Praxis Watch

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Eight Internally Displaced Families Fear Forced Eviction in Kragujevac

Former residents (internally displaced persons from Kosovo) of the informal settlement “Juzna obilaznica” in Kragujevac are constantly filled with fear of forced eviction. Specifically, due to the low temperatures, at the end of 2012 the residents of the settlement were forced to find other accommodation. Thus, the majority of the residents (6 families with 33 children) found accommodation in an abandoned barrack of the company GP Koteks. On that occasion, two families were temporarily accommodated in the settlement Ilicevo, from which they soon had to move out and, in mid 2013, they found refuge at the same place where the settlement “Juzna obilaznica” once stood, where they built barracks again.

In mid-September 2013, residents of the barrack of the GP Koteks received a visit from the owner of the land and immovable property who requested that they leave the building as soon as possible. On the other hand, the residents who again found accommodation at the former location of the informal settlement “Juzna obilaznica” have been frequently visited by the Communal Police since 4 October 2013 onwards, who have requested from them verbally, without delivering a decision, to move out from the area as soon as possible and not later than within 15 days.

So far, none of the competent institutions of the City of Kragujevac has visited the families or suggested an alternative accommodation or permanent solution for their housing issue. During an unpleasant phone conversation with an officer from the Office of the Trustee for Refugees and Migrations in Kragujevac, Praxis found out that “the City officials do not want to deal with this issue.” In regard to the above-mentioned, Praxis addressed the Commissioner for Refugees and Migrations, calling on this institution to undertake the necessary measures and activities with the aim to protect internally displaced families.

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