Tech & Rights

Roma Camp in Wrocław Cleared and Demolished

The unannounced destruction of a Roma camp in Wrocław is condemned by civil society, which warns that such an action raises serious doubt about human rights protections in Poland.

by Małgorzata Szuleka
Image: Jake Stimpson - Flickr/CC content

The Roma camp in the Polish city of Wrocław has been cleared of its inhabitants and demolished. According to media reports, the Roma living in the camp had no prior notice of the demolition.

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) contacted the construction inspectorate for the city in order to find out more information about the demolition and to express its concern about the case.

"The manner of conducting the eviction of the [camp's inhabitants] gives rise to doubts from the perspective of the rights safeguarded by the European Convention on Human Rights," reads a statement from HFHR.

Multiple ECHR violations?

As a result of demolition, the Roma living in the camp lost their houses and many of their belongings, such as money, medicines, documents and clothes. HFHR has also expressed its concern about how the administrative proceedings were handled, as there was no notice given, not least to the Roma living in the camp.

"The cases concerning Roma camps should be considered pursuant to Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights, which provides the right to respect for private and family life and home, as well as Article 14, which concerns prohibition of discrimination," says Dr. Dorota Pudzianowska, an HFHR lawyer.

The European Court of Human Rights has indicated in judgments that in cases of this kind, the eviction decision should be well justified. In particular, the authority must assess proportionality of the planned resolution.

"The court also emphasized the particularly sensitive position of Roma as an ethnic minority, which justifies that special attention be paid to their needs and lifestyle," explains Pudzianowska.

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