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AHC: Preventing Any Discrimination Against the Roma Minority

Tirana, 7.2.2012 10:27, (ROMEA)

The Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC), during these days has followed with great attention the difficult living conditions imposed upon some Roma communities in the city of Tirana, as result of illegal actions by local authorities and the neglect or untimely reaction by Tirana Municipality, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities. AHC has reacted publicly twice for this situation, urging the responsible institutions to take the necessary measures, but we are yet to observe concrete action.

In this regard, we highly support the immediate interest of the Ombudsman, its interventions before public authorities, as well as the special attention showed for this community, housing them temporarily in the surroundings of the institution, which has avoided at least the living of these persons in the excessive cold and rainy weather of recent days. We appreciate and join with the reactions and actions involving material support for this community taken with the initiative of the international community, domestic and international civil society actors.

In spite of the events of these last days, the housing problem of the Roma minority, which is made even clearer in terms of all its serious and harmful consequences in these past days, is well-known by state institutions of all levels, because the latest events that have harmed the interests of the Roma community are not the only ones. We bring to the attention of the public that such a situation has recurred continuously in previous years. The media, AHC and other organizations have reacted time after time. The only ones that do not react are state structures, which have the direct responsibility in this regard, taking into consideration the fact that they have undertaken the responsibility for the design and approval of the strategy for this purpose.

So far, we are not aware of any concrete action undertaken for the accommodation of the Roma minority in adequate premises. Even the promise of the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities concerning their accommodation in a building administered by the Ministry of Defense, seems that has been delayed by bureaucracy, which reveals a lack of sensitivity to such an emergency case.

AHC has repeatedly urged responsible state institutions that should take measures for housing the Roma minority, for a rapid solution in the most satisfactory and long-term resolution of this important issue. Subjecting this community to the current conditions imposes inhuman, degrading and discriminating treatment, which is a very serious violation of human rights, which are sanctioned in the Albanian Constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights.

Press Statement - The Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC)
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