Praxis Watch

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

M.T. still without alternative accommodation a year after the eviction from the informal settlement Belvil

After the eviction from the informal settlement Belvil, M.T. was left without the home in which she had been living for more than six years, even though her name was on the City of Belgrade’s list for allocation of containers during the resettlement preparation process.

The Secretariat for Social Welfare of the City of Belgrade disregarded M.T’s right to provision of alternative accommodation because she had not been in the settlement on the day of eviction, and she had not reported her absence. The Secretariat did not take into consideration M.T’s justification that she had had to leave the barrack urgently for a while to take care of her ill mother. It certainly did not prevent the competent body to tear down the barrack in which M.T. had lived alone since 2008 when her husband had died.

On behalf of M.T. Praxis filed a complaint to the Ombudsperson who initiated the procedure for inspection of legality and regularity of the work of the Secretariat for Social Welfare. Even though the Secretariat informed the Ombudsperson in its additional response that M.T. was envisaged as a beneficiary of the “Let’s Build a Home Together” Project aimed at provision of adequate housing for all residents of the evicted settlement Belvil accommodated in container settlements, this body had failed to recognize its obligation to remedy its omission and provide a container to M.T. until the project has been implemented, which is not expected before mid-2014.

Whether the intervention of the Ombudsperson in M.T’s case will influence the Secretariat to provide a container without delay, more than a year after the eviction, is a question to which M.T. is still waiting for a response.

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