Stop evictions of Roma and Travellers – Say Six International Organisations.

Traditionally, summer holidays coincide with the eviction of Roma and Travellers throughout Europe, which takes place almost unnoticed. This week six international organisations stress the human cost of evictions and recall standards in a joint statement.

Travellers attend a protest at Louth County Council offices after residents were evicted from a halting site in Dundalk
Travellers attend a protest at Louth County Council offices after residents were evicted from a halting site in Dundalk

Throughout Europe, Roma and Travellers – particularly those living in informal settlements, slums or halting sites – now face a disproportionately high threat of eviction, they say.  Signatories call on national, regional and, in particular, local authorities to find sustainable solutions to the housing problems that many Roma and Travellers face, in order to avoid evictions.

OPRE[2] partners strongly condemn forced evictions without due process and provisions of adequate alternative housing. “Such evictions violate international human rights obligations. The authorities must ensure that everyone subject to eviction is adequately informed of their rights, and carry out necessary evictions without discrimination or harassment,” they say.

The statement highlights the long-term negative implications of eviction that can result in physical and psychological problems, including emotional trauma and lasting social isolation, which particularly affects elderly people, women, children, and people with disabilities.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in letters addressed in February 2016 to the authorities of seven member States, also stressed that “this situation increases the vulnerability of Roma families, prevents their social inclusion and impedes any prospect of regular schooling for their children”.


The six organisations are the Council of Europe, the United Nations Human Rights Office, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights , the European Network of Human Rights Institutions,  The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Network of Equality Bodies.

This statement echoes recent calls for a ban on evictions on Irish Travellers made by the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness two weeks ago.

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