“ERTF REACTION TO FRENCH ACTION TOWARD ROMA
WRITTEN BY SECRETARIAT ON 14 AUGUST 2012.
ERTF to French president: Stop breaking up Roma camps and open access to labour market for Romanians and Bulgarians
Strasbourg 14 August 2012: Following recent police raids on several Roma camps around Lille and Lyon, and the expulsion of Roma from French territory, Europe’s largest Roma rights organisation has sent a letter to French President François Hollande, asking him to stop “dismantling” Roma camps and to find a long-term solution to the problem of illegal camps.
The letter, signed by Mr Rudko Kawczynski, president of The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), urges the French president to facilitate the integration of Roma migrants in France and to remove barriers to access to the labour market for Romanians and Bulgarians.Many Roma emigrate from both Bulgaria and Romania.
According to the ERTF, current action by the French government contradicts President Hollande’s commitment from his election campaign to not expel Roma families without proposing alternative accommodation.
In his letter to President Hollande, the ERTF president noted with regret that Socialist government policy on Roma issues mirrors that of the preceding administration: “As promised in your election campaign, it is necessary to systematically find alternative accommodation before police intervention,” Kawczynski wrote.
The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) has a special partnership agreement with the Council of Europe. It gathers Europe’s main international Roma NGOs and more than 1,500 national Roma and Traveller organisations from most of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states.
For further information, contact Panos Kakaviatos of the Council of Europe’s Media Relations Division
Telephone: +33 3 90 21 50 27
Telephone: +33 3 90 21 53 50