Urgent Action Update: Roma Still Homeless After Forced Eviction (Italy: UA 68.19)
July 11, 2019
Around 500 Roma people, including around 150 children, pregnant women and older people, were left homeless after being forcibly evicted by authorities from their settlement in the municipality of Giugliano in Campania, in southern Italy, on 10 May. The families have since found shelter in an industrial area but urgently need adequate alternative housing solutions. Authorities must urgently comply with European mechanisms’ request that Italy adopts immediate measures to eliminate the risk of serious and irreparable harm and guarantee Roma families’ rights and safety.
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Ambassador Armando Varricchio
Embassy of Italy
3000 Whitehaven St NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 612 4400 I Fax: 202 518 2154
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear President of the Council of Ministers,
I am writing to express my concern over the situation of around 500 Romani people, including some 150 children, pregnant women and older people, who were left homeless in the Ponte Riccio locality after being forcibly evicted by the local authorities of Giugliano in Campania on 10 May 2019. The families have now found some shelter in an improvised campsite in an industrial area outside Giugliano town, in conditions which raise serious concerns in relation to access to basic rights and services. These Romani families have already been victims of a catalogue of human rights violations at the hands of national and local authorities in recent years, including previous forced evictions, and for almost three years now, the authorities have failed repeatedly to guarantee the families an adequate sustainable housing solution. Following a recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the Roma community, the Italian authorities committed to refrain from carrying out further evictions of the families; activated a social services task force; and have offered temporary housing solutions to some of them. However, a sustainable long-term housing solution is not yet in place. Furthermore, on 5 July, the European Committee of Social Rights accepted Amnesty International’s collective complaint against the treatment of Roma by the Italian authorities, which refers also to the Romani community of Giugliano, and decided to take ‘exceptional steps to request immediate measures to eliminate the risk of serious and irreparable harm to the Roma who have been evicted’.
In view of the above, I urge you to take swift action as requested by the Committee to ensure that the Roma people of Giugliano, and all other people affected by an eviction, are provided with adequate housing and living conditions; and ensure that all relevant authorities engage immediately with the community to genuinely consult on and identify long term adequate alternative housing for all families, in line with international and regional human rights laws and standards and the National Strategy for Roma Inclusion.
Yours sincerely,ADDITIONAL RESOURCES