Tag: forced evictions
“Ahh, Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia … in 1975-76 when I started school, I was living together with non-Roma, Macedonians, Albanians and Turks in a multiethnic society. As a Rom who was born in Yugoslavia, a country of six republics and two provinces … a man who was born in Kumanovo, I think that Yugoslav socialism was good for Roma … Roma could find work and travel from state to state without any need for special documents …”
The 2016 communication on the EU Roma Framework is the most explicit declaration from Brussels that human rights must come first. In this latest progress update on Roma inclusion, the European Commission reported that in the last year it has “stepped up action” to fight discrimination, segregation and anti-Gypsyism, hate speech and hate crime. The Commission also highlighted the failures of Member States to address the most important housing challenges, namely fighting segregation and preventing forced evictions. With infringement proceedings over school segregation on the go in three Member States, the Commission continues to investigate discrimination in housing and schools in a number of other countries, and stated that it will take action to ensure the Racial Equality Directive is properly transposed and enforced.
Despite Romania’s miserable rankings statistics on many poverty and social exclusion indicators, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, found that “Many Romanian officials are in denial about the extent of poverty and especially about the systemic and deep-rooted discrimination against the extremely poor, particularly the Roma, as illustrated by cases of forced evictions and police abuse.”
Will the outcome of the 5th of June local elections make a whit of a difference to the exclusion and privation suffered by Roma in Italy? The authors fear not, and vague campaign promises notwithstanding, anticipate more of the same with no respite from forced evictions and segregationist solutions.
The latest ECRI report on Italy confirms that Roma remain targets of hate speech and hate crime, continue to live in conditions of acute marginalisation and discrimination, and are effectively denied access to housing and other social rights. In light of these latest findings, the European Commission needs to investigate Italy for breaches of the Racial Equality Directive. For it is clear from this latest report that all the promptings, recommendations, requests and ‘urgings’ from European bodies to date, have failed to dent Italy’s undeclared apartheid when it comes to Roma.