European Committee of Social Rights Rules Greece in Violation of Three Separate Aspects of the European Social Charter
21 July 2005
In a decision made public on June 8, 2005 in the matter of European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) v. Greece, the European Committee of Social Rights held that the Greek policies with respect to housing and accommodation of Roma infringe Article 16 of the European Social Charter due to:
- The insufficient number of dwellings of an acceptable quality to meet the needs of settled Roma;
- The insufficient number of stopping places for Roma who choose to follow an itinerant lifestyle or who are forced to do so
- The systemic eviction of Roma from sites or dwellings unlawfully occupied by them.
In finding Greece in breach of the Charter, the Committee held, "The Committee finds that Greece has failed to take sufficient measures to improve the living conditions of the Roma and that the measures taken have not yet achieved what is required by the Charter, notably by reason of the insufficient means for constraining local authorities or sanctioning them. It finds on the evidence submitted that a significant number of Roma are living in conditions that fail to meet the minimum standards and therefore that the situation is in breach of the obligation to promote the right of families to adequate housing laid down in Article 16." The full text of the Collective Complaint European Roma Rights Centre v. Greece is available at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=2144 and the full decision by the Council of Europe.