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Roma, forced evictions and segregation in italy

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  • 1. on the edgeRoma, foRced evictions andsegRegation in italyhousing is a human right
  • 2. 2 on the edge Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy © Private the italian government introduced the “nomad informal camps are even worse, with little access to water, sanitation and emergency” legislation in 2008, which led to energy. Ethnic segregation in camps is perpetuated and Roma remain largely widespread discrimination against and violations of excluded from social housing. the rights of roma across the country. it was ruled The National Strategy for the Inclusion of unlawful by the Council of state, italy’s highest Roma, presented by the Italian government to the European Commission in February administrative court, in november 2011. however, 2012, on paper marks a different very little has changed for roma since. approach. Its stated aim is the promotion of equal treatment, the economic and social inclusion of Roma and the enduring and sustainable improvement of their living conditions. However, it remains seriously the end of the “nomad inadequate in addressing some of the emergenCy” gravest violations, particularly forced In the 10 months since the “Nomad evictions. Although the National Strategy Emergency” was struck down, hundreds acknowledges an excessive use of of Roma have been forcibly evicted evictions in the past, there is no mention in Rome and Milan and left homeless. of the ongoing systematic forced evictions Plans for the closure of several and no plan of action to prevent and authorized or “tolerated” camps address them. Additionally, to date, continue to be pursued despite the no concrete measures have been taken absence of proper safeguards and to implement the strategy. Further, procedures. Living conditions in most the National Office against Racial authorized camps remain very poor Discriminations (UNAR), in charge of as the authorities have failed to take co-ordinating the National Strategy, is action to improve them; conditions in undergoing severe budget and staff cuts. amnesty international september 2012 index: eUR 30/010/2012
  • 3. on the edge 3 Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy © Private © PrivateInternational human rights bodies have implementation of the [Nomad Emergency Rome and Milan, and recommends keycontinued to criticize Italy’s treatment of Decree], including by providing appropriate measures that the Italian governmentRoma. For example, the UN Committee housing for them, and ensuring that should urgently implement to meet itson the Elimination of Racial Discrimination segregated camps are not the only housing obligations under international law.criticized Italy in March 2012 for the solution available to them.”ongoing marginalization and discriminationof Roma, and in particular for continuing Amnesty International is concerned thattargeted evictions and de facto segregation the authorities have failed to change theirin camps. The Committee recommended policies and practices regarding Roma inthat Italy takes “appropriate measures light of the Council of State ruling. Thisto provide effective remedies to members briefing details continuing violations ofof Roma and Sinti communities for all Roma’s right to adequate housing sincethe negative effects that followed the November 2011, with examples from both What is the “nomad emeRgency”? above left to right: On 25 July 2012, the authorities began the transfer of approximately on 21 may 2008, the government used law on delegated commissioners to solve the 200 Roma from Tor de’ Cenci camp to the 225/1992 to declare a state of emergency in emergency, including by derogating from new La Barbuta camp. The containers where relation to the settlements of “nomad” ordinary laws. amnesty international has they had lived were immediately demolished. communities in lombardy, campania and criticized this legislation and its effect in front cover: A shack in the informal Rubattino lazio and later extended it to Piedmont and several documents including The wrong camp, Milan, 2010. Families had placed signs veneto. the council of ministers claimed answer: Italy’s ‘Nomad Plan’ violates the on their shacks with the names of the people that the state of emergency was declared to housing rights of Roma in Rome (index: eUR living in each of them and stating that the shack address a “situation of grave social alarm, 30/001/2010) and Italy: ‘Zero Tolerance was their home, in an attempt to protect them with possible repercussions for the local for Roma’ (index: eUR 30/020/2011). from destruction. Around 250 people, including population in terms of public order and Madalina and her family (see page 15) were security”. special powers were conferred forcibly evicted on 7 September 2010. © Stefano Pasta (Comunità di Sant’Egidio) index: eUR 30/010/2012 amnesty international september 2012
  • 4. 4 on the edge Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy © Luana Monte failure to remedy violations coUncil of state decision 2011 Caused by the “nomad emergenCy” in 2008 the sulejmanovic family, a husband all acts issued by the delegated commissioners and wife from Bosnia and their 13 children to the emergency were declared illegitimate, To Amnesty International’s knowledge, no (all born in italy except the oldest), together including the fingerprinting and photographing reparation has been provided to date to with the european Roma Rights centre, of everyone in “nomad” settlements, carried any of the Romani individuals who suffered brought a case against the “nomad out under the “nomad emergency”. the violations of their rights, such as to emergency” before the council of state. they Regulations issued by the delegated adequate housing, education, equality alleged racial discrimination and other flaws commissioners for the authorized camps of before the law, freedom of movement, in the decree and the ordinances of the lazio and lombardy in 2009 were also ruled family life, and freedom from discrimination, “nomad emergency”. unlawful and in breach of the right to freedom under the “Nomad Emergency”. On the of movement, work, privacy and family life. contrary, many of these violations continue. on 16 november 2011, the council of state ruled that the state of emergency declared although the council of state found in their Between 2009 and 2011, 61 families were in relation to the presence of “nomad” favour, the sulejmanovic family has yet to expelled from Via Triboniano, Via Barzaghi, communities in the regions of campania, receive any form of reparation for having been and other camps for alleged breaches of lazio, lombardy, Piedmont and veneto, subjected to the discriminatory measures Milan’s 2009 Regulation for authorized was unfounded and unsubstantiated. adopted under the “nomad emergency”. the camps. Necessary safeguards required under the government had not identified the government has appealed against the ruling, international law such as the provision of specific facts that would have justified alleging that the court went beyond its alternative accommodation, were not provided the use of extraordinary powers in relation powers of scrutiny of the acts of the by the authorities. Those expulsions therefore to the alleged emergency caused by the government and the case is pending before amount to forced evictions. Subsequently “nomad” settlements. the court of cassation. some of the families have moved to informal settlements where they are even more exposed to human rights violations. amnesty international september 2012 index: eUR 30/010/2012
  • 5. on the edge 5 Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy © Amnesty Internationalvia triboniano, milandaniel has lived in italy for 12 years and was 2011, they have been living in an informal camp 2010. in addition to his eviction being unlawfula resident of the authorized camp of via on the outskirts of milan. they were forcibly under international law, the legal basis for ittriboniano. he and his family were forcibly evicted by local authorities five times between under domestic law – the 2009 Regulation forevicted in may 2010 for an alleged breach of may and november 2011 alone. each time they authorized camps – was deemed unlawful bythe 2009 Regulation for authorized camps. rebuilt a shack in the same area. after the latest the council of state. yet daniel and many Roma eviction, in november 2011, the camp’s in the same situation continue to be denied“i am mighty upset. i lived in an authorized residents rebuilt their shacks in the only space access to an effective remedy and reparation forcamp, i worked, my children were going to available, next to the place where they had piled the harm they suffered.school, and now i have nothing”, he said. rubbish for months, infested with rats. the final closure in may 2011 of the campsafter the destruction of their home, the family daniel’s children, who are 18, 14 and 9, stopped of via triboniano and via Barzaghi, alsostayed in the camp without authorization for a going to school after the eviction from via implemented using the unlawful “nomadfew months, but were later ordered to leave. triboniano. emergency” powers, led to the forced evictionthey had to sleep in their car for a few weeks: of 108 families. again, none have received any “the children are sad not to go. But we are not form of reparation.“i had a job as a builder, but i lost it, because managing, we are not stable enough, there arei couldn’t use the car for work, as i had to use too many evictions, and what do we do if there is above left: Roma camp in Via Barzaghi-it as home.” another eviction and we have to go somewhere Triboniano Milan, May 2010. else? they can’t change 10 schools in a year.” above: Daniel’s current home, in an informalthey asked the municipality for alternative camp in the area of Via Novara, Milan, Mayaccommodation so that the children could daniel’s family has a right to an effective 2012. The only land available for him toattend the same school until the end of the remedy for the violations suffered as a result construct his shack is right next to the rubbishschool year, but none was offered. since may of the forced eviction from triboniano in may dump, infested with rats. index: eUR 30/010/2012 amnesty international september 2012
  • 6. 6 on the edge Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy forCed eviCtions Continue be separated. (Although Milan authorities During 2012, the authorities failed to ensure have not clarified whether this will be that Roma enjoyed the minimum degree of common practice, on 5 July 2012, they security of tenure to which they are entitled offered temporary accommodation to whole under international law. Authorities in Rome families when evicting residents of informal and Milan have continued to carry out forced settlements in the area of Via Forlanini, as evictions of informal settlements and also to opposed to only mothers and small pursue plans devised under the “Nomad children. The families refused the offer, Emergency” to close authorized and fearing they would have been left without tolerated camps. assistance anyway after a short time.) © Amnesty International infoRmal camPs Amnesty International has found that the According to local authority sources in vast majority of the Roma evicted in 2012, Rome, in the first six months of 2012, over especially those from informal settlements, 850 people were evicted from informal were not provided with adequate alternative camps. Emergency shelter was offered only accommodation and left homeless. In many in 209 cases, all mothers and children, and cases they have ended up setting up was accepted only by five mothers and their shacks close to where they were before the nine children, as the majority refused to be eviction, often in even more precarious separated from their families. conditions, with worse access to water and sanitation and other services and less According to local NGOs, evictions in Milan protected from the weather, and rat and reportedly decreased for a few months from mice infestations. In many cases the only the end of 2011, but have since resumed place they have found to build their shack with over 400 people affected by the end of is close to dangerous roads or railway tracks. July 2012. Often, their few possessions were lost or damaged during the eviction. The same Amnesty International’s research concludes group of people can experience several that the majority of these, in both cities, forced evictions within a short period. have been forced evictions, prohibited under international law. In most cases, affected people were not consulted on the eviction process or offered the opportunity to consider any feasible alternatives. They were either not given any notice or were informed verbally a few days before the eviction; there was no written document indicating the legal grounds for the eviction and the procedures available to challenge it, although sometimes they were given documents informing them that criminal proceedings were opened against them, generally for invasion or occupation of land or buildings belonging to others. above right and right: Residents of the informal camp of Via Severini, Rome, are forcibly Temporary emergency shelter continued evicted on 26 March 2012. About 50 Roma to be offered in most cases only to women were reported to live in this settlement. and small children, but was refused by Families were given a few hours to collect their most Romani families who did not want to stuff, after which the bulldozers took over. amnesty international september 2012 index: eUR 30/010/2012
  • 7. on the edge 7 Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy© Amnesty International via severini, rome at about 7.30 am on 26 march 2012 amnesty especially vulnerable. the family nonetheless international witnessed the forced eviction refused it. of an informal settlement of about 50 Roma from Romania in via severini, Rome. the via the community was evicted again from severini inhabitants said that there had a nearby settlement on 11 June 2012. been no prior consultation on possible according to local ngos, the inhabitants alternatives to the eviction. local police have now dispersed to several small informal had visited the camp a few days before the settlements south-east of Rome. eviction to warn them verbally, but no written notification had been issued. Representatives from social services offered temporary accommodation to only one mother and her children, as she was considered to be index: eUR 30/010/2012 amnesty international september 2012
  • 8. 8 on the edge Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy © Amnesty International photo: Fernando Vasco Chironda aUthoRized and “toleRated” camPs Castel Romano, with the promise that it the camps, without providing them with closed would be for a few months until suitable alternatives in terms of housing and or Under the “Nomad Emergency”, plans were accommodation could be found. After over other measures to enable them to support devised in both Rome and Milan for the two years they are still there, in extremely themselves. These families are therefore closure of several authorized and so-called overcrowded camps with substandard at risk of becoming homeless again. “tolerated” camps. Between 2010 and 2011, housing and failing infrastructures. the implementation of these plans led to the In spite of the Council of State ruling, plans to closure of camps such as Casilino 900 and The Milan authorities offered alternative close other authorized and “tolerated” camps La Martora in Rome, and Via Triboniano and housing solutions, limited to 12 months, have not been scrapped. In Milan, the Via Barzaghi in Milan. following the closure of the Triboniano and closure of the authorized Via Novara camp, Barzaghi camps in 2011. Most of the which started in late 2011, continued The authorities continue to use different families who accepted the 12-month rent throughout 2012, with the remaining families procedures for evicting people from subsidy or social housing are still unable to considering the latest offers of alternative authorized and “tolerated” camps in support themselves fully. Most of them are accommodation by the authorities. comparison to evictions from other forms of only able to remain in their accommodation social housing. After their camps are closed, because they receive assistance from a residents are moved to other existing camps, religious organization. above: The authorized camp of Tor de’ Cenci was resulting in overcrowding and segregation, set up in Rome in 1995, with facilities and services or are offered merely temporary solutions, The offer of accommodation or a rent for approximately 350 people. However, in 2008, such 12-month stay in a social housing unit subsidy for 12 months is wholly inadequate. the authorities started referring to it as “tolerated” or a 12-month rental subsidy. Prior to the “Nomad emergency” people and services and facilities were not kept up. could stay in authorized camps for an above right: The Via Novara camp, Milan, was In Rome, Roma from Casilino 900 and La indefinite period of time. The government created as an authorized camp in 2001. About Martora camps were transferred to other has reduced the security of tenure that 50 families lived there in late 2011, when the authorized camps, such as Salone and these communities previously enjoyed in municipal authorities decided to close it. amnesty international september 2012 index: eUR 30/010/2012
  • 9. on the edge 9 Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy© Amnesty Internationalvia novara, milan In Rome the authorities have continued to implement the city’s 2009 Nomad Plan,via novara was created as an authorized camp extremely poor, including infestations of rats. including the closure of the “tolerated” campby the municipality of milan in 2001 but in this is due, however, to the authorities’ failure of Via Baiardo in July 2012. The camp, which2009 the authorities decided to close it using to adequately maintain the dwellings and had been recognized in official documentsthe 2009 Regulation for authorized camps, infrastructure of the camp, contrary to their since 1996, was inhabited by about 300which allowed closure of camps without obligations to do so. the authorities are closing Roma, who were notified reportedly only aconsultation with residents. although this the camp and only offering temporary housing few days before their imminent eviction, andRegulation has been deemed unlawful, the solutions to the residents. these families risk were not consulted on alternatives. Accordingclosure is going ahead. via Barzaghi and via being left homeless after the time-limited to local NGOs, some people were offeredtriboniano camps in milan have already been alternatives come to an end. long-term alternative accommodation in otherclosed in order to make space for infrastructure camps in the city, others were offeredneeded for the world fair eXPo 2015. the about 50 families were living there in late emergency accommodation in shelters forenvironmental impact assessment report of the 2011, when the municipal authorities started three months.eXPo 2015 final project contains an explicit closing the camp without any genuinemention of the authorized camp of via novara. consultation of residents. most families The authorities’ efforts to close the authorizedthe area where the camp is located has been accepted the authorities’ offer of temporary camp of Tor de’ Cenci also continued.identified as a space for parking 500 cars. financial assistance towards alternative housing, and have therefore moved out of the The closure of authorized and “tolerated”municipal representatives told amnesty camp or are about to do so. in august 2012, camps by the authorities, without complyinginternational that living conditions in the camp the municipality was reportedly negotiating with international standards on evictions,are unacceptable and that the camp must be on alternative accommodation with the five undermines Roma’s existing access toclosed for health and safety reasons. it is clear remaining families, who have so far refused housing and security of tenure and isthat living conditions in the camp are to move out. resulting in forced evictions of the residents. index: eUR 30/010/2012 amnesty international september 2012
  • 10. 10 on the edge Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy tor de’ CenCi, rome on 31 July 2012 the mayor of Rome signed an a new camp due to be built under the “nomad on 25 and 26 July 2012, local authorities ordinance for the closure of the camp of tor de’ emergency”. in June 2012, when the building transferred some families – approximately cenci because of the lack of hygiene and related of the new la Barbuta camp was finalized near 80 people – to la Barbuta. at least eleven risks to the health of the inhabitants. a notice ciampino airport (see page 12) this was offered containers and three caravans were demolished. was fixed to the gate of the camp informing the to tor de’ cenci residents. however, residents the families were asked to sign a document residents that the camp was going to be closed refused resettlement at la Barbuta, because stating that they agreed to the transfer and that by 28 august 2012. the only alternative housing of its great distance from the city and isolation the transfer was voluntary – although in light of offered to the residents was in the camps of la from services and for concerns about their own the announcement that the tor de’ cenci camp Barbuta and castel Romano. this was the latest security in a camp where they would be mixed would be closed and their homes would be move of the administration which has sought to with other Romani communities. many wanted demolished, they had no choice in the matter. close the camp since 2008, without ever to move into social housing, and some had providing a compelling justification for it. applied for it, and not in yet another camp. a further 120 people moved to la Barbuta at the end of July 2012. By mid-august, some 180 the tor de’ cenci camp was opened by the people were left in tor de’ cenci. following municipality of Rome in 1995 to house Roma a request by some of the families on 27 august, from Bosnia and macedonia. container housing “i didn’t want to go … i wanted the lazio administrative tribunal ruled that units and basic infrastructure were provided to to stay here. here everything the eviction ordered by the mayor be temporarily house about 350 people, along with assistance was simple, near to the camp. suspended and that health and safety in getting children to school. many of the conditions in the camp be improved until a children were born in italy, have attended local People knew us … i said, ‘what final decision is taken by the court. schools and have enjoyed some social is it that we are signing? – integration in the neighbourhood. ‘voluntary’?! … but the in 2008, however, the new administration municipality told us that we started referring to tor de’ cenci as a have to go, one way or another. “tolerated” camp and then stated that it needed to be closed – together with all the other they told us that they would use “tolerated” camps – as part of Rome’s 2009 force to kick us out of here, nomad Plan. Breaching its obligation to ensure and that nobody is going to stay the adequacy of the housing in which it places people, the municipality has neglected the camp … We have no choice.” in view of its planned closure. amnesty one resident on 25 July, while his family was being transferred to la Barbuta international has witnessed the progressive deterioration of living conditions there since 2009. the authorities have failed to engage in a genuine consultation on the reasons for closing no written information about the legal basis the camp or on possible housing alternatives. for closing the camp was provided to the discussions with the community were carried residents over the past three years until out under the continuous threat of an imminent the mayor’s ordinance of 31 July 2012. in eviction, presented as inevitable and in the June 2012, municipal representatives said that absence of adequate information about the there was no plan to issue any official alternatives on offer. in 2010, the only communication on the closure of the camp, alternative housing the authorities offered was unless residents refused to leave. amnesty international september 2012 index: eUR 30/010/2012
  • 11. on the edge 11 Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy above: A concert organized inside Tor de’ Cenci camp by local NGOs and residents to call on local authorities not to close the camp, 10 July 2012. On 31 July the Mayor of Rome ordered the closure of the camp by 28 August, but a court temporarily suspended the order. © Amnesty International (photo: Fernando Vasco Chironda)index: eUR 30/010/2012 amnesty international september 2012
  • 12. 12 unsafe foundations secURe the Right to hoUsing in Romania segregation © Amnesty International In spite of obligations under international law, including the European Union (EU) Race Directive, the Council of State ruling and the objectives of the National Strategy – to end Roma segregation and promote social inclusion – the municipality of Rome remains determined to pursue, in policy and practice, the ethnic segregation of Roma in housing. Nowhere is the failure to stop the segregation of Roma clearer than in the opening in June 2012 of La Barbuta, a new camp for “nomads” in Rome. La Barbuta camp is not unique. Other authorized camps Amnesty International visited in Rome in 2012, such as Nomentano, River, Castel Romano, Salone, are fenced; entry, through guarded gates, is restricted to those who have authorization la barbuta, rome from the authorities or invitation from the residents. Most are monitored by security on 18 June 2012, la Barbuta (pictured above) fences run all around the camp, equipped with video cameras. The guards at the entrance opened its gates to Romani families from a nearby video surveillance pointing both outwards and of Nomentano, Castel Romano and Salone camp. approximately 200 people were transferred inwards. the closest shops, schools, health care camps interviewed by Amnesty International there from tor de’ cenci between the end of July services and neighbourhood are in the town of were unsure about their powers and what and the beginning of august 2012. ciampino, about 2.5km away. to go anywhere procedures and rules they were supposed to from the camp, residents have to walk along a apply. There is currently no regulation la Barbuta was built as part of Rome’s 2009 main road with no pavement. applicable for the authorized camps of nomad Plan. amnesty international criticized the Rome. Municipal representatives told Plan in 2010, because it did not follow legal local ngos started legal proceedings to Amnesty International in June 2012 that a safeguards required under international law and establish the discriminatory nature of the common regulation for all camps is being because it pursued ethnic segregation in housing, housing provided to Roma at la Barbuta. prepared. In light of the violations providing for the resettlement of thousands of on 4 august 2012, Rome’s civil court experienced by Roma already as a result of Roma in existing or new “nomad” camps, where accepted their request to stop new transfers the regulations issued under the “Nomad only Roma would live. following the council of to la Barbuta as a precautionary measure, Emergency”, Amnesty International state ruling, it is questionable whether the while the case is pending. in making its considers it essential that any new regulation opening of la Barbuta camp is even lawful. decision, the court considered the likelihood complies with international standards on of “the discriminatory character of the non-discrimination and equality, and on the la Barbuta is sandwiched between railway assignment of housing in the camp called right to adequate housing as required under tracks, Rome’s orbital road and the runway of nuova Barbuta, determining or favouring their international law and EU directives. ciampino airport. local ngos are concerned that isolation and separation from the city and air and noise pollution due to the proximity of compromising their social dignity”. The isolated location of the authorized the airport could put the health and safety of the camps of Rome compounds the inhabitants at risk. segregation of their residents, making access to work, schools, childcare and the new camp can host up to 880 people in health care services and other facilities some 160 units – the biggest measuring 40m2. time-consuming and unaffordable. In Salone and River camps, several elderly amnesty international september 2012 index: eUR 30/010/2012
  • 13. on the edge 13 Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy © Amnesty InternationalRomani people complained that publictransport to reach health care services andshops is located so far away that they oftengive up seeing a doctor or have to askothers to do their shopping, andconsequently never leave the camp.“This place is far away from everything. It islike being in a prison.”i.m., an elderly resident of River campThese camps are located near highways ormain roads which effectively separate thecamps from residential neighbourhoods. InCastel Romano there is not even a bus stop,and walking alongside the road is toodangerous, so there is no way for residentswithout a car to reach services. unaCCePtable Conditions © Amnesty InternationalWhile segregated camps for Roma are by nomeans exclusive to Rome, the city’s Nomad in CamPsPlan remains a particularly grave example Conditions were particularly poor in theof an openly discriminatory policy. “Nomad” camps of via Nomentano, and Tor de’camps are the only housing option for Roma: Cenci, in Rome, visited by Amnestyother housing options, which are non- International in March and June 2012.discriminatory and not ethnically segregated, There was inadequate provision of heating,are not on offer. Although municipal waste disposal, sanitation facilities, energyrepresentatives made the point that they are for cooking and lighting, means of foodfor all “nomads”, the reality is that there are storage, and site drainage. Dwellingsvirtually only Roma currently living in consisted mostly of caravans and containerauthorized camps and the municipality is housing units, often in disrepair andplanning to place only Roma in the new overcrowded. Nothing has improved sincecamp of La Barbuta. the end of the “Nomad Emergency”.The term “nomad” appears neutral and In Nomentano camp, sanitation andshields the authorities from the accusation of washing facilities were completelyethnic discrimination, but it reinforces the inadequate, with approximately 200 peopleidea that the presence of Roma is temporary sharing eight toilets and eight showers. Four insufficient throughout the camp, makingand that these communities are “alien” to the of the showers were broken and at least two heating and even following medicalrest of Italian society. If Roma are all deemed toilets had no doors. Hot water was treatments difficult.indiscriminately to be nomads, policies and available for only three days a week fordecision-making will not address their real three hours – insufficient to meet the needsneeds. The National Strategy acknowledges of all the residents. Women said that longthat only a very small minority of Roma in queues form when the hot water isItaly follows a nomadic lifestyle (an estimated available, but it never lasts enough for top: Tor de’ Cenci’s badly maintained drains often3 per cent), but local authorities have yet to everybody. Toilets and showers were poorly flood raw sewage into the camp, March 2012.change their practices. lit, making the uneven, dirty and slippery above: Communal toilet without a door in floors dangerous. Provision of energy was Nomentano camp, Rome, March 2012. index: eUR 30/010/2012 amnesty international september 2012
  • 14. 14 on the edge Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italy © Private social housing. Camps are not regarded as private accommodation and eviction from camps does not follow the same safeguards as eviction from private accommodation. The high points value attached to eviction from private accommodation indirectly discriminates against and disproportionately affects Roma living in camps. Other requirements can also have the effect of discriminating against Roma, including registered residency. In Milan, it is necessary to have registered residency in the municipality and to have continuously resided “I have two children with asthma, they exClusion from soCial or worked in the region of Lombardy for need to use an electric nebuliser. The housing five years before the application. The failure electricity here is not enough. If I put the “We want social housing and we have to satisfy these requirements means nebuliser on the electricity goes off and applied for it. They should give the houses to the application is inadmissible. These the camp manager gets upset. But what those who need them the most.” requirements are particularly difficult can I do, it’s for my children, the doctor Madalina, living in Milan since 2003. for Roma to meet. In order to register told me to do the treatment.” residency, an address is needed, with street A mother in Camp Nomentano, March 2012. Many Romani families, in Milan and Rome, name and house number. Romani families told Amnesty International that they would most in need of social housing often live in In River and Salone camps, lack of like to live in social housing. Some have informal settlements with no street number. privacy and overcrowding were applied for it. However, they appear resigned It is also rare for Roma to be employed frequent complaints by the inhabitants. to the fact that it is extremely difficult for regularly due to high levels of discrimination In 2010, the municipality of Rome Roma to access it due mainly to the indirectly they endure in the job market. Also, they resettled many Romani families evicted discriminatory nature of the system. tend to be employed in sectors where from Casilino 900 and La Martora irregular work is common. camps in River, Salone, and Castel Social housing in Italy is scarce; Milan and Romano, covering all available space Rome are experiencing severe shortages. Amnesty International is concerned that with more caravans and prefabricated Housing is allocated according to a points there are many Romani families excluded containers. Salone was built to host system. A very high score is assigned to from accessing social housing because of 600 people; in August 2012, it contained families regarded as especially vulnerable, indirectly discriminatory criteria. Instead nearly 1,000. for example because they have a disabled of putting discriminatory barriers in the child or – most frequently – because way of Roma trying to access social housing “In Casilino 900 we had privacy. We have they have been, or are in the process authorities should be taking positive been cheated. The municipality, the mayor of being, lawfully evicted from private measures to ensure that the groups that face and the prefect signed an agreement with accommodation. Due to the scarcity of the most disadvantage are prioritised in the us to resettle us from Casilino 900. They social housing units available, in Milan provision of social housing. promised we would be here for a few and Rome there are very few allocations in months and then we would have a house, the absence of proof of eviction from private education, a job, health assistance. This is accommodation. a camping site! How can one live one’s whole life in a camping site? I cannot Roma who have always lived in camps will imagine my children here in 10 years’ time. never be able to prove eviction from private above: A poster in Pescara in May 2012 With whom can they integrate? This is a accommodation, no matter how many forced sponsored by the Mayor’s People’s Freedom Party sheep enclosure.” evictions they may have endured, even (PDL), stating that “The PDL keeps its promises: G.S., a resident of Salone camp, March 2012. though they are among the most in need of Roma and criminals out of social housing”. amnesty international september 2012 index: eUR 30/010/2012
  • 15. on the edge 15 Roma, foRced evictions and segRegation in italymadalina, living in milan“this government, why does front cover picture). they were forcibly evicted Both applications were dismissed by the central from Rubattino on 7 september 2010 and, department on housing of the municipalityit ask me for five years of according to a local ngo, endured 15 forced of milan in april 2012, because of lack ofresidency? they know very well evictions in the following six months they often proof of residence for five consecutive yearsthat i was in milan, but i was lost their possessions, including the children’s in lombardy. madalina provided numerous school materials. the entire family’s health was documents showing her regular presence inliving among mice. how could severely affected. yet, the children continued milan since 2003, including the birth certificatei register my residency?” to attend school regularly. of her youngest child in 2004. What she could not provide was proof of registered residency since march 2011, madalina and her family for five years. madalina appealed in may 2012madalina, a 38-year-old woman from a poor have been living in temporary accommodation but the appeal was rejected. Because herregion of Romania, moved to milan with her provided by a religious community on the application was deemed inadmissible, it washusband at the beginning of 2003. outskirts of milan, which gives them some not even submitted to the special commission stability. they have registered their residency – in charge of assessing applications of anthey left their children with their grandfather a key requirement for applying for social urgent nature. madalina has applied for legaland settled in an informal camp in via triboniano. benefits and social housing. however, this aid, to appeal against the rejection before themadalina’s husband worked as a builder, but in one-room basement is unsuitable long-term administrative tribunal.2004 he lost his job and his health deteriorated. accommodation for a large family. thethey had another child in 2004, in milan. hospitality to madalina and her family hasBetween 2005 and 2008, they lived in informal been extended to avoid their return to thesettlements on the outskirts of milan, and endured streets, but it will shortly come to an end.some nine forced evictions in this period.“i used to be a cleaner for some families. i “my children have a right toneeded to be clean to go to work. i would uselots of deodorant, but living in a shack made it a home. so they will have aimpossible to hide the smell – the smell of the different life, a future, and astove would stay on my clothes.” good character. all mums havein 2007, madalina and her husband brought their dreams for their children. theolder children to italy. they settled in an informal more they grow, the morecamp in the Bovisasca area of milan. the childrenstarted school and attended regularly. on 1 april dreams i have.”2008, the camp was forcibly evicted in a mannerthat left children and adults traumatized. noalternative accommodation was offered to the in January 2012, madalina applied for socialfamilies. one of madalina’s children, nine at the housing in milan, both through the ordinarytime, was severely affected and has suffered from system for social housing and through theserious psychological problems ever since. the extraordinary system, whereby certain conditionsfamily moved on to the Bacula informal of vulnerability will give applicants prioritysettlement. the children continued to attend above the ordinary list. her request forschool regularly, but on 31 march 2009 the Bacula “extraordinary assignation” of social housingsettlement was forcibly evicted. was based on the serious damage to the family’s physical and mental health, especiallyafter a year in a charity shelter, the family the children, as a result of living on the streetssettled in the informal camp of Rubattino (see of milan for many years. index: eUR 30/010/2012 amnesty international september 2012
  • 16. 16 © Amnesty International photo: Fernando Vasco Chironda left: Local NGOs and residents of Tor de’ Cenci camp protest against its closure, 10 July 2012. Change is needed noW The Italian authorities at national and local Italy, including by: enacting and enforcing a standards and do not lead to a reduction in level are systematically and continually clear prohibition on forced eviction through access to housing and security of tenure of failing to respect, protect and fulfil the right legislation setting out essential safeguards Romani communities. to adequate housing of one of Italy’s most based on the UN Basic principles and marginalized communities. Amnesty guidelines on development-based evictions n Initiate a process of genuine consultation International recommends that the and displacement and international human with remaining residents of Tor de’ Cenci to European Commission start an infringement rights law; issuing guidelines to local explore adequate alternative housing, procedure under the Race Equality Directive authorities which recognizes that evictions including the upgrading of dwellings and (2000/43/EC) for Italy’s discriminatory should always be carried out as a last resort infrastructure in the camp. treatment of the Roma in relation to their after all feasible alternatives have been right to adequate housing (Index: EUR explored and with the safeguards required; n Carry out a health and safety assessment 30/011/2012). and establishing an effective independent for the residents of La Barbuta camp in mechanism to monitor evictions and ensure Rome on the risks due to the camp’s Amnesty International urges the Italian that obligations are respected by local proximity to Ciampino airport and take the Government to: authorities and other actors. necessary actions to protect the health and safety of the residents. n Implement the Council of State ruling of n Take concrete measures to desegregate November 2011; provide an effective remedy authorized camps, including by ensuring that: n Review and amend national housing and adequate reparation for all victims of they are used in a non-discriminatory manner, legislation, policies and practices to: remove violations of rights occurred as a result of the and do not result in racial segregation of discriminatory obstacles for Roma and other “Nomad Emergency”; and withdraw the Romani communities; forthcoming regulations marginalized groups to access social housing; appeal before the Court of Cassation. for authorized camps are not discriminatory ensure that they comply with Italy’s and consistent with the protection of human obligations under the EU Race Directive n Implement the February 2012 National rights; and that living and housing conditions which requires that there is no discrimination Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma within a are urgently improved, in consultation with in the provision of housing and related concrete timeframe, with adequate funding the residents, and comply with international services; and ensure that those in need of it for the relevant government offices. and regional standards. are provided with assistance and support to apply for social housing. n Take all necessary steps to ensure that n Ensure that plans for the closure of forced evictions immediately cease throughout camps strictly comply with international amnesty international is a global movement of more than 3 million index: eUR 30/010/20122 english supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. september 2012 housing is a our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the amnesty international international secretariat human right Universal declaration of human Rights and other international human Peter Benenson house rights standards. 1 easton street london Wc1X 0dW United Kingdom We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion and are funded mainly by our membership and public donations. amnesty.org