Via Idro: From the House to the Sewer

29 April 2016

"This is the end of the story of degradation and marginalization. The wound that had been opened in the '80s for the Roma people from via Idro now starts the path of integration, law, and real inclusion into the urban context" declared on 15 March this year Marco Granelli – the Milan Councillor for Security. The statement was made right after the closure of the regular camp via Idro and the uprooting of 97 people from their homes.

In fact, what Granelli calls “real inclusion into the urban context” is putting people out of their homes and placing them in the sewer. The situation of the Roma people from via Idro, Municipality of Milan, worsened since August 17, 2015, when the City Council approved a resolution deciding to evict this Roma Camp. Despite the protest of the via Idro inhabitants, the open letters from numerous civil society organizations across Europe and the signed online petition on the case, the mayor of Milan did not change his position. The European Commissioner for Justice, Mrs. Vera Jourova, was signalized by civil society several times for the case nothing could stop the decision of the local authorities. On the contrary, after another decision of the City Council from March 2, 2016, stating there are no reasons evictions to be postponed or stopped, Commissioner Marco Granelli decided to speed up the process proposing temporary shelters in the Social  Emergency Centers and Housing Autonomy Centers, without any guarantee for the people’s future. Those who refused these proposals were simply left on the street. The story of the inhabitants of via Idro ended up sadly. On 14 March 2016, the nearly hundred inhabitants of the camp were evicted.

Here are some pictures of the so-called by Granelli ‘path of integration’. In these conditions today are living 12 people, including three infants, in the outside area to the other Roma camp,  the Village Martirano since 14 March 2016.

The story of via Idro is a sad one.  A story in which the struggle for equality and human rights are stamped down by political races and economic interests. Where the “path to integration” is the sewage and the misery.  A classic example of antigypsyism where a disadvantaged group of ethnic Roma is segregated and left out of the mainstream society until the next eviction. A story of poverty where the dialogue and the good will is missing. A story which is not unique but repetitive.


 The area adjacent to the "Martirano Village", another Roma camp,  is the area of the old regular camp closed in October 2014 and replaced by 20 container houses put nearby called Martirano Village.  This area had to be rehabilitated and reclaimed immediately after the evacuation and transfer of the people in the new camp but it remained like this until now.      

       In this area, the Municipality of Milan has placed three caravans, ownership of the 12 people from the via idro camp including three infants.  

    The area has no electricity, no water, and no toilets. The only source of water for washing and cooking is this rod leaving the sewer plant.  

With this document the municipality allows the family to remain in the area, waiting for a place in the regular Roma camp via Martirano.                                     


These 12 people including three infants are forced to live in these shameful conditions.   Before they had a nice house.                                                                                                











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