UNICEF Position on Evictions of Vulnerable Families with Children
UNICEF is concerned that mass evictions of vulnerable families with children, especially from Roma communities, take place on a regular basis in Romania, and expresses serious concerns about the situation of the children from the evicted families.
While UNICEF accepts that housing conditions in some cases were not appropriate for children’s wellbeing, the evictions rarely contribute to improving their situation. Children and their families are often put in temporary shelters that are not adapted for children and families. This places children at high risk of dropping out of school, not accessing food and health care and not being included under the social and child protection safety net.
The evictions are particularly serious and unacceptable when they take place just before or during winter time.
UNICEF notes forced and mass eviction of vulnerable families with children without long-term and appropriate alternative housing is a violation of human rights. Romania has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and has the obligation to ensure that all the children on its territory have the right to access education, health care and protection services, including housing, without discrimination.
UNICEF calls on central, county and local authorities to immediately provide emergency as well as long-term solutions in close consultation with concerned families and children, so that all children are protected and have the right to live in dignity with their families. UNICEF is convinced that the social inclusion of vulnerable children, including Roma, is at the heart of a more equitable and fair Romanian society. UNICEF stands ready to support authorities in this matter.