Belvil evictions, Serbia: Reaction from Congress Thematic Rapporteur
''It is time to bring an end to the forced evictions of Roma in Europe'', stressed John Warmisham, Thematic Rapporteur on Roma/Travellers of the Congress, reacting to the eviction of the Belvil Settlement in Belgrade. ''Like the forced eviction of Roma families from their homes in Vilnius and Tirana last February, the Belgrade City Authority’s eviction of Roma from the Belvil Settlement is contrary to international human rights law and the Congress’ Resolution 333 (2011) which urges local and regional authorities to replace or improve the quality of existing housing, or to give Roma access to housing with all basic amenities. These forced evictions are splitting families, moving people away from their workplaces, and children away from their schools. I urge the Belgrade City Authorities to stop these evictions and to work with the Roma community to find a fair solution to this situation in full respect of these people’s human rights.'' His statement coincided with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights concerning an eviction order for a Roma settlement outside Sofia, Bulgaria, finding it to be in violation of the European Human Rights Convention.