EU should hold France to account for Roma forced evictions

EU should hold France to account for Roma forced evictions
(Brussels, 29 November 2012) In a report issued today, Amnesty International has urged the European Union to scrutinise France’s treatment of its Roma population. The report, Chased Away: Forced evictions of Roma in the Ile-de-France, exposes the harmful impact of forced evictions on Roma people’s lives. 
“Persistent discrimination limits Roma people’s access to fundamental human rights like housing, employment, health care and education”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. 
We urge the Commission to keep a close eye on all EU countries’ compliance with the Race Equality Directive and to react promptly to violations. The Commission should also target measures which discriminate against Roma people. National strategies to help them integrate should include specific anti-discriminatory measures.” 
While welcoming the new French Government’s positive tone and approach, and its renunciation of its predecessor’s discriminatory rhetoric and the stigmatisation of Roma people, the report deplores the continued forced evictions throughout France. Amnesty International has urged the country to halt these immediately, respect international human rights standards, and monitor all its policies, (including housing, education and health) for potential discriminatory impact. 
It is estimated that thousands of Roma migrants annually are forcibly evicted from informal settlements in France, which sometimes leaves whole families homeless. These evictions fall short of international standards, exacerbate already poor housing and health conditions, and harm Roma children’s education. 
For more information please contact:
Peter Clarke 
Media & Communications Officer
European Institutions Office
Amnesty International
Tel: +32 (0) 2 548 2773