MINELRES: ERRC: Demolition of Romani Houses in Kaliningrad, Russia

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Feb 27 19:22:24 2006

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

Kaliningrad Governor Urged to Stop Inhuman Treatment of Romani Families

Budapest. February 24, 2006. The European Roma Rights Centre today sent
a letter to the Governor of Kalinigrad region, Mr Georgiy Boos, urging
him to intervene and stop the demolition of Romani houses Dorozhny
village of Kaliningrad. The ERRC expressed concern that the actions of
the Kaliningrad authorities had exposed Romani families to homelessness
in violation of international human rights law.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Mr Boos,

The European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) is an international public
interest law organisation, which monitors the human rights situation of
Roma and provides legal defense in cases of human rights abuse. The ERRC
expresses deep concern regarding the demolition of Romani houses in the
Dorozhny village, in Kaliningrad region. According to reports from the
International Roma Union of Baltic States and the CIS, and publications
in "Komsomolskaya pravda" (Kaliningrad), in February 2006, the city
authorities of Kaliningrad sent bulldozers to demolish the houses of
Romani families. The forced evictions undertaken by the authorities
expose 4 Romani families, including children and women, to homelessness.
This situation is aggravated by the severe weather conditions in the
Kaliningrad region at this time of the year.

The ERRC notes that the actions of the city administration are in breach
of a number of international as well as domestic human rights
provisions, in particular:

a) the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
to which the Russian Federation is a party, and which states at Article
11(1): "The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right
of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his
family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the
continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will
take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right [...]";

b) UN Committee on ESC Rights General Comment No. 4 on adequate housing
under Article 11(1) of the Covenant, para. 18 of which reads: "[the
Committee] considers that instances of forced eviction are prima facie
incompatible with the requirements of the Covenant and can only be
justified in the most exceptional circumstances, and in accordance with
the relevant principles of international law."

c) UN Committee on ESC Rights General Comment No. 7 on forced eviction
Paragraph 16 of which provides: "Evictions should not result in
individuals being rendered homeless or vulnerable to the violation of
other human rights. Where those affected are unable to provide for
themselves, the State party must take all appropriate measures, to the
maximum of its available resources, to ensure that adequate alternative
housing, resettlement or access to productive land, as the case may be,
is available."

d) The Constitution of the Russian Federation, whose Article 40.2
provides: "The bodies of state authority and local self government shall
encourage housing construction and create conditions for exercising the
right to a home."

Dear Mr Boos,

The European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) urges you to immediately cease
the demolition of the Romani houses in the Dorozhny village and start
consultations with the Romani families to find an appropriate solution
to their housing situation. The ERRC and other domestic and
international organisations will continue monitoring the actions of the
Russian authorities with respect to the housing rights crisis affecting
the Romani families in the Dorozhny village and will report to domestic
and international human rights bodies as well as media.

Sincerely yours,

Dimitrina Petrova,
Executive Director


The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law 
organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the
European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax: +36 1 4132201


The European Roma Rights Centre is dependent upon the generosity of 
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