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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Plea for the Provision of Assistance to Residents of Informal Settlement “Cukaricka suma”

At the end of October 2014, the citizens of the settlement Cukaricka padina organized themselves to protest against the residents of the nearby informal settlement “Cukaricka suma” because they felt “threatened with cancerous smoke caused by burning of secondary raw materials in that settlement on a daily basis”. In this informal settlement, Roma, mainly IDPs from Kosovo, live in improvised housing units without any infrastructure. This was one of a series of discriminatory protests leading to widespread intolerance and hatred and that threatened the safety of the Roma population.

On that occasion, Praxis, with support of the Standing Conference of the Roma Associations on the Citizens (SKRUG) and Network of Organizations for Children of Serbia (MODS), sent a request to the Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations to take action within its jurisdiction, in cooperation with relevant institutions, to try to resolve the housing issue of the residents of the informal settlement “Cukaricka suma”, and to urgently provide them firewood.

Upon the plea to provide the residents of this settlement with firewood, the Commissariat stated that the public call for the allocation of funds had been announced on the website of the Municipality of Cukarica and bulletin boards of municipalities and local communities, but that none of the residents of this settlement applied for assistance. It is clear that residents were not informed about the announcement and therefore did not apply for assistance. In relation to finding a durable and sustainable solution for the housing issue, the Commissariat informed us that it had organized a meeting with the competent authorities of the Municipality of Cukarica and the City of Belgrade. At the meeting, the City of Belgrade agreed to adopt the plan to close the informal collective centres in the territory of the City of Belgrade, and to “take appropriate action”. 

However, it remains unclear whether the competent authorities will take concrete measures.

For more information, see the announcement: Plea for Urgent Provision of Assistance to Residents of Informal Settlement "Cukaricka suma"

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