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October 26, 2020



Bulgaria and France reprimanded by UN Human Rights Commissioner over Roma displacement

12.9.2015 20:38
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Yesterday the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on Bulgaria and France to stop forcibly clearing Romani encampments. The 

High Commissioner said that French authorities evidently have been engaging in a "systematic policy" of this practice since 2012.  

The Associated Press reports that Hussein referenced the expulsion of more than 150 inhabitants of a Romani encampment from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve last month. Those displaced are now living in tents and are dependent on human rights activists who are attempting to arrange for their children to attend school despite the unwillingness of authorities to register them.    

"From a children's rights perspective, this is very disturbing," the High Commissioner said. He also stated that Bulgarian authorities evicted 41 people, most of them children, from their dwellings in the town of Garmen this week.  

"I call on Bulgaria to stop these forcible removals, which are devastating to the community affected," he declared, adding that the country should respect human rights recommendations and that no one should be made homeless. The Associated Press also reports that in recent years the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has repeatedly denounced the evictions of Romani people in European countries such as Albania, the Czech Republic, Great Britain,Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Turkey.  

Hussein mentioned a positive development in an informal settlement called Grmeč in Serbia, where the eviction of Romani people was recently halted. "I welcome this development and call on other states to proceed similarly," he said. 

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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