Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland called on France to ensure the Roma were offered accomiodation and not simply deported.
“It is crucial that the French authorities provide all those who have been forced to leave the ‘Petite ceinture’ camp – including children and elderly people – with adequate, alternative accommodation, particularly as they have decided to take this action during winter,” said Jagland.
“Last year an estimated 11,000 Roma people were evicted from their homes in France,” he said.
“There is no evidence to suggest that a policy of mass forced eviction will bring a lasting solution to the exclusion and prejudice many Roma face.
“On the contrary, forced evictions can prove counter-productive as they often disrupt the schooling of Roma children and hamper the efforts of those who provide basic healthcare to Roma communities, for example through vaccination campaigns.”