Romani Families Threatened with Wintertime Eviction in Serbia and Montenegro

28 May 2004

Ms Svetlana Stojanović, a Romani woman, and her two young children were threatened with eviction from their Belgrade apartment, according to a press release of the Belgrade-based non-governmental organisation Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) dated January 21, 2004. Ms Stojanović and her children had reportedly illegally occupied the apartment since 1992. Upon request of the owner of the apartment, ZIPP A.D., a Paraćin-based company, municipal authorities ordered Ms Stojanović to vacate the apartment. The HLC wrote a letter of concern to the municipal authorities to which, as of May 10, 2004, there had been no response, though the eviction had not yet been carried out.

In another case, according to the HLC press release of December 18, 2003, Ms Slavica Jovanović, the single Romani mother of four young children, received notice that she and her young children would be evicted from the flat they illegally occupied for five years in Belgrade's Vračar municipality on December 27, 2003. In December 2000, the Vračar housing and Building Affairs Office commenced legal action to evict Ms Jovanović, a social aid recipient who is reportedly forced to rummage through garbage to collect food to feed her children, according to the HLC. On December 16, the HLC asked Ms Milena Milošević, president of the Municipality of Vračar, to take steps to prevent the eviction of Ms Jovanović and her four young children. In a welcome development, Ms Milošević reportedly responded immediately that she would do what she could for the family and that Ms Jovanović and her children would not be made homeless. As of May 10, 2004, the HLC informed the ERRC that there had been no change in the situation. (HLC)


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