[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Wednesday urged Italy to change its discriminatory policies against the country’s Roma [AI backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. In its report [text, PDF], AI revealed that in the 10 months after the “Nomad Emergency” was deemed unlawful by the Council of State, the highest administrative court, discrimination against Roma including housing and education across the country is still ongoing without reparations or remedy. It was also reported that more than 850 people were evicted from informal camps and left homeless. AI also reported that the conditions of formal and informal camps are very poor with scarce access to water, sanitation and energy. John Dalhuisen, Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme, criticized the current situation of Roma in Italy:
The Italian government is not living up to its international obligations and to its commitments to the European Commission. Children, women and men living in camps continue to be evicted without adequate consultation, notice and alternative housing. Inhabitants of informal camps are the worst affected and continue to be kicked out at every opportunity.
AI also asked the European Commission [official website] to pursue proceedings against Italy under the Race Equality Directive [text] related to the country’s discriminatory practice of denying Roma adequate housing.
Roma continue to be targets of discrimination across Europe. In August AI urged [JURIST report] the government of Hungary to protect Roma living in the country from attacks initiated by the far-right Jobbik [party website, in Hungarian] party. During the same month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported [JURIST report] that French authorities raided two camps inhabited by Roma and evicted all of the more than 200 residents, leaving them without homes. French officials claim the dismantling of the camps was due to unsanitary conditions and “tensions” between the Roma and the local population. In April HRW found [JURIST report] that Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina face exclusion from politics and public institutions. The report detailed a lack of stability and security for the Roma and their families due to forced evictions, which lead to inadequate housing conditions.