Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

4 April 2013

Imminent forced eviction of Roma in Poland must be stopped

Imminent forced eviction of Roma in Poland must be stopped
35 children could be made homeless by the evictions

35 children could be made homeless by the evictions

© Tomasz Grzyb


At a Glance

  • Around 60 people including 35 children face homelessness
  • The city authorities have failed to provide any alternative accommodation as required by international human rights law

Download the Urgent Action and write a letter urging the city authorities to stop this forced eviction

It is upsetting to see an EU member adopt such bullying tactics
Source: 
Marek Marczyński, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia
Date: 
Thu, 04/04/2013

A Roma community in Poland are being threatened with imminent eviction and homelessness in a blatant violation of international human rights law, Amnesty International said today.

In a rare move for Poland, the city of Wroclaw in the west of the country is planning to force around 60 Romanian Roma from an informal settlement on municipal land, while offering no alternative homes for them.

“Forcibly evicting up to 60 people is utterly unacceptable behaviour by a government with very clear obligations to uphold human rights,” said Marek Marczyński, Deputy Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“Alternative accommodation must be offered before 60 people, 35 of whom are children, are made homeless,” said Marczyński.  

The residents were served with a 14-day eviction notice on 26 March but the municipal government has never consulted them on alternative places to live. 

If the authorities fail to provide adequate alternative accommodation or consult the community affected, the eviction would violate international human rights law and standards.

Amnesty International wrote to the Wroclaw municipal government asking them to halt the eviction, but has received no response, and fears that the eviction could take place within weeks.

The community of Kamienskiego Street has been living on the site for three years, since they were evicted from another location in Wroclaw.  They do not access public health services or the education system.  The only support the community has received has been from a local NGO, which has provided youth activities and some schooling for the children. 

The removal order came just ahead of International Roma Day on 8 April, as Amnesty International is calling on the European Union to put a stop to continent-wide discrimination against Roma which has consigned millions to poverty, dire living conditions, and waves of forced evictions.

“It is upsetting to see an EU member adopt such bullying tactics,” said Marek Marczyński.

The community living in Kamienskiego Street is one of Poland’s very few informal Roma settlements in a country where the vast majority of Roma are Polish nationals.

Find out more about discrimination against Roma and take action at www.amnesty.org/Roma

Country

Poland 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

Issue

Roma Rights 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

16 October 2014

Repressive and discriminatory legislation enacted over the last 18 months in Uganda has led to increasing state repression, violence and homophobic and gender-based... Read more »

17 October 2014

Prisoner of conscience and torture victim Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo has been released from prison after five years in pre-trial detention, in a move that is welcome but... Read more »

20 October 2014

A politically motivated ban imposed on a Pakistani TV channel critical of the government constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression, said Amnesty... Read more »

20 October 2014

An Amnesty International investigation into allegations of execution-style and other deliberate killings by pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kyiv forces has found evidence... Read more »

17 October 2014

Testimonies gathered by Amnesty International indicate that Egyptian security forces used excessive force to crack down on recent student demonstrations at Alexandria... Read more »