Albania: Romani neighborhood demolished for road, residents likely homeless
The Roma Virtual Network has published a message from Brisilda Taco, a self-identified Romani activist in Tirana, Albania, about recent home demolitions there. The activist reports that on 23 July, the Albanian Government began to demolish Romani-occupied houses in Selita.
Reportedly many of the families never received any official notice of the demolition, which Taco says is illegal.Some of them are said to still be in shock, as they were unprepared to be displaced and the authorities did not provide medical assistance, psychological assistance, or social work assistance to those in need.
There is reportedly a high chance that some families may end up living on the streets as a result of the demolition. Their eviction was initiated back in March 2014 when the authorities announced they would be building a highway through the neighborhood and suspended a process, reportedly already underway for nine years, to legalize the informal houses there.
The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), an advocacy organization based in Budapest, has also complained to the Albanian authorities about educational segregation of Roma and other minority groups who are induced to enroll their children into a segregated school in order to receive food aid packages. Another segregation tactic in Albania reported by the ERRC is the construction of an "annex school" inside a Romani community to keep Romani residents from attending school together with non-Romani children.
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