Giving Memory A Future
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Social Inclusion - The Right to Housing



Bonfadini Street communal camp, Milan (Italy).
© Alessandro Serranò

• The housing policies designed for  Roma and Sinti people in Italy raise two key issues: the consistency of the housing solutions offered, and the measures and policies that form the framework for the supply of housing.

• In different parts of the world  the Roma and Sinti populations display a great variety of types of housing used, related to the great variety of their lifestyles.

• The issue of social inclusion  of this population is closely connected with its living conditions and lifestyle.

• A variety of solutions:  Any serious Roma housing policy should include a variety of solutions suited to the highly diversified situations, needs, and life projects of the various Roma and Sinti populations.

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The Right to Adequate Housing — Background Materials

• Report: "Lasciati fuori. Violazione dei diritti dei rom in Europa" [‘Left out: Violations of Europe’s Roma people’s rights’], Amnesty International, 2009.

• Report: "Housing conditions of Roma and Travellers in the European Union", European Union – Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), 2009.

• Exhibition: "Io vivo al campo. Storie di bambini rom a Milano". [”’I live in the camp.’ Stories of Roma children in Milan.”]

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Nomad Camps: A Deliberate Policy

Bonfadini Street camp in Milan (Italy), isolated on three sides by the rest of the city.

• Nomad camps were part of a deliberately chosen housing policy adopted in Italy.

• Documentary: "Via Novara 523. Storie di padri e madri rom" [‘523, via Novara. Stories of Roma fathers and mothers’], filmed by Gaetano Maffia in 2010 inside the municipal ‘nomad camp’ at via Novara in Milan, supervised by Caritas Ambrosiana, the local Church’s humanitarian organization.

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• The phenomenon of illegal settlements is common to many metropolitan areas in Europe. Its origins lie in the difficulties recently immigrated Roma come up against when trying to purchase or rent housing, or when applying for government subsidized housing. However, not all shantytown dwellers are Roma. 

• Video: "Italy – Life of a Roma family in Rome" (Slum Stories).

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Forcible Evictions

Forcible evictions tend to be:

• Unfair: they often affect socially vulnerable or marginal individuals and are often the outcome of discriminatory campaigns or electoral tools in the hands of local politicians.

• Useless: they tend to be perceived and conducted as punishments and do not fit in with any inclusion strategies.

• Humiliating: they violate human dignity and the fundamental rights of individuals, such as the right to adequate housing.

• They violate international law as they are often not conducted in compliance with international rules and regulations.

• Video: "Italy-Homeless in Italy".

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Further Reading

• "Housing Rights of Roma and Travellers across Europe", Housing Rights Watch, 2010.

• "Housing conditions of Roma and Travellers", Raxen, 2009.

• Rapporti di Amnesty International sull'Italia: "Ai margini:sgomberi forzati e segregazione dei rom in Italia", 2012.

• "'Tolleranza zero vero i rom'. Sgomberi forzati e dicriminazione contro i rom a Milano", 2011.

• "La risposta sbagliata. Italia: Il Piano Nomadi viola il diritto all'alloggio dei rom a Roma", 2010.

• Rapporti dell'Associazione 21 luglio su Roma: "Diritti rubati", 2012 - Rapporto sulle condizioni di vita dei minori rom e delle loro famiglie nel "villaggio attrezzato" di via della Cesarina a Roma.

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