court confirmed the ownership rights of the Ferrotel building to the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.a.company. However the Mayor of Cosenza had already announced the evictions and the construction of the tent camp weeks earlier on 8 May. This raises serious concerns about the motivation behind the action. Even if the decision is truly based on a court judgment, the manner in which this decision is to be executed is discriminatory by its very nature. This is contrary to Italian, EU and international law.

The community has been living in Cosenza for 10 years. “This planned eviction will have serious consequences on the well-being and lives of the Roma residents, in particular their children. Instead of insuring their integration, the plans appear to stigmatise and exclude them on the basis of their race.” - says András Ujlaky, Executive Director of ERRC.

Background

  • The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is an international human rights organisation defending the rights of Roma across Europe. See www.errc.org.
  • Lav Romano is an NGO based in Cosenza. It is formed by volunteers which cooperate in many ways with local authorities in order to improve the situation of Roma living in Cosenza.
  • Scuola del Vento is an NGO which promotes the training from the bottom and intercultural exchange. It is formed by teachers street and activists promoting culture. Its goals are: experimental teaching, antiracism and the building of Another school.
  • Fondazione Romanì Italia is a private non-profit institution which rejects all forms of violence and discrimination. It promotes a conscious knowledge of the Romany population and consciousness of being Roma, in order to promote a deep and rooted change, with joint, synergistic and cooperative effort, in a perspective of affirmation of rights and protections. See http://www.fondazioneromani.eu.
  • OsservAzione, Action Research for Roma & Sinti Rights, is a non-governmental organisation engaging in a range of activities aimed at combating anti-Romani racism and human rights abuses of Roma and Sinti in Italy.

For further information contact:

Szelim SIMÁNDI
press@errc.org
+36202658562
 

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