When living in shacks next to a garbage dump is the preferable option for families, you know something is seriously amiss.
Meredith Slater reports on Human Rights that when 100 Roma living in Miercurea Ciuc (Cskszereda), Romania, were forcibly relocated to “temporary” metal cabins situated near a sewage treatment plant, some families chose shacks near a garbage dump over the plant’s hazard zone. That was six years ago. Guess who’s still living in those so-called temporary toxic digs?
The Roma, a nomadic group in Europe, often face mistreatment and high levels of poverty. Though a few countries, like Spain, have handled their Roma population better, many have mimicked France’s xenophobic purging of the Roma from their borders. And while the Roma often get sent back to Romania from other countries since many were born there, the Romanian government also treats them like outsiders and has subjected them to a string of abuses.
This relocation to a sewage plant isn’t the only human rights violation of its kind (it is also against both Romanian and international law). And it’s setting the stage for copycat actions: last week, Roma in the city of Clug were removed from their homes with only a couple days warning that their homes and possessions would be demolished, left either homeless or in unsuitable housing near a garbage dump.
Amnesty International has denounced this mistreatment of the Roma population, and is insisting the the Roma government stop the forced eviction of numerous Roma families and provide decent housing for those who are removed. Please sign this petition to the Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Miercurea Ciuc (Cskszereda) telling them to stop the illegal evictions and relocate the families living in hazardous conditions to adequate housing.
Photo credit: futureatlas.com