06 April 2011
Stop forced evictions in Serbia

(c) Amnesty International

View the petition in Serbian.

“The authorities have no respect for Roma people’s dignity and human rights. We have been suffering discrimination in this society for far too long. The authorities act as if it was our fault that we live in the settlements, that it is our choice. What other choice have we got? If you are Roma you haven't got many choices.”

Borka, Belvil settlement, Belgrade, Serbia

Roma people living in informal settlements in Serbia are being forcibly evicted from their homes without any form of legal protection. Amnesty International is calling on the Serbian government to introduce a new law to protect their rights.

The majority of those living in informal settlements across Serbia are Roma. In Belgrade, the biggest and most rapidly developing city in the country, the city authorities are carrying out frequent forced evictions of Roma to make way for new buildings and infrastructure projects.

Many people are trapped in a vicious circle, forced to move from one settlement to another, and denied basic human rights, including adequate housing, employment, healthcare and education.

Forced evictions violate the right to adequate housing, and often result in violations of other human rights.

Under international law Serbian authorities are obliged to prohibit, prevent and end forced evictions. They must act now to adopt a law prohibiting forced evictions, and to protect Roma from losing their homes, their livelihoods and often their only possessions.

Take action now! Call on Bozidar Djelic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, who chairs the Council for Improvement of the Status of Roma Population

Dear Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic,

I am concerned that the City of Belgrade authorities have violated the human rights of Roma communities living in informal settlements by carrying out forced evictions. Serbian law does not protect people from forced evictions, as required by international law.

I am therefore urging you to propose new legislation prohibiting forced evictions, and providing safeguards and remedies to protect the rights of evicted people, in accordance with international human rights standards.

Yours sincerely,

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