MINELRES: NGOs call for EU response to substandard Roma and Traveller housing across the Union

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Nov 4 17:06:40 2009

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>
NGOs call for EU response to substandard Roma and Traveller housing
across the Union
Brussels, 20 October 2009: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and
Pavee Point Travellers Centre welcome the European Union Agency for
Fundamental Rights’ report, “Housing conditions of Roma and Travellers
in the European Union”, launched today at a conference in Brussels. The
findings of this study confirm that despite the efforts made on the part
of some governments, the overall housing situation of many Roma and
Travellers in the EU is dire.
In relation to improving the housing situation of Roma and Travellers
the following conclusions hold strong in the report:
Data collection: More action and data collection efforts are urgently
needed. Many Member States have developed policy and programming
responses to this situation, but the results are markedly insufficient
and immeasurable because they are not based on accurate numbers of Roma
living in a Member State or in a particular community, or on an accurate
assessment of housing needs. 
Segregation: Government actions sometimes specifically aim at
segregating Roma and Travellers. Other government efforts may contribute
somewhat to improving housing conditions but often result in further
segregation instead of promoting inclusion or integration. Consequently,
the results until now fall short of Member State obligations under
international human rights law. 
Forced evictions: The forced eviction of Roma and Traveller families is
a recurrent problem which often results in de facto homelessness and
violates Member State obligations under international human rights law. 
While the overall picture is bleak the report also illustrates some
examples of good practice resulting from direct Roma and Traveller
participation in development of housing policy, the undertaking of
comprehensive needs assessments as well as innovative design of sites by
local authorities. EU Member States are encouraged to emulate these and
other good practices highlighted in the report. 
It is an important development that the European Commission requested
that the FRA conduct this study in response to widespread housing rights
concerns among Romani and Traveller communities. The ERRC and Pavee
Point view this request as a clear commitment by the European Union to
develop its competencies in the area of housing rights and
non-discrimination and to bring its legal framework in line with other
international standards in this area. The comparative report illustrates
that Roma and Travellers across the Union experience grave violations in
the area of housing rights; an EU level response is therefore necessary.
The ERRC and Pavee Point support the FRA’s call for the development of a
European Framework Strategy on Roma Inclusion.
For more information please contact:
Ronnie Fay, Director, Pavee Point Travellers Centre, ronnie.fay@pavee.ie
Martin Collins, Assistant Director, Pavee Point Travellers Centre,
Robert Kushen, ERRC Executive Director, rob.kushen@errc.org
Sinan Gokcen, ERRC Information Officer, sinan.gokcen@errc.org
Background information
The ERRC and Pavee Point implemented this study and produced drafts of
the reports under a service contract with the FRA. The final conclusions
and opinions are the FRA’s. This report concludes a research project,
the aim of which was to study the housing situation of Roma and
Travellers in the EU Member States, highlighting significant initiatives
that improve their living conditions to support the development of
conclusions and opinions to the Community institutions and Member
States. Field research for case studies, undertaken by the European Roma
Rights Centre and Pavee Point, is intended to assist the FRA in
developing appropriate evidence-based policies and measures to improve
the housing situation of Roma and Travellers.
The project consisted of several parts. Thematic country studies were
developed by the FRA’s RAXEN network of National Focal Points (NFPs) in
24 EU Member States. In-depth field research was undertaken to develop
six in-depth case studies. A working paper was developed from the FRA’s
EU-MIDIS statistical survey data related to discrimination in access to
housing. Finally, the data from all these portions was synthesised,
analysed and developed into a comprehensive comparative report,
presenting the main conclusions of the research. This data will be
presented to relevant stakeholders, including EU and national level
policymakers, government representatives of all levels working on
housing issues and representatives of civil society at the roundtable.

Pavee Point Travellers Centre      European Roma Rights Centre
46 North Great Charles Street      1386 Budapest
Dublin 1, Ireland                  P.O. Box 906/93,
Telephone: [353 1] 8780255         Phone: (36-1) 413-2200
Fax: [353 1] 8742626               Fax: (36-1) 413-2201
email: info@pavee.ie               E-mail: office@errc.org
http://www.paveepoint.ie/          http://www.errc.org

The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation 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 http://www.errc.org 

To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200

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