Romania: Thousands of lives uprooted in forced evictions
(Brussels, 18 June 2013) Amnesty International has urged the European Commission to engage with the Romanian Government to ensure the right of adequate housing – for all its residents.
“What we’re seeing in Romania is the deliberate expulsion of vulnerable people who live on or below the poverty line and suffer from substandard housing,” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “Romania’s current housing laws fall far short of international standards as adopted by the Romanian Government. They’re failing to guarantee the right to adequate housing for all their residents and to forbid forced evictions.”
Amnesty International’s most recent report on Romania, Pushed to the margins: Five stories of Roma forced evictions in Romania, presents the experiences of Roma people forced from their homes and neighbourhoods and consigned to the outskirts of their cities. The report follows five forcibly evicted people from three Romanian cities and exposes the profound impact on people’s lives of lost homes and livelihoods.
Under the pretext of ‘inner-city regeneration’ and ‘development’ many communities have been evicted and relocated to entirely unsuitable sites. The alternative housing provided often lacks basic services such as heating and electricity or is unfit for habitation. Relocating people like this often results in their further marginalisation and impoverishment and flies in the face of the government’s policies to combat social exclusion of Roma and other vulnerable groups.
“The Commission should seize opportunities like the forthcoming EU Roma Platform next week, to guide member states on how to fulfil their international duties such as access to adequate housing. If EU countries are unwilling, the Commission should apply its existing legal instruments to halt discrimination and forced evictions,” said Beger.
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