Document - Romania: Cluj-Napoca Court rejects National Railways request to remove homes of Romani families from Cantonului Street

Public statement

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT

Index: EUR 39/010/2011

23 September 2011

Cluj-Napoca Court rejects National Railways request to remove homes of Romani families from Cantonului Street

Romani CRISS , Working Group of Civil Organizations (gLOC)

Amnesty International

Romani CRISS, the Working Group of Civil Organizations (gLOC), and Amnesty International welcome the decision by the Cluj-Napoca Court on Monday 19 September, to reject the request of a public company, the National Railways (CFR) SA Bucuresti, to remove the houses inhabited by around 450 persons (including 200 children) living in a Romani settlement on Cantonului Street, at the outskirts of the Romanian town Cluj-Napoca.

The Court has yet to issue the decision in writing. CFR can appeal against the first instance decision of the Cluj-Napoca Court by Friday 23 September.

Romani CRISS, gLOC, and Amnesty International have previously raised concerns that if the Court were to issue an order for the immediate removal of the houses on Cantonului Street, it could have violated the right to adequate housing of the inhabitants. Any eviction of people without adequate notice, genuine consultation on alternatives, and provision of adequate alternative accommodation and compensation would amount to a forced eviction and violate international and regional human rights standards that Romania is a party to, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Romani CRISS, gLOC, and Amnesty International have previously called on the Romanian authorities involved in this case – the National Railways, the Ministry of Transport, The Ministry of Regional Development and the municipality of Cluj-Napoca – to ensure that they comply with binding international standards on right to housing of the inhabitants of Cantonului Street. Under international and regional human rights treaties that Romania is a party to, evictions may only be carried out as a last resort, once all other feasible alternatives have been explored in genuine consultation with affected communities.

Background

A lawyer was contracted by Bucharest-based NGO Romani CRISS to legally represent the inhabitants of Cantonului Street.

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