There's no place for Roma in Milan

I have just got back from Italy. I had a lovely time there, it was beautiful, delicious and hot. Most of all, it was welcoming. I was allowed to reside where I wished (a nice hotel near the Spanish steps). Turns out this welcome is not extended to everyone in Italy.

In an Amnesty report published today, we slammed Italy’s decree declaring a state of emergency in relation to nomad settlements (the “Nomad Emergency”). Under that, Italy is able to conduct forced evictions of Roma communities. They have had the illegal state of emergency in place for more than three years.

A mother of five children who has been evicted several times with her family from a number of unauthorised settlements in Milan told Amnesty International:

“The evictions hurt us; they take away our rights and our happiness. The police treat us like thieves; they shout at us, they push us. It is traumatic, my eight-year-old son did not speak for months after an eviction because of the shock.”

We are calling on the Italian authorities and in particular Mario Monti’s cabinet to make things right. They have to provide remedies for all those affected by forced evictions and other human rights violations.

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