More than 10,000 Roma were subjected to forced evictions by French authorities last year, with over 6 in 10 Romani families experiencing forced eviction.

The annual report released by the European Roma Rights Centre and the Ligue des droits de L’Homme shows that more than half of the recorded evictions took place without a court decision and in most cases, no adequate alternative accommodation was offered to those made homeless.

Most of the 10,119 Roma evicted in 2016 were evicted during the winter months in the fourth quarter of the year, which saw a 17% increase in numbers of people made homeless compared to the previous quarter. The report shows that many Roma were evicted multiple times in 2016. This unsustainable practice only worsens deep poverty and neglects the underlying housing problems.

France’s policy of ethnically targeted evictions creates cycles of repeat evictions and forced removals. It is also a significant squandering of financial and administrative resources. It is not only a morally bankrupt strategy, but one that is not in the best interests of tax-payers whose contributions would could far better be deployed to invest in social assessments and sustainable solutions for housing.

In addition to forced evictions, 2016 saw many incidents of hate speech and cases of discrimination against Romani people. This further confirms the need for a significant policy response to address the plight of a stigmatised and deeply impoverished population.

The full report on the census of forced evictions of Roma in France for 2016 is available in English and French.