Target: Lilyana Pavlova, Minister of Regional Development
Goal: Prevent the forced evictions of 850 Roma.
Eight hundred and fifty people, including 350 children, in the Gurmen municipality of Bulgaria are at risk of forced eviction and homelessness as the Bulgarian government attempts to demolish houses in the area. Sign the petition and remind Bulgaria of its obligations under international human rights laws, which prohibit forced evictions.
The 126 families living in the Kremikovtzi neighborhood in Marchevo village are all facing the possibility of homelessness following government inspections that have declared many of the houses there to be illegally built. Eight homes have been destroyed so far–four by authorities, and four by the residents themselves, who were threatened with fines if they did not comply. More than twenty other houses have been scheduled for demolition.
The community has not been consulted regarding alternate housing and living situations. Bulgarian authorities assured the European Court of Human Rights that families would not be evicted without alternative housing options in place, but their actions thus far have not borne out this promise. Some of the affected residents were told to put their children in state institutions and to seek refuge in emergency shelters. This “solution” separates parents and children and is not by any means an appropriate alternative to the families’ current living situations.
Bulgaria is in violation of international human rights laws. Sign the petition and demand that authorities comply with international laws and work with the affected families to ensure that they are treated fairly and their rights are respected.
I am writing to express my concern and disgust at the way in which the 126 Roma families living in the Kremikovtzi neighborhood of Marchevo village have been treated. Their forced evictions violate international human rights laws and must be rectified immediately. I urge you to work with the affected families to implement solutions that respect their dignity and their human rights in line with Bulgaria’s international human rights obligations.
The proposed evictions and demolitions in the the Kremikovtzi neighborhood will render local residents homeless, as no provisions have been made for them to access alternative accommodations. Eight families are already homeless after their houses were destroyed; four of the homes were demolished by authorities while the remaining four homes were demolished by their own residents, who were threatened with fines if they did not comply.
Some families have been advised to put their children in institutions so the adults can seek accommodation in emergency shelters. Separating families is not an appropriate solution and does not constitute comparable living arrangements. It is simply a further injustice heaped upon the Roma families of Kremikovtzi.
I urge you to heed the assessment of the European Court of Human Rights and work with the affected residents to find solutions that respect both their dignity and their human rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: anjči