Tell the Serbian Foreign Minister: Royal Holloway supports Roma rights sign now

On November 25th, the Serbian Foreign Minister, Mr Vuk Jeremic, will visit Royal Holloway to speak to the Politics and International Relations Society. The Serbian government is currently subject to an urgent action by Amnesty International UK due to a very worrying pattern of forced evictions of Roma communities, particularly in Belgrade. These evictions are part of a wider pattern of discrimination against Roma people across Europe. Help us take this opportunity to tell the Serbian minister that Royal Holloway supports the rights of Roma communities. Sign the petition to add your signature to the letter below.

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Dear Mr Vuk Jeremic,

Many thanks for taking the time to visit Royal Holloway on 25th November to speak to students about your role as the Foreign Minister of Serbia. We are writing to coincide with your visit to express our concern about the treatment of Roma communities in Serbia, as documented by Amnesty International.

We are very concerned about the rising number of forced evictions of Roma communities in Serbia. Many of the Roma communities facing evictions in order to make way for public infrastructure projects were first internally displaced by the 1999 conflict in Kosovo. The UN Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) has expressed concern about the increasing number of forced evictions of Roma in Belgrade from informal settlements. Whilst the Serbian government recognises Roma from Kosovo as being IDPs, they have so far failed to provide those living in informal settlements with the basic rights and protections set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

The Serbian government has so far failed to prevent the eviction of Roma communities by the City of Belgrade, despite Serbia being part of international human rights treaties which prohibit forced evictions. Amnesty International has called on the Serbian government to adopt a law prohibiting forced evictions, which would ensure that the processes and safeguards set out in the UN Guidelines and Principles on Development Based Evictions and Resettlement are in place before any evictions are carried out.

One particular case of concern for us is the imminent forced eviction of 27 Roma families from Block 61 in New Belgrade. 20 of these families were first displaced by the war in Kosovo. We urge the Serbian government to halt the eviction, as the plans as they currently stand violate Serbia's human rights responsibilities under international law. The authorities must engage in genuine consultation with those affected prior to the eviction and find them adequate alternative housing if the eviction is to take place.

We hope that you will take our concerns into account and encourage the relevant members of the Serbian government to take strong and immediate action on this very important issue.

Yours sincerely,

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RHULBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Mr Vuk Jeremic, Serbian Foreign Minister

Petition community:
Royal Holloway

Tags

amnesty international, royal holloway, serbia

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