The Romanian Roma have been living in Poland for more than 20 years, unnoticed and largely ignored by the system. They do not have access to basic public goods including employment, health care, education and housing.
With the accession of Romania to the European Union, the Romanian Roma have the right to move freely across EU borders and legally reside in all Member States.
Extreme poverty and social exclusion, prevents Roma migrants from exercising their rights – fundamental rights that are consistently violated by the authorities.
On July 22nd in Wroclaw (the European Capital of Culture) in Poland the municipal emergency services unlawfully demolished houses inhabited by Romanian Roma family, de facto leading to their displacement.On that day ten person family, including five children lost everything.
The residents of the settlement were not informed about the demolition plans and did not have time to secure their belongings.
All their possessions were removed, together with identity documents and birth certificates. Despite clear signs that the plot was inhabited, the authorities claim that the area was abandoned and the houses were empty. The displaced family found collection of their things in two landfills on the outskirts of Wroclaw.
Currently there is another settlement inhabited by Romani families in Wroclaw. The authorities are implying that this area will also be cleared and liquidated.
On Monday, 27 July the Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment visited the existing settlement. In the evening of that same day, the Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz received a letter signed by NGOs demanding a clear position of the government on Roma migrants and establishment of a “round-table” to discuss current situation.
Moved by the events, the people have presented the Mayor of Wroclaw, Rafał Dutkiewicz, with a petition, demanding ceasing of demolitions and creation of local migration strategy in Wroclaw: We the undersigned oppose the brutal demolition of Romani houses. We are appalled by the flagrant violation of human rights committed by the authorities of Wroclaw (Poland) on 22 July 2015 when the emergency services demolished a house of Caldarar family located on Paprotna Street.
We are shocked by the termination of an inter-sectoral dialogue about status normalization
of Romani settlements. Painstaking progress made by non-governmental organizations, public institutions, volunteers and residents was shattered and construction law was placed above human rights.
We fear that the decision to demolish Romani settlement is a continuation of the operation lead by the magistrate, aimed at forcing the economic migrants out of Wrocław.
Following the legal suit, the time has come for drastic actions. This time they touched Caldarar family, but there is a real threat that the settlement on Kamieńskiego Street will also be demolished. Assimilation or deportation – this is the migration policy of
We demand the Mayor of Wroclaw Rafał Dutkiewicz to develop local migration policy, which will take into account the diversity of cultures. In our opinion, the advancement of such policy requires:
and observance of human rights;
of inter-sectoral dialogue;
- development of comprehensive and
long-term community programs, which will strive to include and
integrate Roma into mainstream society;
- involvement of Roma representatives in the planning, implementation and monitoring of action plans/measures;
- immediate suspension of actions aimed at liquidating Roma settlements
More information about Romanian Roma residing in Wrocław available here: