Roma Evictions on The Rise in France

Roma evictions continue to make headlines as expulsions continue to rise particularly in the cities of Lille, Lyon and Paris this month of August.

Reports say Roma evictions are also documented by non-governmental organizations and the media, and seem set to continue.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), France has evicted ethnic Roma from makeshift camps across the country without this week.

Around 750 Roma became homeless in different parts of France this week as a result of their camps being destroyed.

A Romani woman from the Czech Republic.

Today, with the rising force evictions of Roma by the France government, a group of independent United Nations human rights experts urged the French Government to ensure compliance with international non-discrimination standards when it comes to the dismantling of Roma settlements.

“Forced eviction is not an appropriate response and alternative solutions should be sought that conform with human rights standards.” – Raquel Rolnik, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing

Ms. Rolnik says legal safeguards must be in place, including the provision of adequate housing alternatives to ensure that individuals, particularly children, women and those with illnesses or disability, are not left homeless.

In addition, the experts also highlighted that similar actions against the Roma were undertaken in August 2010 which sparked widespread European and international criticism.

“These reports are disturbing, especially because it is not the first time that Roma are collectively expelled from France.” -Rita Izsak, the UN Independent Expert on minority issues

Ms. Izsak says the Roma are European Union citizens and Europe’s most marginalized minority.

Reports say that up to 12 million Roma live in Europe, and other Roma populations live in Latin America and other regions.

Only 42% of Roma (Gypsy) children complete primary school in Europe compared to a European Union (EU) average of 97.5%, according to EU.

As Romani people marked the International Roma Day in April this year, the United States voiced concern on the increasing anti-Roma rhetoric and violence against all Roma.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the special day celebarted the history, impact and culture of Romani people.

From music and art to science and literature, Romani people have contributed in ways large and small to the fabric of countless societies.

The Romani people are segregated, beaten, and systematically discriminated against.

Reports say, Roma are subject to racist violence. These attacks have sometimes resulted in serious injuries and deaths. This violence is not a new phenomenon and has been prevalent in Europe for centuries.

Discriminations include denying access to an education and to jobs as well.

Despite a decade of progress, during this global economic downturn incidents of anti-Roma rhetoric and violence continues to rise.

In addition, Romani people are on the frontlines of the struggle for greater human rights and dignity.

The United States is helping improve opportunities for Roma to participate in the political, social, economic, and cultural lives of their communities.

The United States is committed to working with civil society groups and governments to make a real difference in the lives of Roma.

The United States believes that governments have a special responsibility to ensure that members of the Roma community and all minority communities have the tools to succeed as productive members of society.

Promoting and protecting the inalienable human rights of Roma everywhere is a stated foreign policy priority of Obama Administration.

The Obama administration says one of the pieces of unfinished business in Europe is the full integration of the Roma people into the societies and nations where they reside.

Romani people is an ethnic group with origins in northern India who are widely dispersed with their largest concentrated populations in Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe.

Alarming condition of the Roma people was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.