Annual Report: Romania 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Romania 2010

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  • On 31 May, in Sanmartin, as a response to an alleged conflict between a group of local Roma and a non-Roma man, 400 non-Romani people reportedly attacked houses inhabited by Roma, damaging dozens of homes and properties. According to the NGO Romani CRISS, as a result of the attacks 170 Roma fled their homes and sought refuge in the woods, in the fields and on the streets, fearing for their safety. An informal local commission for dialogue (comprised mostly of the non-Roma population) was formed, which drafted a community agreement outlining obligations for the Roma. Following the adoption of this agreement, from June until August the Roma in Sanmartin allegedly continued to suffer harassment from local non-Roma people who gathered regularly in groups of 100 to 150 people, going round the Romani houses in the village allegedly to monitor the fulfilment of these obligations. Romanian NGOs expressed concerns over the lack of response of the authorities to ensure the safety of the community and the investigations of the attacks on Romani houses.
  • The European Court of Human Rights took into consideration the government's admission that there was a lack of remedies for the enforcement of the rights guaranteed by the European Convention in the case of T?nase and others v Romania, including the prohibition of torture, right to a fair trial, right to respect for private and family life, right to an effective remedy and prohibition of discrimination. In 1991, a crowd of more than 2,000 non-Roma, together with the priest and mayor, had burned or otherwise damaged the houses of 24 Romani people in Bolintin Deal. Following the attacks, the entire Romani community in the village fled their houses and were left homeless for a month. In May, the government committed to paying damages totalling €565,000, and undertook to implement a series of measures to prevent and fight discrimination and to improve living conditions for the Roma community.

Right to adequate housing

Romani people continued to experience segregation in housing. The UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing raised concerns about the housing conditions of poor and vulnerable groups, including Roma, and urged Romania to consider ratifying Article 31 on the right to adequate housing under the Revised European Social Charter. There were several cases of violations of the right to adequate housing.