06 July 2011
Protect the right to housing in new Romanian housing law

Romania’s poorest and most disadvantaged citizens cannot access adequate housing because of the country’s current legal framework. The human right to full access to adequate housing is not recognized or adequately protected in the current Romanian law.

Across Romania, a pattern of forced evictions of Roma, and threats of forced evictions, perpetuates racial segregation. In recent years, Romani communities have been evicted and relocated next to garbage dumps, sewage treatment plants or industrial areas on the outskirts of cities. When this happens, they don’t just lose their homes and possessions, but also their social networks, their access to work and state services.

When authorities evict Romani communities against their will, without adequate consultation, adequate notice or adequate alternative housing solutions, they violate international and regional human rights law the government of Romania has signed up to, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Currently, the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism is revising Romania’s housing law. The envisaged reform of the legislation is an opportunity for the government of Romania to bring its national legal framework on housing in line with international and regional human rights standards.

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