EU must hold France accountable for failure to integrate Roma

EU must hold France accountable for failure to integrate Roma
(Brussels, 26 September 2013) Following the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls’ comments on the need for Romani people in France to return home, Amnesty International has welcomed Viviane Reding’s intervention reminding France of its obligations regarding the integration of Romani people.
With its National Roma Integration Strategy, the French government has committed to the EU to take active measures to integrate Roma and fight discrimination. However, the reality is very different.
Yesterday, Amnesty International published a report, Told to move on: Forced evictions of Roma in France, documenting the shocking numbers of Roma people that have been forcibly evicted in France. Over 10,000 Roma have been evicted in France in the first six months of 2013, leaving many homeless. In most cases, evictions do not comply with international human rights standards.
There are an estimated 20,000 Romani migrants living in France, predominately from Bulgaria, Romania and the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
“This year alone half of the Romani migrants in France have been driven out of their homes, in most cases without being appropriately consulted or informed. Instead of helping integration, evictions disrupt schooling and work, making the exclusion even worse” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the European Commission to use infringement procedures against member states in cases in which systematic discrimination against Romani people can be shown.
For more information please contact:
Helen McCarthy
Media & Communications Officer
European Institutions Office
Amnesty International
Tel: +32 (0) 2 548 2773