Miercurea Ciuc Roma
|What is affected||
|Type of violation||
|Date||01 August 2004|
|Region||E [ Europe ]|
Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)
ROMANIA: Roma families forcibly evicted
Organisation: Amnesty International
Resource type: News release
[26 January 2010] - Across Romania, Romani families are being evicted from their homes against their will. When this happens, they don’t just lose their homes. They lose their possessions, their social contacts, their access to work and state services. When they try to raise their voice against the discrimination affecting their own lives, they are often simply ignored.
Although some Roma people live in permanent structures with legal tenancy, many other long-standing Romani dwellings are considered by the government as temporary and unofficial, and their inhabitants do not have any proof of tenancy, which exacerbates their vulnerability to eviction.
On the occasions when alternative housing is offered by the authorities, it is often built in very precarious conditions and lacks basic facilities such as water, heating or electricity. In recent years, Romani communities have been evicted and relocated next to rubbish dumps, sewage treatment plants or industrial areas on the outskirts of cities.
This pattern of forced evictions, without adequate consultation, adequate notice or adequate alternative housing, perpetuates racial segregation and violates Romania’s international obligations.
There are almost 2.2 million Roma in Romania – making up about 10 per cent of the total population. Yet discrimination, both by public officials and society at large, remains widespread and entrenched, resulting in as many as 75 per cent of Roma living in poverty, as opposed to 24 per cent of Romanians in general and 20 per cent of ethnic Hungarians, the largest minority in Romania.
About 75 Roma people – including families with young children – have been living in metal cabins and shacks next to a sewage treatment plant at the end of Primaverii Street since 2004 in Miercurea Ciuc, Central Romania. They were moved to the area, deemed unfit for human habitation, from a crumbling building in the centre of the town.
They were told the move was temporary, and for their own safety. After more than five years, and various court cases, the continued violation of their right to adequate housing – among a host of other rights – is beginning to feel very permanent.
The temporary metal cabins and shacks are close to the sewage treatment plant, falling within the 300 metre protection zone established by Romanian law to separate homes from potential toxic hazards.
The ordeal of the Roma families has continued for six years. Now is the time for the local authorities to provide them with adequate housing close to services and facilities in a safe and healthy location.
Child Rights International Network