• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French Socialists ramp up Roma evictions

AFP/The Local · 6 Feb 2013, 18:54

Published: 06 Feb 2013 18:54 GMT+01:00

At least 11,803 people were moved out of camps in 2012, 80 percent of them forcibly, according to a report by the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH).

The acceleration of camp clearances reflects the hardline policy instituted by Socialist Interior Minister Manuel Valls, which has been strongly criticized by the United Nation's human rights arm and other watchdogs.

"This is incredibly worrying and very disappointing given that François Hollande made a pre-election pledge to change the way the Roma were being dealt with in France," Victoria Vasey from the European Roma Rights Centre told The Local. "But it just looks like business as usual."

"France should be working on projects to ensure that the Roma who exercise their right to travel within the EU can integrate in France."

Theoretically clearances should not take place without a rehousing plan having been put in place first, but the AEDH found that had been the case in only 15 out of 63 clearances undertaken since July.

In August, the UN's Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, migrants, housing and racism warned France it was in danger of breaching its commitments under international human rights conventions with its treatment of Roma.

French authorities justify forced evictions on the grounds that the often squalid camps represent a threat to the health of their inhabitants and, when they are located near roads or rail lines, can be dangerous.

Earlier this month it emerged a group of Roma children were being taught in a police station near Lyon after being turned away by local schools.

Story continues below…

An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Roma live in makeshift camps across France. Efforts to move them back to Bulgaria and Romania with a combination of free flights and financial incentives have largely failed.

Repatriated Roma can easily return to France under European Union freedom of movement rules and rights groups say they face systematic discrimination in their countries of origin, as they have done for centuries.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
15-year-old French student charged over attack threat
Paris Gendarmes during a previous terror-related arrest in May 2016. File photo: Matthieu Alexandre/AFP

A 15-year-old high school student was charged and held Friday on suspicion of wanting to commit a terror attack.

Paris luxury hotel told to pay up after guest molests cleaner

A cleaner who was molested at a Paris luxury hotel by a Qatari guest has reportedly been awarded €57,000.

Frenchman leading Brexit negotiations starts new job
Photo: AFP

Frenchman Michel Barnier officially starts work as the European Commission's Brexit negotiator on Saturday in an appointment that British media called a "declaration of war".

VIDEO: Frenchman goes on iPhone-smashing rampage
Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Meet France's angriest Apple customer.

Nuit Blanche: Get set for an all-night party in Paris
Photo: La Nuit Blanche

Will YOU be heading down to the Seine on Saturday?

France told there's no more money for TGVs
High speed TGV trains parked in Lille. Photo: AFP

A report from the French senate has recommended that three planned high speed rail networks be scrapped.

Frenchman surfs again after shark bites off his leg
All photos: AFP

Meet the amputee Frenchman who is surfing again he was attacked by a shark.

Paris motorists to fund city's public transport system
Photo: AFP

Motorists in the Ile-de-France region will be hit by a tax rise in order to finance the city's trains and buses.

More French women becoming mothers after 40
French mums are getting older. File photo: Pexels

French mums are getting older, but the overall birthrate has fallen.

Paris police bust high-rolling gang of pram thieves
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

A gang of thieves has been caught after they pinched an estimated €100,000 worth of prams.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
It's official: France finally gets its new map
National
VIDEOS: France's raunchiest TV commercials of all time
Sexism at the wheel: France wants more women drivers
Society
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Society
Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Society
Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Education
Why are foreign students in France 'Europe's unhappiest'?
Education
The troubles with French universities laid bare
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
2,734
jobs available