There are around six million Roma in the EU. Many are forced to leave their homes by local authorities. All suffer severe discrimination. This violates European law.
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Located between a decommissioned railway and a small stream, Craica is a Romani settlement in Baia Mare, North-West Romania. Until last year, it was the place W called home. Now, she lives with her partner and two children in one room of a decommissioned chemical factory’s former office building, on the outskirts of the city.
Despite clear hardships, their lives in Craica had been good. They felt safe. They were in easy walking distance of shops and knew all of their neighbours. W kept chickens and her children played outside.
Leaving was not their choice. W was forced to sign her home over to authorities intent on demolishing the Romani settlement.
When they first saw the room in CUPROM, the former factory, W cried. She had been forced to leave behind the home she and her partner had built, and the community they had lived in for nearly 20 years.
W is one of over 500 men, women and children forcibly evicted from Craica in 2012. Many families, like hers, ended up at CUPROM. When they arrived their rooms had not been adapted for human inhabitation. To this day over twenty people share each bathroom. Read the background information
Every year, across Europe, thousands of Roma like W are forced from their homes – left homeless or relocated to camps or informal settlements with no heating, water or sanitation.
Children often have to attend segregated Roma-only schools or classes, or classes for children with “mild mental disabilities” and are given substandard education.
EU states are failing to respect anti-discrimination law and the EU Commission should not stand for it. Without respect for Roma rights, Europe cannot claim to respect human rights.