Target: Interior Minister Manuel Valls
Goal: Halt controversial evictions of Roma communities in France
On August 27, 2013 French authorities evicted 150 people from their camp in Bobigny; 60 of those people were children. Evicting Roma communities from their camps has been an ongoing process for the past year, and the nation proclaimed that they will continue despite the controversy surrounding it.
There are hundreds of people in France who are homeless and some of the children who were evicted from their homes in Bobigny have lived there for three years and attended school locally. Some families have moved several times during the year and are now uprooted once again. France is ignoring an international law that states evictions can only take place if there are appropriate procedural protections in place, adequate alternative accommodations are provided and the relocated citizens are offered compensation for their losses. But France has done none of this in their evictions. They chase off the Roma communities by destroying their homes and taking away their belongings.
Notices are not given to the tenants, they are not given back their belongings and compensation is not given. And if an eviction is given for a certain area, Roma communities living in the surrounding areas and have not been issued an eviction are unfortunately kicked out as well. Some of these tenants also require medical attention and to uproot them in such an abrupt manner will have consequences on their health.
It is quite apparent that France is treating the Roma communities like an infestation. They do not consider that these people are human beings. In the case of the camps in Bobigny, informal settlements were made that belonged to three owners. The eviction orders were cleared for two of the three plots of land, but the entire settlement was evicted. Again this demonstrates a lack of compassion of the French administration. Only three families out of the many who lived in Bobigny were given temporary homes but consultations were not administered to the families nor were they given notices. The 2013 evacuations of Roman communities comes after French authorities agreed on an action to remove all illegal settlements in their nation. The order details guidelines on how to get rid of these communities.
Over the past year, Roma families are going through the same ordeal of being kicked out of their homes and struggling with what to do next. They want their children to go to school so they can learn, but if they are constantly on the move they will not be able to. Some of these people require medical attention and others are trying to provide for their families. The French authorities are making the lives of these Roma people unnecessarily difficult and it is inhumane. Sign this petition and tell the interior minister of France to stop the eviction.
Dear Interior Minister Manuel Valls,
What your country is doing with the Roma communities greatly concerns me. These forced evictions from their homes make no sense and are entirely inhumane. Many of these families have children who go to school on a daily basis and some require medical attention. By evicting these families you preventing these kids from getting an education and preventing medical treatment for those who need it, or causing their symptoms to flare. You also do not give these families notices, nor do you provide alternative adequate accommodations or compensation for their losses. Even areas surrounding an evicted zone get ransacked without a second thought and it is illegal.
Your country is skirting international law by not providing these necessary things for the Roma communities upon eviction. It is unbelievably cruel to kick these families out of their homes without any alternative. Many of these people have moved several times in their lives and you are only adding to their baggage. I am writing to ask that you halt these evictions until adequate housing and compensation are provided.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: WITNESS via flickr