Italy: Children and Pregnant Romani Women Left Homeless
Unlawful demolitions of Romani property in Italy are rendering members of that community homeless, including newborns and pregnant women. Most recently Romani people were driven from the Germagnano informal settlement in Turin two weeks ago, according to the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), based in Budapest.
The ERRC is working with Amnesty International to push for “the European Commission to finally launch legal proceedings against Italy to prevent further forced evictions and segregation.” According to the ERRC, the latest report about Italy by the European Commission does not mention issues concerning Romani people.
In one case, the demolition of Romani houses began when a nine-year old boy was still sleeping in one such dwelling. The ERRC reports that “Witnesses reported that he was saved only when his mother shouted at the bulldozer to stop.”
The incident at Germagnano mirrors a similar forced eviction of the Gianturco settlement that occurred on 7 April 2017. Many Roma throughout Italy fear leaving their communities because they may never be allowed to return to them.
Amnesty International’s public campaign wants Italian authorities to confer with Romani residents in excluded settlements and ghettos in order to create sustainable housing strategies. According to the British newspaper The Independent, Amnesty demands “plans that comply with international and regional human rights standards and are consistent with Italy’s National Strategy for Roma Inclusion."
"The call [for these plans] has already gathered nearly 15 000 appeals that have been sent to the local municipality and the Italian Interior Minister,” Amnesty reported. The ERRC also reported that “Two hundred and fifty forced evictions were carried out against Roma by Italian authorities in 2016 alone.”
Action to improve this situation is meeting with some difficulty, as an estimated 21 900 refugees from Libya arrived in Italy during the first quarter of 2017. In addition to the increasing number of refugees seeking asylum in Italy, The Independent reports that “Italy’s own citizens face hardship amid high unemployment, which currently sits at 11.1 per cent, and the highest public debt in the Eurozone after Greece – about 132 per cent of GDP.”
- Fire in Czech town destroys building where bereaved relatives of Stanislav Tomáš, the Romani man who died in police custody in June, were living
- Romanian town must finally compensate some members of a forcibly evicted Romani community
- Vojtěch Lavička: Czech law on housing benefit-free zones was an attack on human dignity
- Albanian comedy shows feature blackface, prejudice and stereotypes about Romani people
- Czech mayors regret abolition of housing benefit-free zones, one alleges the move will "cause extremism"
- Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister proposes "expropriating" residential hotels after housing benefit-free zones declared unconstitutional
- BREAKTHROUGH DECISION: Czech Constitutional Court overturns part of law that allowed municipalities to declare "housing benefit-free zones"
- Slovakia: Those planning to attend public events with Pope Francis have to register online
- Romania: "Gipsycoin" cryptocurrency launched by Romani community leader
- Czech citizens living abroad can vote in October elections, deadline to register at consulate or embassy is 29 August
- Austria's Die Presse: Covert racism is why Europe's Roma are worse off after COVID-19 pandemic
- Romani runner in Slovakia whose junior career has been so hopeful confirms she is pregnant