Around 300 Roma evicted unlawfully around Milan, Italy

29 February 2016

On 25 February 2016, Association Upre Roma- the Italian member of ERGO Network - was present at the most recent eviction in Milan, Italy. About 300 Roma people in the settlement called Via Ripamonti were evicted from their homes. Immediate on-site inspection showed that only a few families with children (61 persons) have been accommodated in social emergency centres while the rest of the families with children remained excluded and left without any solution.

Upre Roma’s inspection found out that the conditions for these forced evictions do not comply with Art. 31 of the European Social Charter ratified by the Italian Parliament (9 February 1999 n. 30) as follows:

·         After formal notification of the eviction;

·         Formal notice of the date of execution;

·         Proposal of alternative housing solutions;

·         No destruction of all personal property;

·         Finally, do not carry out the eviction at night or in winter.

Among those remained without shelter, Upre Roma found families with children (seven children at age 3-12), elderly people, two people with documented health problems and one pregnant woman. These people were abandoned, left without even blankets and mattresses, in the midst of agricultural fields near the evicted settlement. It was very cold, and people were forced to spend the night sleeping on the ground. They told us that they had asked to be hospitalized in social emergency centres, but have been refused.

Some of the evicted people are in Milan since 2003 and lived in various settlements over the past years. In recent years these people have suffered more than ten evictions! Many of the evicted have been accommodated in social emergency centres and expelled after that. In the fact sheet on Milan, you can find background information on the ongoing circular evictions these people suffer.

[from Milan fact sheet] From 2011, since Mayor Pisapia is in place, the municipality of Milan has continued to evict Roma from their irregular dwellings, following the so-called ' Roma emergency’ policy. Since the living conditions of these Roma strongly deteriorated and cut off adults and children from opportunities like employment and education. As part of this policy, two emergency centres were built with basic facilities to host evicted Roma for maximum of 1 year. However, the emergency camps can only accommodate 260 people thus, leaving a great number of Roma to find alternative shelter. So far, local authorities have spent EUR 5.6 million from the funds allocated by the Ministry of the Interior for "The Nomad Emergency" (proclaimed by the government Berlusconi in May 2008 and declared illegitimate by the Supreme Court in 2013). The remaining funds (5.6 million euros in Milan) have been allocated for inclusion projects for the Roma and Sinti. It’s unclear if EU money is used. The ‘Roma Emergency’ policy had an initial budget of EUR 134 million and it was co-financed by EU funding. After the EC had assessed the plans, the EU-funding was stopped.




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