Belgrade authorities violate Roma rights, NGOs claim

Belgrade city authorities did not respect human rights of Roma during the eviction from shanty towns, NGOs have released.

Source: Beta

They say that it is necessary to improve the legal framework in order to prevent such violations in the future.

“675 families were evicted from 2009 until 2012 in the territory of Belgrade but Roma were not informed on time, there were no consultations and they were not offered adequate housing,” Praxis NGO representative Danilo Ćurčić told a press conference.

He added that the NGOs had made a draft platform for the implementation of the right to have adequate housing that they will send to competent organs.

Ćurčić explained that the platform described the authorities’ actions during the eviction of Roman in the previous several years, as well as international standards and legal regulations.

According to international standards, the eviction must be the final option and the fact that someone lives at a certain location illegally is not enough to evict them.

The draft platform envisages that forcible evictions should be banned in accordance with the international law, either by changing the existing laws or by passing new ones.

According to the NGOs, the main problem of the Roma community in Serbia is housing and their settlements and camps need to be legalized so the situation in them could improve.

Around 30 percent of the Roma camps do not have running water, 70 percent do not have sewerage and it is possible to perform construction works in 14 percent of them.

Regional Center for Minorities’ Jovana Vuković stressed that every eviction process should start with consultations with Roma, that the fact that there were children, elderly and sick people living there should be taken into account and that the authorities needed to take care of their property before they made a decision to evict them.

“We monitored those evictions and we witnessed constant violation of their right to housing and this is due to lack of regulations that would govern the area,” she pointed out.


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