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Serbia: Vicious circle of forced evictions in Serbia

, رقم الوثيقة: EUR 70/012/2010

The authorities in Belgrade, Serbia's capital, are preparing to carry out the latest in a series of forced evictions of Roma communities living in informal settlements. At least 70 homes in an area known as Vidikovac will be demolished. The families who live there could be left homeless as a result of the evictions.

UA: 167/10 Index: EUR 70/012/2010 Serbia Date: 30 July 2010
URGENT ACTION
VICIOUS CIRCLE OF FORCED EVICTIONS IN SERBIA
The authorities in Belgrade, Serbia's capital, are preparing to carry out the latest in a series of
forced evictions of Roma communities living in informal settlements. At least 70 homes in an
area known as Vidikovac will be demolished. The families who live there could be left homeless
as a result of the evictions.
In mid-June, Romani families living in Vidikovac, an area in the Belgrade municipality of Čukarica, received eviction
notices, stating that their houses would be demolished in early July. While the evictions did not take place in early
July, Amnesty International understands that they may take place within the next few days. The families are worried
they could be forced out of their homes at any time without warning. They have not been consulted by the city
authorities; they have not been offered any compensation or alternative accommodation.
A number of Roma families living in Vidikovac were forcibly returned to Serbia from several European Union (EU)
states between 2006 and 2008. Many of them originate from southern Serbia, which they had left in the1990s to
seek better economic opportunities. In their home towns they do not have access to adequate housing or
employment opportunities and, on return to Serbia, they therefore joined other Roma living in informal settlements
across Belgrade. The Belgrade authorities plan to remove all the city's informal Roma settlements. However, they
have failed to come up with a sustainable solution that ensures the human rights of the inhabitants of these
settlements. As a result, those in the settlements live in constant fear of forced eviction.
Under international law, evictions may be carried out only as a last resort, once other alternatives have been
explored in genuine consultation with the affected communities. The authorities then have a duty to provide them
with adequate notice; and must ensure that no families are made homeless or vulnerable to the violation of other
human rights as a consequence of eviction. This includes providing them with legal remedies, including provision of
adequate compensation. The Serbian government has a duty to ensure that the authorities in Belgrade abide by
international law.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English or your own language:
Urging the city authorities not to forcibly evict the Romani families living in Vidikovac;
Calling on them to develop a comprehensive and sustainable resettlement and compensation plan for the
Vidikovac community and all affected communities in Belgrade.
Urging them to ensure that any such resettlement plans are developed in genuine consultation with the Vidikovac
community, and fully respect their human rights, including the right to adequate housing.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 10 SEPTEMBER 2010 TO:
Mayor of Belgrade
Dragan Djilas
Dragoslava Jovanovica 2,
Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Email:gradonacelnik@beogradsg.org.
rs
Alternative email:
natasa.golubovic@beogradsg.org.rs
Salutation: Dear Mr Djilas
Copies to:
Minister for Human and Minority
Rights
Svetozar Ciplić
Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 2
11000 Beograd, Serbia
Email: kabinet@ljudskaprava.gov.rs
Fax: +381 11 311 39 29
Also send copies to:
President of the Republic of Serbia
Boris Tadic
Predsednik Republike Srbije
Andricev Venac 1
11000 Beograd, Serbia
Email:
kontakt.predsednik@predsednik.rs
ALSO SEND COPIES TO: Minister for Labour and Social Policy Rasim Ljajić, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 2, Belgrade 11000, Serbia Fax: +381
11 3114-650 Email: ministar@minrzs.gov.rs or_sluzba@minrzs.gov.rs and to diplomatic representatives of Serbia accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Date: 30 July 2010
URGENT ACTION
VICIOUS CIRCLE OF FORCED EVICTIONS IN SERBIA
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The Vidikovac settlement has been growing since early 2010, after people forcibly evicted from two other informal
settlements in Belgrade came to live at the site.
In April 2010, 35 Roma families were forcibly evicted from another settlement in the Vidikovac area, just across the
street from current settlement. They were not provided with any alternative accommodation, assistance or
compensation by the Belgrade city authorities. Without alternative accommodation, many of the families collected
what was left of their houses and their personal belongings and moved to the other side of the road, joining other
families that were already living there.
More recently, another group of 20 families joined the Vidikovac settlement after being forcibly evicted in April from
an informal Roma settlement at Lazarus Kujundzic Street, also in the Municipality of Čukarica. The authorities had
destroyed the homes of 38 families without adequate notice or advance consultation. They were not provided with
sufficient time to gather their moveable property and were only able to rescue the few belongings they could carry in
their hands. Municipal officials and representatives of the Roma National Council were present during this eviction
and promised the Roma community alternative accommodation, food and assistance; they also stated that those
originating from southern Serbia would receive assistance to relocate to their home towns in the south. However,
these commitments did not materialize.
Of these 38 evicted families, 20 now live in Vidikovac. Four families whose residency is registered in Belgrade,
remain at the old demolished site without any shelter. Some families, also with residency in Belgrade, managed to
get temporary shelter at a Roma cultural centre. The rest reportedly moved to other informal settlements in
Belgrade, including Belvil an informal settlement in Novi Beograd that is also awaiting eviction.
UA: 167/10 Index: EUR 70/012/2010 Issue Date: 30 July 2010

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