Social & Economic rights

Monday, 3 June 2013

Praxis Published the Report “Analysis of the Main Obstacles and Problems in Access of Roma to the Right to Adequate Housing”

Praxis published the report “Analysis of the Main Obstacles and Problems in Access of Roma to the Right to Adequate Housing,” prepared within the project Contribution to Social Inclusion and Combat against Discrimination of Marginalized Population in Serbia, funded by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The present report deals with the basic issues of exercising the right to adequate housing in Serbia and covers the period 2009 - 2012. In this period, there was an increase in the number of forced evictions from informal Roma settlements (18 large-scale evictions that affected over 2,800 Roma) and individual eviction cases (at least 1,000 in only two years), while discrimination against the Roma in the exercise of the right to adequate housing was established for the first time. On the other hand, the responses from the authorities relating to the access to adequate housing by residents of informal settlements were unsatisfactory.

Except for the fact that the adopted Strategy for Improvement of the Status of Roma in the Republic of Serbia recognised the problem faced by Roma population in the exercise of the right to adequate housing, little progress has been achieved to date in this field. In addition to forced evictions which are conducted contrary to international human rights standards and which pose the greatest obstacle to exercise of the right to adequate housing, very small number of Roma settlements has been legalized or is in the process of legalization. The Roma in informal settlements often have impeded or no access to basic human rights at all, and the situation is similar in container settlements formed after the evictions from informal settlements. In regard to the exercise of the right to adequate housing, particularly vulnerable groups are internally displaced persons from Kosovo, the elderly, persons with disabilities and women.

The absence of legislative framework that would regulate eviction procedures and the out-dated laws in the field of housing show the state's unwillingness to take steps towards promoting the exercise of the right to adequate housing of Roma.

Bearing in mind the existence of a large number of informal Roma settlements, extremely poor housing conditions in a number of them, lack of records about these settlements and the problems identified in the published analysis, the issue of systemic discrimination against the Roma in exercising the right to adequate housing may be raised. If changes are not introduced immediately, further gross violations of the right to adequate housing of Roma could be expected.

Download the report: Analysis of the Main Obstacles and Problems in Access of Roma to the Right to Adequate Housing

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action