Date of the ruling : December 21st 2015

Jurisdiction : European Committee of Social Rights

Legal basis : Article 31 (right to housing) and Article E (non-discrimination) of the Revised European Social Charter.

The ERRC alleged that the housing situation of Roma in Italy amounted to a violation of the right to housing, and that segregationist policies and practices in the field of housing constituted racial discrimination. The ERRC alleged that Roma were denied an effective right to housing because of the shortage and inadequacy of living conditions in camping sites. It also alleged that forced evictions of Roma are common and that Roma have no access to housing other than on camping sites. It argued that the right to housing and the principle of non-discrimination were violated by all three issues.

Results and key consequences of the case : The Committee concluded unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 31 in conjunction with Article E, citing the inadequacy and insufficiency of camping sites, forced evictions and sanctions, and the lack of permanent dwellings. In its reasoning the Committee considered that Article E established an obligation to ensure that any group benefits in practice from the rights in the Charter, and that the Government had failed to take due and positive account of all relevant differences, and take adequate steps to ensure Roma had access to all rights and collective benefits, thereby indirectly discriminating against Roma communities. It also considered that Italy had failed to produce credible evidence to refute the claims that Roma had suffered injustified violence during evictions.

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Resolution on the decision by the Committee of Ministers.

Council of Europe - Committee of Social Rights - European Social Charter
Article 31 - Right to housing
Article E - Non-discrimination
EU Housing Rights
Right to housing