Landmark Ruling against Bulgaria for Violating Roma Housing Rights

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Landmark Ruling against Bulgaria for Violating Roma Housing Rights
By: Press Release
10 April 2007
 

Bulgaria Found in Violation of European Social Charter as a Result of Systematic Failure to Act on Positive Obligations

The European Committee of Social Rights has ruled that Bulgaria is in violation of the European Social Charter for systematically denying the rights of Roma to adequate housing, in a decision made public on Friday. The ruling has been welcomed by a coalition of nongovernmental organisations working on housing rights issues concerning Roma in Bulgaria.

In the matter of the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) v. Bulgaria, the European Committee of Social Rights held that Bulgaria’s policies with respect to housing and accommodation of Roma infringe Article 16 (right of the family to social, legal and economic protection) and Article E (which focuses on nondiscrimination) of the European Social Charter due to:

  • Romani families being disproportionately affected by legislation which limits the possibility of legalising illegal dwellings;

  • The inadequate housing conditions and lack of amenities experienced by Roma families; and

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