French Govt treats us like Dogs: says one mother of evicted Roma children

The failure of the local authorities to help the evicted roma families and to provide them with an alternative accommodation facility causes the main problem

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People gather as they are evacuated from a Romani camp installed along La Petite Ceinture, an abandoned railroad line, in Paris, France, February 3, 2016. More than 350 Roma people, who have been living here since the last summer, were evicted from the makeshift camp. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes - RTX2580E

Paris, Sept 21, 2016: The families evicted in Montreuil were all Roma migrants. 13 Roma families have been evicted from an illegal settlement, including 19 children. The have all ended up on the streets. One of them with a three months old baby exclaimed, “The government treats us like dogs.”

The failure of the local authorities to help the evicted families and to provide them with an alternative accommodation facility causes the main problem.

In the 10th century, Roma migrated to Eastern Europe. Around 12 million Roma are living in the Eastern Europe, particularly in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia. After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union collapse, they migrated to the West to run away from poverty and discrimination.

Estimates of Roma in France differs, but according to 2014 report by an alliance of 12 countries who were working to promote Roma inclusion said, around 500,000 Roma are living in France, which includes travelers and migrants. The families evicted in Montreuil were all Roma migrants, and they were mostly from Bulgaria and Romania.

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According to Reuters, “Campaigners say the forced eviction of families in Montreuil is part of a wider pattern of discrimination against the Roma minority in France and their status in the country is becoming more precarious in an atmosphere of xenophobia.

Last year, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein accused France of operating ‘a systematic national policy to forcibly evict the Roma’ with worrying implications for children in particular. He called on the country to halt evictions without the provision of alternative housing.

Every day since their eviction at the end of July, the families have gathered outside Montreuil’s town hall to ask the mayor for permanent alternative housing. Their angry voices cut through the stillness of suburban Paris.”

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According to Reuters, Radost Zaharieva of the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) said, “Even if conditions are poor in the slums, at least the Roma people are protected there. At least they are not on the street, where they are exposed to different attacks.”

-prepared by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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