The Centre for Legal Resources condemns the institutionalized racism at the level of the Romanian Government

15.06.2012

The Centre for Legal Resources condemns the institutionalized racism at the level of the Romanian Government

 

The situation from Baia Mare – According to media and human rights NGOs accounts, on June 1st 2012, the local authorities from Baia Mare have relocated a Roma community to a building belonging to the former Cuprom factory, a building where recipients with toxic substances from the former factory had been left behind, a building which was not, evidently, fit for housing. A certain number of the persons relocated, primarily children, had to be taken to the emergency room presenting health problems. The case determined the reaction of the US Embassy to Bucharest and of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

The reaction of the Government – on June 12th, through a press statement from the Government, we are being told that the National Agency for Roma (NAR) has undertaken a series of activities at local level which resulted in a report on the basis of which the president of the NAR has filed a petition before the National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD) on June 11th, asking for an analysis and a decision on the public policies destined to the Roma at the level of local authorities from Baia Mare. The president of the NAR maintains, according to the Government statement: “relocating the Roma from the area of Craica to a space which had been used in the past for industrial activities and which has not been decontaminated and made into a space destined to housing amounts to a form of differential treatment on the ground of ethnicity, which breaches the right to personal dignity, the right to a healthy environment and the right to housing”.

What is, in effect, the problem – We consider that the reaction of the Romanian Government represents an offence brought to the Roma and confirms the existence of institutionalized racism. The fact that the National Agency for the Roma brings a case which it describes in criminal terms – the relocation of the Roma, by the state authorities, in a space which has not been decontaminated and which breaches the right of the inhabitants to a healthy environment – before the NCCD, a body which can only sanction through administrative fines, instead of bringing it before the criminal investigation bodies, shows the complicity of the Government through the National Agency for the Roma in maintaining the state of impunity in what regards the discriminatory policies of a maximal gravity of some local authorities which endanger the health and finally the life of their citizens, when these are of Roma ethnicity.

 

Contact person: Delia Niţă, Anti-discrimination Programme Manager, (+4) 0729.120.383


Note for editors:

The information referenced in this statement can be found at:

Andrei Trif, Intoxicaţie în masă printre locatarii blocului social amenajat la Cuprom Baia Mare (Mass intoxication among the inhabitants of the social block of flats arranged at Cuprom Baia Mare), in eMaramureş, 02.06.2012, available at: http://www.emaramures.ro/Stiri/67195/ULTIMA-ORA-Intoxicatie-in-masa-printre-locatarii-blocului-social-Cuprom-Baia-Mare (accessed at: 15.06.2012).

Bogdan Eduard,Exclusiv EVZ: Auschwitz-ul de la Baia Mare. 2000 de romi mutaţi în Uzina Morţii de primarul Cherecheş “Chimicul” (Exclusive EVZ: the Auschwitz from Baia Mare. 2,000 Roma moved from the Death Plant by mayor Chereches, the “Chemical”),  in Evenimentul Zilei, 04.06.2012, available at:  http://www.evz.ro/detalii/stiri/exclusiv-evz-auschwitz-ul-de-la-baia-mare-2000-de-romi-mutati-in-uzina-mortii-de-primar-984719.html (accessed at: 15.06.2012).

Council of Europe, Commissioner for Human Rights, Romania: Commissioner concerned about the relocation of Roma in a toxic building, 07.06.2012, available at: http://www.coe.int/t/commissioner/News/2012/120607BaiaMare_en.asp (accessed at: 15.06.2012).

Guvernul României/Romanian Government, Biroul de Presă/Press Office, Informare de presă (Press statement), 12.06.2012, available at:http://www.gov.ro/informare-de-presa__l1a117384.html (accesat la: 15.06.2012).

Romani CRISS, Şanse Egale and Asociaţia Umanitară Împreună, Scrisoare Deschisă (Open Letter),Bucharest, 03.06.2012, available at:http://www.romanicriss.org/PDF/Scrisoare%20deschisa%20Baia%20Mare%20evacuari%20si%20incident%20substante_2012.pdf (accessed at: 15.06.2012)

US Embassy to Bucharest,US Embassy Statement on the Roma Housing Situation in Baia Mare, 06.06.2012, available at:http://romania.usembassy.gov/policy/media/pr-06062012.html (accessed at: 15.06.2012).

Other cases of abuse on Roma from Romania have been documented and reported on, among others, by Amnesty International, Mind the legal gap. Roma and the right to housing in Romania, 23.06.2011, available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/romania-legal-system-condemning-roma-poor-housing-2011-06-23 (accessed at: 15.06.2012).

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