MINELRES: ERRC: Portugal Brought Before European Tribunal for Roma Housing Situation

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu May 13 20:26:41 2010

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

BUDAPEST, LISBON, STRASBOURG, 7 MAY 2010: On 23 April 2010, the European
Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) registered a collective complaint
filed by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) against Portugal
concerning the housing situation of Roma in the country. On the basis of
field research, documentation and continuous monitoring in Portugal over
the last five years, the ERRC submitted that Portugal has failed to meet
its human rights obligations under the Revised European Social Charter
The widespread housing-related injustices occurring in Portugal include
problems of access to social housing, substandard quality of housing,
lack of access to basic utilities, residential segregation of Romani
communities and other systemic violations of the right to housing; these
are compounded by a lack of practical access to effective legal remedies
for redress. The ERRC asserts that the sum of housing-related injustices
in Portugal constitutes a violation of Articles 16 (the right of the
family to social, legal and economic protection) and 31 (right to
housing). Furthermore, the living conditions of Roma in Portugal
demonstrate their social exclusion, in violation of Article 30 (right to
protection against poverty and social exclusion). Each of these
violations may be read alone or in conjunction with Article E
(non-discrimination) of the RESC.

Looking forward to the ECSR’s consideration and decision in respect of
this collective complaint, the ERRC hopes that the Portuguese Government
will be held to account for the substandard housing situation of Roma
and urged to undertake measures to improve housing conditions and combat
social exclusion of Roma, in accordance with the RESC.

The full text of the collective complaint, No. 61/2010 European Roma
Rights Centre v Portugal, is available here: