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Form "International Tribunal on Evictions”

Monday 29 September 2014 11:29:45 am

General Information

Coastei Street
approximately 300 Roma

Description of case of forced evictions

1 (already taken place)
Local authorities of Cluj-Napoca forcibly evicted about 300 people – mostly Roma – from Coastei Street in the centre of the city. Since then, most of them have been living on the furthest outskirts of Cluj-Napoca, beside a landfill and a chemical waste dump in an area known as Pata Rât. out 30 out of the 76 evicted families were not offered any alternative accommodation and were effectively left homeless. The remaining 46 families were provided with one room per family. They have to share communal bathrooms with three other families. The main connection with the city is a school bus that leaves at 7.15 in the morning. The closest regular bus stop is 2.5 kilometres away across the railway.
No legal authorisation for the eviction was provided. Some families were living in public housing rented from the city while others were living in informal housing in the same location. The land was given to a Church, and therefore it was seen as a political move by some observers. Romania’s National Council for Combating Discrimination declared that the eviction and relocation of the families to Pata-Rât constituted discrimination.
The eviction took place in winter, in contravention of Romanian legislation forbidding wintertime evictions. On 15 December 2010 representatives of the Cluj-Napoca municipal authority informed the residents of Coastei Street that they had to submit a request for social housing for homeless people by noon of the following day. The next day the residents were instructed to pack all of their belongings. On 17 December several hundred local authority staff and law enforcement officers with bulldozers and trucks evicted the 56 families:
As well as losing property and their homes, the families have been moved to an isolated, dangerous and polluted area, far from the city. They are no longer integrated in the city and cannot access employment or basic amenities. Children face increased difficulty in attending school, which is now far away.
Children have been particularly affected; while they were previously close to schools and able to attend both classes and extra-curricular activities, the fact that they are now so far away makes this more difficult. At first there were very limited bus services from their new location, although they have managed to secure some extra buses.
The evictions were carried out by the local municipality.

Support, measures taken and follow up

sì (yes: which?)
We, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), continue to support the community to take legal action. The Community has also set up its own organisation, and community members have taken on the struggle for justice themselves. In late 2013 the Cluj-Napoca County Court (Tribunal) found that the Mayor’s decision to forcibly evict was illegal. The court ordered the city authorities to pay damages to the Romani applicants for their eviction and relocation to Pata-Rât, and for the inadequate conditions of that housing. The Court also required the city to provide the applicants with adequate housing in line with the minimum standards set out in Romanian law. The decision is not final and is currently being appealed. In the meantime, nothing has changed for the evicted people and they still live in Pata-Rat.
The court action described above is ongoing.
The community members have set up their own NGO and are trying to improve the general conditions for people living in Pata-Rat. At the same time, they are hopeful that they will eventually be able to relocate to a different location, and not stay in Pata-Rat indefinitely.
Compensation has been awarded in the initial judgment, detailed above. However, that judgment is being appealed.
extra (yes: which?)
The community has the support of the ERRC and others, to engage with city authorities to find alternatives. However, authorities have not been able to offer any alternatives yet and state there is a lack of available housing.
No suitable alternatives have been proposed.
The community continues to advocate for a solution to their situation and to move from Pata-Rat.
The next decision on the appeal is expected in the next few months; however, it is difficult to predict exactly when it will come.

Details of the person registering information

Kieran O'Reilly
Research Officer
European Roma Rights Centre
Wesselenyi utca 16, Budapest 1077
0036 30 500 2227

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