Give Evicted Community Access to Water, Sanitation, and Shelter

Matteo Renzi by Allesandro Valli

Target: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy

Goal: Ensure that people from a forced relocation camp have access to shelter, sanitation, and other basic human necessities.

Three hundred members of a Roma community, including many children, have been forcibly evicted from their homes and relocated to the site that was formerly a fireworks factory. The new site lacks adequate shelter, offers only cold water from communal taps, no electricity, a single shower, and two portable toilets–clearly insufficient for 300 people.

Authorities in Campania evicted the Masseria Del Pozzo community after their original home was ruled unfit for human habitation. They provided no written notification and did not allow member of the community the opportunity to assess the new location.  While some of the community could move their caravans to the new site, many were left homeless and without shelter. This has led to a health crisis within the community.

There are plans to build a new camp, however it is clear that the community cannot remain in their current location in the months it will take to establish it. Furthermore, the design of the new camp has been criticized by many human rights organizations as it promotes segregation rather than inclusion of the community. This will exacerbate the discrimination they already suffer.

Their original location, which was next to a toxic waste dump, was a product of government relocation without consulting the community. In order to ensure that this does not happen again, the community must be consulted in future relocations. Additionally, access to healthcare, sanitation, and shelter must be guaranteed. Sign our petition and demand that Prime Minister Renzi guarantee that the Masseria Del Pozzo community is consulted about any further moves and afforded access to healthcare, shelter, and sanitation.  

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Renzi,

I was shocked and appalled to hear of the relocation of the Masseria Del Pozzo community. The relocation appears to have been undertaken unilaterally and without adequate notification. The new site is no improvement on the old. It had no access to electricity, only one working shower, two portable toilets, and four communal taps. Furthermore, the move left many in the community homeless as they did not possess caravans.

I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that the community has access to healthcare and adequate sanitation and to ensure that future relocations are done after properly consulting the community. Furthermore, I urge you to ensure that whatever permanent site is built is not segregated from the broader community. The segregation of Roma people from others only leads to more discrimination and mutual distrust. I ask that you ensure that all levels of government adhere to the National Strategy for Roma Inclusion and uphold the highest standards of human rights.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alessandro Valli 

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156 Signatures

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