16 May 2012
Italy must protect the rights of Roma with deeds and not just words

Forced eviction of Romani families living in an informal camp in via Severini, in Rome, on 26 March 2012.© Amnesty International

Hundreds of Romani families are trapped in a cycle of forced evictions in Italy. Children, men and women living in informal camps are being evicted almost on a daily basis without any legal protection. Very often such forced evictions make them homeless.

Even Roma living in authorized and tolerated camps are at risk of unlawful evictions. “Nomad Plans”, foreseeing the closure of several camps in Rome and Milan, were devised under the “Nomad Emergency”, a discriminatory state of emergency adopted in May 2008. Although the “Nomad Emergency” was eventually declared unlawful last November, authorities are still committed to carrying those plans forward, instead of providing remedies to those who suffered  violations, including through segregation in substandard camps, forced evictions and a decrease in security of tenure.

The Italian government has a responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of the Roma, including their right to adequate housing. But six months after taking office, the government still has to show its commitment to protecting the rights of the Roma with deeds, and not just with words.

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