ERRC Calls on Rome Authorities to Halt Practice of Forced Evictions

08 February 2011

Budapest, Rome, 8 February 2011: In reaction to news that four Romani children, aged between 4 and 11, tragically died in a fire in their home in Rome on 6 February 2011, the ERRC called on Italian authorities to address the deteriorating housing situation of Roma and Sinti in Italy in a letter sent Monday.

Addressing the Mayor, Prefects and a City Councillor for Social Policy in Rome, the ERRC urged the authorities to comply with international law by not forcibly evicting Romani settlements and by working with Romani and Sinti organisations and individuals to develop sustainable, adequate housing solutions for all Roma and Sinti on the territory of Rome. The extraordinary powers granted to the local authorities under Italy's State of Emergency to conduct widespread forced evictions have left many Roma and Sinti, and particularly Romani migrants from other EU Member States, in desperate and dangerous living conditions, or in segregated camps.

In the wake of this tragedy, ERRC Executive Director Rob Kushen expressed alarm about Mayor Alemanno’s call for extended powers to eliminate so-called illegal camps in Rome: “The lives of Roma and Sinti in Italy have been constantly disrupted under the State of Emergency since May 2008. The policy of forced evictions has proven to be unsuccessful in resolving the housing problems of Roma. Italian authorities must immediately seek sustainable, adequate housing solutions for all.”

The full text of the ERRC letter is available in English and Italian.

For further information, contact:
Sinan Gokcen
Media and Communications Officer


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