Document - France: Over 200 people face forced eviction

URGENT ACTION

UA: 81/13 Index: EUR 21/003/2013 France Date: 2 April 2013

URGENT ACTION

FRANCE: OVER 200 PEOPLE FACE FORCED EVICTION

Over 200 people living in an informal settlement in Ris-Orangis on the outskirts of Paris face imminent forced eviction following a decision taken by the municipality on 29 March 2013.

On 1 April, representatives of the Mayor of Ris-Orangis (a municipality in the greater Parisian region) posted an eviction order in the centre of an informal settlement where, according to official estimates, about 240 people including families with children live. The notice, issued for reasons of public safety, risk of fire, and health of the inhabitants, gave residents 24 hours to vacate the premises. The inhabitants, most of whom are Romanian Roma, live in 73 huts and 3 caravans near the National Highway 7.

On 26 March, the families were informed verbally by a group of about 15 officers from the National Police who visited the site, accompanied by a Romanian translator, that the Municipality would issue such an order on 29 March and carry out the eviction by 2 April. Any such eviction would require the participation of law enforcement officials who fall under the authority of the Prefect of Essonne, the administrative department in which Ris-Orangis is located. As of yet, the eviction has not taken place, but could do so any time on or after 2 April.

The authorities have not offered adequate long-term alternative housing options to those affected by the eviction, or formally consulted with the majority of them. It has been reported that 39 residents (12 of whom are adults) have been offered some assistance with accommodation and employment. Amnesty International has written to the Mayor of Ris-Orangis in both February and March 2013 to raise concerns about the planned eviction.

Please write immediately in French or English or your own language:

Urging the authorities to stop the planned eviction of the settlement near the Route national 7 in Ris-Orangis and to ensure that evictions of informal settlement are carried out only as a last resort, and only in full compliance with international human rights standards

Calling on the authorities to ensure that no one is left homeless and vulnerable to other violations of their human rights as a result of any eviction

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 MAY 2013 TO:

Prefect of Essonne

M Michel Fuzeau

Prefet de l’Essonne

Boulevard de France

91010 Évry, France

Fax: +33 1 69 91 97 99

Email: michel.fuzeau@essonne.gouv.fr

Salutation: Monsieur le Prefet

Mayor of Ris-Orangis

M Stéphane Raffali

Maire de Ris-Orangis

Place du Général de Gaulle

91130 Ris-Orangis, France

Fax: +33 1 69 02 52 53

Email: s.raffalli@ville-ris-orangis.fr

Salutation: Monsieur le Maire

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

FRANCE: OVER 200 PEOPLE FACE FORCED EVICTION

ADditional Information

Under international law, to which France is subject, the authorities must not carry out forced evictions and must protect all people from them; states must ensure people facing forced evictions are able to access an effective remedy for any violations of their right to adequate housing and other rights. Any eviction must only be a last resort after all feasible alternatives have been explored with those affected.

Forced evictions are evictions carried out without genuine consultation or adequate notice with those affected, without sufficient legal safeguards and without the provision of adequate alternative housing for those who need it.

Amnesty International’s 2012 report “Chased Away: Forced Evictions of Roma in Ile-de-France” (AI Index: EUR 21/012/2012, November 2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR21/012/2012/en) examined the precarious housing situation faced by Roma people in France, and focused on forced eviction in the greater Parisian region. The report found that, notwithstanding efforts by the new government to better coordinate eviction operations and facilitate integration of people living in informal settlements, in practice forced evictions have continued apace, and the authorities remained committed to enforcing eviction orders even where no adequate alternative housing or appropriate safeguards were in place. Under domestic law, the mayor of a commune on which a settlement is located can issue an emergency eviction order if the settlement poses an imminent threat to public order, health and security. In practice, Amnesty International’s research found that although the living conditions in many settlements did pose a risk to health and safety in many cases, forced evictions almost inevitably resulted in worse living conditions for the inhabitants, especially because often no alternative adequate housing options were provided to them. Their access to water, health services or education were interrupted significantly or severed altogether.

The Roma victims of forced evictions of the Ile-de-France were often rendered homeless, and lost their belongings; as a result many relocated in other existing informal settlements or established new ones. Many Roma have therefore been forcibly evicted several times. According to NGO estimates, some 12,000 Roma were forcibly evicted throughout France in 2012.

Name: About 230 people living in Ris-Orangis

Gender m/f: both

Further information on UA: 81/13 Index: EUR 21/003/2013 Issue Date: 2 April 2013

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