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Roma families threatened with forced eviction

What does ‘home’ mean to you? For me, my childhood home was a lot more than a roof over my head. It brought with it a feeling of security and belonging – with family, friends and my local community.

For 50 Roma children and their families, living at an informal settlement in Bobigny, any sense of security may soon be lost, as their community faces forced eviction.

Without adequate consultation or alternative accommodation, these families and their children face homelessness and uncertainty.

On 23rd May, 200 Roma living at the settlement in Bobigny were notified by a bailiff that an eviction procedure had been initiated. They had also been told a few days earlier by representatives of the municipality that they would be evicted on 2 June.

On 30 May a court suspended the eviction for procedural reasons for a further three weeks, ruling the eviction could not proceed until after a hearing on 23rd June.

If the forced eviction goes ahead it will disrupt the lives and education of the children. At the moment, they are well integrated into their schools and have the support of fellow pupils and teachers. Their education was highlighted by the inter-ministerial delegation for housing (DIHAL) as an example of good practice. Many of the young people living in the camp volunteer with a social inclusion programme set up by 'Rom Civic', which has been welcomed by ministers responsible for youth, housing, and the fight against social inclusion.

Forced Eviction

Forced evictions are carried out without genuine consultation with or adequate notice for those affected, without sufficient legal safeguards, and without the provision of adequate alternative housing for those who need it.

Amnesty International believes that the inhabitants of the camp were not consulted and no alternative accommodation has been offered to the families. This leaves them and their children facing imminent homelessness and with complete uncertainty regarding their future.

Take Action

We are asking you to write to the authorities urging them to prevent the forced eviction, at least until they have consulted with the community and identified adequate alternative housing, as required by international law, to ensure that families are not left homeless.

For more information and further guidance of what to write, have a look at the attached case file, below.

Please write before 30th July 2014 to:

Prefect of Seine Saint Denis
M. Philippe Galli

Préfet de Seine Saint Denis
Préfecture de Seine Saint Denis
1, Esplanade Jean Moulin

93 007 Bobigny cedex, France
Fax: +331 48 30 2288
Salutation: Monsieur le Préfet

Prefect's delegate in Bobigny
Mme Khadija David
Préfecture de Seine Saint Denis
1 Esplanade Jean Moulin
93 007 Bobigny cedex - France
Fax: 01 41 60 60 74
Salutation: Madame la Déléguée du Préfet

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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