Widespread discrimination against Roma people in Europe makes them easy victims of forcible slum evacuations. Because of the discrimination in the labor market, Roma people hardly ever live in rented accommodation. And as they are excluded de facto from subsidized housing, they have no choice but settle down wherever they can, which often means informal settlements. But in this case, as they hold no legal right to the dwellings they occupy, they are prone to forcible evictions and other human rights violations.
Forcible evictions are cruel, humiliating and violate international law. Forcible evictions are systematically inflicted upon Roma communities in Europe. European governments that order the forcible eviction of thousands of people from their dwellings often ignore their obligations deriving from international law and violate the Roma’s human rights. The right to adequate housing is protected by Art. 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights-ICESCR and by other international and regional human rights agreements. Forcible evictions violate those international standards. These evictions are conducted without adequate protections and safeguards: they are not notified ahead of time, the communities to be evacuated are not consulted ahead of time, they are conducted without providing for any legal recourses and remedies or alternative housing or reparation.
Most of the Roma people subjected to forcible evictions live in poverty or are marginalized. These people are discriminated and sometimes treated as criminals. In most forcible evictions, the authorities fail to offer Roma people any adequate housing alternatives. After being forcibly evicted, many of them remain homeless, they often experience a worsening of their life conditions, or they continue using temporary or makeshift dwellings for years. Others are subjected to new forcible evictions. Furthermore the latter frequently cause the loss of personal goods, social relationships, access to employment and to services such as education and health care (Amnesty International).
"Italy-Homeless in Italy" Roma in Italy are constantly at risk of being evicted from their homes. Denise was evicted with her son Antonio. This video is part of the Amnesty International www.SlumStories.org project (An online videochannel about the life in slums in different parts of the world).
"Human rights here, Roma rights now, Amnesty International, 2013."
• "Anime smarrite. Il piano degli sgomberi a Roma: storie quotidiane di segregazione abitativa e di malessere" Associazione 21 luglio, 2012 Rapporto etnografico sul malessere causato dalla politica di sradicamento abitativo nei confronti delle comunità rom e sinte a Roma: versione divulgativa, versione integrale, video.
Slum evictions in Milan (Italy), 2009-11
In Milan, from 2008 to 2011, there were over 500 evictions of Roma families, more than 200 in 2010 alone. People were often evicted multiple times, forced to roam the outskirts of the city. Florina, a 7 year-old Romanian Roma, has been vacated twenty times in a year; Gheorghe, 9 years old, had to change schools eight times in three years because of the evictions.